2009 Student Case Competition Winners
Claremont McKenna College and Eastern University

One of the highlights from the 2009 annual global conference in Prague was the 3rd Annual Student Case Competition. Student teams competed for a monetary grand prize of $1000 in each division and the title of "ILA 2009 Student Case Competition Winner!" After two fierce rounds of competition, Miles Bird, Zephanii Smith, Michelle Kim, and Veronica Pugin, a team from Claremont McKenna College, was declared the winner of the Undergraduate Division, and Gery Remy, Stephanie Povlosky, and David Brewer, a team from Eastern University, emerged victorious in the Graduate Division. Congratulations to these two teams and all of our case competitors!

Undergraduate Division Winners Miles Bird, Zephanii Smith, Michelle Kim,
and Veronica Pugin of
Claremont McKenna College

The first round of competition required teams to prepare a brief that answered specific questions and evaluated the selected case study. The scores of these briefs determined selection for the Final Round of competition, during which teams presentenced a live analysis based on additional questions about the case study.

Three teams from each division were chosen as finalists. The Undergraduate Division finalists included a team from Claremont McKenna College, and two teams from Marietta College. The Graduate Division finalists included teams from Eastern University, Virginia Tech, and a team featuring students from University of Grenoble in France, Tsinghua University in China, and University of the West Indies, Mona in Jamaica.

Three judges for each division evaluated each team's case analysis and presentation. Our appreciation goes out to the judges of this year's competition: Andrew Simon of Yellow Edge, Australia; Todd Murphy from the Center for Leadership at Northwestern University; Teresa Martinelli-Lee of BHS/American Recovery Center; Rose Cole from West Virginia University; Tina Dörffer of Bertelsmann-Stiftung, Germany; Karen Longman from Azusa Pacific University; and ILA Board Member Margie Nicholson of Columbia College Chicago.

The Student Case Competition is organized each year by the Leadership Education Member Interest Group. MIG Chair Sara Thompson described this year's Case Competition as "a wonderful experience for students to engage in the International Leadership Association Conference as well as apply the knowledge they are gaining through the concurrent sessions. This event can make the conference come alive for many students."

Graduate Division Winners Geri Remy, a Lecturer in Eastern's Nursing Department; Stephanie Povlosky, a financial analyst at the Pew Charitable Trust Foundation; and David Brewer, a project manager with Kaiser Permanente. They are all third-year doctoral students at Eastern University

This competition would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship this year from the Center for Leadership at Northwestern University, and Vodafone Czech Republic. Many thanks!

David Brewer, 2009 Graduate Division Winner, shares his thoughts about the case competition:
"I and my teammates loved the experience. The opportunity to apply what we've been learning in our academic program to a real-life case, and to act like consultants presenting our analysis and recommendations, was both a great learning opportunity and a lot of fun.

I especially liked the two phases: submitting in advance allows everyone a realistic chance to put something together while doing any research, etc., they might want. And then the short-term nature of the second phase assures that you're really testing what people know and can quickly apply to a case without all of their resources present.

Winning gave us public recognition at the Conference and through Eastern University's press release. Individually, though, the awareness that 'I can really do this leadership thing' was incredibly affirming. And I think for Eastern, because we are the first cohort in the program, it was a validating experience as well. They are doing many things right and this is one demonstrable outcome."