The University of Central Arkansas’ chapter of Beta Alpha Psi — the honorary organization for Financial Information students and professionals — earned a first-place award recently at the organization’s 2013 Southwest Regional Conference in Dallas.

UCA students Amber Brewer, Kaci Burrow and Kristen Flynn were awarded first place in the Best Practices competition in the category of Innovation in Developing Soft Skills, according to a news release. The three made a presentation based on a program the UCA chapter of Beta Alpha Psi developed to improve communication skills of its members. Six other schools competed in this category.

The win allows the students to advance to the national competition in Anaheim, Calif., in August.

"The UCA Accounting Department is so proud of its chapter of Beta Alpha Psi and all the students who make it great. Please help us acknowledge the successes of these students who prioritize their education and professional development high enough to give up a weekend, take tests early and put in countless hours to the chapter," said Stephanie Watson, faculty advisor and associate professor of accounting.

The UCA chapter has scored five first-place wins and one second-place win at the regional level since the chapter began competing in the Best Practices category in 2007. At the national competition level, the team has ranked at first place and third place one time each.

Other achievements for the UCA chapter of Beta Alpha Psi during the 2013 Southwest Regional Conference include the following:

Seniors Daniel Meador and Alex Harbuck gave a presentation at the conference called, "Fantastic Field Trips." Meador and Harbuck spoke to members of other Beta Alpha Psi chapters about field trips to accounting firms, manufacturing and distribution companies and professional organizations.

This year, UCA’s chapter hosted the conference. UCA chapter members logged hundreds of service hours by planning activities and helping during the conference.

Students Alex Dunn, Anastasia Zagelskaya, Blake Payne, Cheyenne Marcum, Darvin Knight, Chenxi Huang, Yuqun Gu and Giau Phan also participated in the conference. Tien Huynh and Van Hoang both graduated in 2012 but returned to work on the conference.

For more information, contact chapter faculty advisors Connie McKnight at or 450-5313 or Watson at or 450-5317.