news-category: Academics

GWU Rising Senior Achieves Third Place in National Future Business Leaders of America Competition

Marketing and Communication Studies Major Cyrus Richer Wins with Social Media Campaign

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb rising senior Cyrus Richer represented the University’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Collegiate Chapter at the National Leadership Conference held recently in Atlanta, Ga. Richer competed in the Social Media Marketing category and earned third place in the highly-competitive event.  

He faced 30 participants in the first round to place in the top 10 and advance to the finals. His score was higher than competitors from Penn State in York, Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and Illinois Central College in East Peoria.

Richer, a marketing and communication studies major, noted, “It was an exciting event with over 14,000 students and educators in attendance throughout the conference. The objective of the competition was to create and present a presentation on a social media platform, excluding Facebook and Instagram, that could drive the best growth for a new business to reach new markets. My chosen platform was TikTok, and I focused on its algorithms, accessibility, and target audiences.”  

He qualified for the national competition by earning second place at the state conference. “I practiced my presentation in front of a mirror and with my adviser (Dr. Angelina Smith) during the state conference, refining it further before the national conference,” Richer stated. “One of the most beneficial aspects of the conference was the opportunity to network with fellow members from across the country.”  

Richer also had the chance to meet the new national officers and showcase his creativity by helping to design the campaign booth for the New FBLA Collegiate National President, Toby Neal. “This booth was set up during the conference, and it was a project I worked on for months beforehand,” Richer related. “Overall, the FBLA National Leadership Conference was an incredible experience that allowed me to learn, grow, and connect with like-minded individuals, as well as see month-long projects truly have great success.”  

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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