Professional OpportunitiesNBEA Award Winners


Recognizing Excellence in Business Education

Each year NBEA accepts nominations for outstanding individuals for the following award categories:

Middle School Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a middle school business educator.

Secondary Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a secondary business educator.

Postsecondary Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a postsecondary business educator.

Collegiate or University Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a senior college or university business educator.

Distinguished Service Award for an Administrator or Supervisor [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by an administrator or supervisor of business education.

Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by an institution, organization, business firm, government agency, or individual associated with any of these groups.

For more information about eligibility for this award or to obtain a nomination form, please contact NBEA at 703.860.8300 or



The 2014 NBEA Award winners:

Melinda K. Rangel
Secondary Teacher of the Year

Melinda K. Rangel from Newton High School in Newton, Kansas, was named NBEA Secondary Teacher of the Year.

In 1986, singer Whitney Houston released a song that became a mega-hit. It contained these memorable and inspiring lines: " I believe that children are the future. Teach them well, and let them lead the way."
These lines echo the beliefs of Melinda K. Rangel. “With the correct support,” she says, “all kids can achieve and have positive futures.” Below are just a few examples of why her colleagues consider her an asset to the business education profession.

During her career, she has consistently spearheaded programs that inspired students to excellence. She implemented eight new courses into the curriculum, including one of the first online, summer school, computer courses that could earn a student dual college credit. She established job shadows to help students identify career fields. She created on-the-job training partnerships with community businesses and worked with students to continually develop skills that employers needed. She initiated a National Business Honor Society Chapter at her high school that now has more than 50 members. She revitalized the existing BPA chapter, which then became the largest chapter in her state and won many national awards.

Melinda Rangel is a licensed career development mentor. She has delivered numerous presentations at state, regional, and national professional conferences. As president of her state business education association, she worked with area colleges to ensure that participants would earn college credit for attending the annual conference. And as a co-owner in a local martial arts and fitness studio, she is an active member of her city’s chamber of commerce, furthering connections between school and the community.

Ms. Rangel's passion for business education inspires colleagues and students alike. Her principal ranks her among his finest instructors. Her colleagues praise her energy, enthusiasm, and dedication, noting that “she sets the bar high for herself and her students, and her students work to please her.” Her students thank her for “working harder than any advisor” they have ever met, and for changing their lives.

JaderstromRoietta Fulgham
Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

Roietta Fulgham from American River College, Sacramento, California was named NBEA Postsecondary Business Teacher of the Year. Ms. Fulgham not only believes that our students are the future but has dedicated herself to providing them with educational and leadership opportunities. She has a reputation of being strict with her business communication students; yet they select her as their outstanding instructor. She pushes them far past their own expectations.

In her quest to help students meet their goals as they juggle work, school, and family, she often employs simple yet effective technology solutions. When students were unable to attend an in-person orientation, she didn’t drop these students from her course. Instead, she connected with one student by videoconference, and another by Skype on her mobile phone. She exemplifies the business education ethic of lifelong learning—constantly attending professional development activities and acquiring certifications, then sharing what she learns with her students.

Her business department flourished in hard times thanks to Ms. Fulgham's efforts to keep the curriculum current. She established a virtual entrepreneur degree and a virtual office assistant certificate program. She worked with business partners to ensure a properly trained workforce. She created a sense of community among other business education teachers and business professionals through online publication campaigns, open houses, and astute use of social media. She assumed leadership roles in professional organizations and encouraged and mentored other teachers to do likewise, to both serve and sustain the profession.

Despite Ms. Fulgham's busy schedule, she makes it a point to spend personal time with students. She involves them in role model and mentoring relationships in professional organizations. She donates time to a mentoring program focused on scholarship and has been a youth advisor for the NAACP for more than 25 years. She is known for bringing youth groups on campus to help youth visualize college as part of their future. She is active in FBLA and PBL leadership conferences, promotes student membership in professional organizations, and encourages attendance at conferences by sharing travel plans and personally offering transportation.

Roietta Fulgham's colleagues describe her as “extremely knowledgeable, always prepared, and always professional”


KyleK. Virginia Hemby
Collegiate Teacher of the Year

Virginia Hemby from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was named NBEA Collegiate Business Teacher of the Year.  Virginia Hemby is a recognized expert in technology, business communication, distance and online education, and learning styles. She received a “distinguished educator in distance learning award” from her university, and was one of the first business educators to use Web 2.0 technologies for learning. She has delivered numerous presentations on workplace issues, directed technology-related workshops, and served as a consultant for other colleges. She has served the profession by assuming leadership roles in many business-related organizations and by publishing her research findings in their prestigious journals.

But what people most often notice about her, in the words of one supporter, is this: "One cannot talk with her for more than a few minutes before she begins to talk about her students.  She is a 24/7 educator, always concerned about her students and nearly always available to them.

Personally, she is one of the best-known and most generous individuals in the business education profession. Her famously big heart, for example, inspired a project called “Raiders Closet,” her university’s answer to the “Dress for Success” movement. Raiders’ Closet is stocked with gently used business attire that students can wear to job interviews and then on the job while they launch their new careers.

Academically, Dr. Hemby works tirelessly to show her students the practical applications of theory-based research topics. “She is down to earth, relatable, and approachable,” one student wrote on his evaluation. This sentiment is often echoed by others, including one student who is now a colleague. He credits her focus on current and trending topics, plus her commitment to her profession, with inspiring him to strive harder to reach his own goals.

Professionally, Dr. Hemby's term as national president of Delta Pi Epsilon might have been her most significant service to the profession. The importance of linkages and collaborations to the survival of professional organizations was just beginning to emerge. Her collaboration with the DPE and NBEA leadership paved the way toward investigating an affiliation with NBEA. This affiliation was realized in 2012.

Beryl C. McEwen
Distinguished Service Award for an Administrator

Beryl C. McEwen from North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, received the NBEA Award for Distinguished Service by an Administrator of Business Education.

“Dedicated” and “committed” are two words that describe Dr. Beryl McEwen. When she takes on a professional responsibility, one supporter wrote, “it can be assumed that the activities will be fulfilled almost immediately to the highest caliber.” She has extremely high credibility within the profession, and her achievements are many.

Since 1988, she has authored 60 scholarly articles known for their rigor and impact. More than one-third of them were published in NBEA-related publications. She received the “Outstanding Article Award” from the NABTE Review twice and the “Outstanding Research Paper” from Delta Pi Epsilon multiple times.

Dr. McEwen's leadership strengthened the business education program at her university by creating relationships with the business and nonprofit community. This effort ensured that all business education students would accrue at least 400 hours of business-related experience before graduation. She revitalized the “Closing Bell Speaker Series,” which brings top corporate executives and other leaders to her university’s School of Business and Economics. When other universities were shrinking or cutting their business education departments, the positive attention she brought to her department allowed her to hire new faculty who expanded its reach and impact. Her university’s Business Teacher Education graduates have a 98% passing rate for the Praxis II exam. For these accomplishments and more, she was recognized as one of the top women leaders in the South and designated a “Business Leader Extraordinaire.” Only forward-thinking, influential leaders who have made an impact on economic success are nominated for this award.

Dr. McEwen is revered as a model educator and respected as a tireless contributor to academic committees. She has made an impact on administration, grant funding, publications, and professional service. She has directed conferences, helped write policy statements, and provided editorial consulting for professional journals. She provides content for a website that gives information about business education to the community. And she was instrumental (along with Dr. Virginia Hemby) in facilitating the successful transition of Delta Pi Epsilon to its affiliation as the research division of the National Business Education Association.