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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Northwest's chapter of Pi Omega Pi was named the top chapter in the nation last weekend at the National Business Education Association Convention. Left to right in the front row are Cari Cline, Melissa Potter, Allie Stanley and Dr. Nancy Zeliff. In the back row are Eddy Kraber and Trey Kothe. (Submitted photo)

Northwest's chapter of Pi Omega Pi was named the top chapter in the nation last weekend at the National Business Education Association Convention. Left to right in the front row are Cari Cline, Melissa Potter, Allie Stanley and Dr. Nancy Zeliff. In the back row are Eddy Kraber and Trey Kothe. (Submitted photo)

April 25, 2019

Business ed honor society earns fourth national title in five years

The Beta Chapter of Pi Omega Pi at Northwest Missouri State University is the best in the country again, taking first place in its national competition for the third consecutive year and the fourth time in five years.

Results of the national business education honor society’s national chapter competition were announced at the National Business Education Association Convention April 16-20 in Chicago. Competition results are based on chapter involvement in the national organization and local chapter activities throughout the 2018 calendar year.

The Beta Chapter’s community service projects included school visits during which members presented computer science concepts to elementary and high school students in rural districts.

“You could just see the excitement and joy on the students’ faces,” Eddy Kraber, a senior business education major from Prole, Iowa, and Beta Chapter member, said. “When this is the case, the students are more likely to retain the information we are teaching. Another impact it had on the students was it intrigued them. We were successful in hooking the students on computer programming. This is important because of today’s business’ desire for programming skills.” 

Cari Cline and Dr. Nancy Zeliff, who teach in Northwest’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems, serve as the Beta Chapter’s faculty sponsors. Pi Omega Pi encourages students to challenge themselves outside the classroom, Cline said.

“At a time when experienced teachers are seeking assistance in beginning computer science programs, Northwest is graduating Pi Omega Pi members who have professional-based learning experiences and are ready to hit the ground running,” Cline said.

She added, “It was rewarding to accompany students as we worked with area schools to gain profession-based learning while providing services and resources our rural schools did not previously have access to. It was a win-win for everyone involved. The growth and development of our students throughout the process was clearly evident and will prepare them to be successful as future business education teachers.”

Beta Chapter members attending the conference were Kraber; Trey Kothe, a senior business education major from Maryville; Melissa Potter, a senior business education major from Union Star, Missouri; and Allie Stanley, an Eagleville, Missouri, native who completed her bachelor’s degree in December in business education. They presented two sessions, titled “A Programming Tool: Every Bit Counts” and “Diversifying Your Toolbox by Pursuing Computer Science Certification.” Their presentations and applied research were partially funded by two undergraduate research grants from Northwest.

Kraber, who plans to become a high school business education teacher, said Pi Omega Pi has provided him with opportunities to grow as an educator.

“It has allowed me to take on new challenges such as computer programming and try to become an expert in those particular fields,” he said. “It has also been a great networking system for myself. I have met numerous different peers that are in similar fields of study and have inspired me to become a better educator.”

Cline and Zeliff also presented at the conference. Cline presented “Add a Little Spark with Adobe Spark!” Zeliff co-presented a session with Kimberly Schultz, a Northwest alumna and Kirkwood Community College instructor, titled “Assessment Tools: Get Your Game on With Rubrics.” 

Bailey Maxwell, a senior business education major from Gallatin, Missouri, and Lindsey Pulverenti, a graduate student from Higginsville, Missouri, who is studying instructional technology, also are members of the Beta Chapter.

Northwest’s Beta Chapter, now in its 95th year, is the oldest active Pi Omega Pi chapter in the nation. The organization is designed to create a fellowship among teachers of business subjects, create and encourage interest and promote scholarship in business education, encourage civic responsibility, foster high ethical standards in business and professional life among teachers of business, and teach the ideal of service as the basis of all worthy enterprise.

Zeliff has served as a faculty sponsor of the Beta Chapter since 1989. In that time, it has earned 18 top-three finishes in the national competition, including seven first-place finishes.

The Beta Chapter’s top honor is Northwest's third national championship in an academic or athletic competition since March 30, when the Bearcat men’s basketball program won its second NCAA Division II national championship in three seasons. Additionally, Kevin Nguyen, a freshman criminology major from Kansas City, Missouri, claimed an individual national title in prose interpretation at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial speech and debate tournament. Northwest has won 49 national titles in academics and athletics in the last 10 years.

For more information about Pi Omega Pi, visit its national website at

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468