Madison College students compete at SkillsUSA: 7 students shine at national event, 1 wins gold


Photo provided to the Clarion

Allie Christensen, third from left, joins other winners in the “advertising design” competition on stage at the SkillsUSA national competition in Louisville, Ky., this summer.

Edward Herzberg, Staff Writer

Picture hundreds of college students from across the nation converged into a crowded arena prepared to compete against one another for a national title. For many, this would conjure images of the NCAA basketball or football championships, but this summer in Louisville, Ky. It was the national finals for the SkillsUSA organization.

According to SkillsUSA, their corporation is “a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.”

For high school and college students studying welding, automotive, cosmetology, etc., the organization provides guidance and assistance in their fields. Madison College’s own Alexandra Christensen is one of several standouts from the national competition.

With only a few points separating the final placing, “The competition was very close,” explained Christensen.

Each area of competition is separated between the college and high school levels. In the field of advertising design, Christensen was able to edge out 17 competitors to earn her the gold medal. In addition to Christensen, six other students from Madison College were able to attend the national finals. Amadeo Verstegen and Timothy Myers earned a bronze medal in additive manufacturing. After turning in a winning performance, what does Christensen have planned for the future?

“Every two years, the person with the highest score in their category can compete at the international level,” Christensen said. The next international event will be held in Russia, and Christensen aims to return to the national championship next year to continue to improve her shot at receiving a bid to the next stage.

In the meantime, Christensen also intends to volunteer at several non-profit organizations in the area, including Design Like Mad and Sustain Dane, in order to hone her abilities while simultaneously giving back to the community.

“I had so much fun and meeting so many new people made the experience incredible,” said Christensen about her experience at the SkillsUSA national event.