RIO GRANDE The Rio Grande American Marketing Association was recognized at the recent International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, La., where they won two awards for outstanding performance. The student organization received the Outstanding Planning and Outstanding Membership Awards. The outstanding planning award reflected the groups ability to create and follow a strategic plan, while the outstanding membership award was given for the groups high rates of participation among members and recruitment strategies. Members Jessica Wickline, Danielle Sanders, Rachel Merry and Cassie Holley traveled with faculty advisor Wesley Thoene to the conference. The conference hosted over a thousand marketing students from colleges throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In addition to receiving the awards, students attended specialized sessions on a variety of marketing and career topics. For example, the opening session was led by Michael McCullough, the head of marketing for the Miami Heat, who discussed how the team used marketing to attract its marquee free agents this past summer. Ricky Kim of Nintendo also spoke to students about how the company repositioned itself to attract new customers in recent years. Members of the Rio Grande AMA also listened to speakers from Hibbett Sports and Northwestern Mutual, who discussed how students could better market themselves to future employers. While in New Orleans, the students visited many of the local attractions, including the Audubon Aquarium. They toured Jackson Square, as well as St. Louis Cathedral in the heart of the city. The conference was an excellent opportunity for us to meet new people, learn more about the field of marketing, and further develop our employment strategies, said member Jessica Wickline. We were also able to see many of the sites that New Orleans has to offer. The Rio Grande chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) is a student organization which is open to all Rio Grande students. The chapter provides an array of professional development opportunities for its members and students at the college, including resume workshops, speakers, and the School of Business Visitation Day each November. In addition, the group is also active in several community service projects, including food and toy drives, and the upcoming Relay for Life.