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The Dean's Digest - March 2013

imageDr. Steve Cox, chair of undergraduate business programs; Ross Brydon, case competition winner; and Dr. Ron Shiffler, dean of the McColl School of Business
03/13/13 -  

At the bottom of our McColl School stationery is the tag line "Not just a degree. An experience." I would like to share with you an example of one of those "experiences" that makes McColl special.

On a beautiful Saturday in February, eight high school seniors and their parents came to campus and spent several hours with us in the Sykes building. On the surface, there is nothing unusual or unique about this happening since high school seniors and their parents are busy in the fall and spring visiting campuses.

But wait, this story gets more interesting. Of the eight students, only one was from North Carolina. One came from Scotland ... that's right, the Scotland that is part of the United Kingdom. The others came from New York, Ohio, Florida and South Carolina.

They came to Queens because they were the finalists in our Third Annual Undergraduate Scholarship Case Competition. They may have heard about the competition through many sources - announcements that we sent out to high schools, word of mouth, and of course, on our website. The competition is open to all comers, but to compete they had to apply to Queens and be admitted as a pre-business student.

Many prospective Queens' students satisfied these criteria, resulting in a nice pool of contestants who submitted written case analyses and recommendations. We called on alumni volunteers to judge the written cases in Round #1. (Note: If you would like to be a judge next year, please let me know. TY)

The field was narrowed to eight finalists who were invited to campus on a beautiful Saturday in February to participate in Round #2. In this round, the contestants had eight minutes to deliver an oral argument to a new set of judges and then four minutes to field questions from the judges. For this round we asked students who competed in previous case competitions and some faculty to constitute the judging panel. Thank you to the panel of judges, which included faculty members Steven Cox, Terry Broderick, Tim Burson, and Dawn Chandler, as well as current students and past case competition participants Joseph Vaughn, Halley Barba, Libby Goddard, Campbell Corder, Mitchell Sayers, John Harrington, and Kristin Diemer.

When the last argument was made and the judges tallied their scoring sheets, we invited all contestants and their parents to join us for announcements of the winners. First place earns a $7,500 scholarship; second place, $5,000; third place, $2,500; and all remaining contestants are named Honorable Mention and receive a $1,000 scholarship. Assuming the students maintain their GPAs above 3.0, these scholarships are renewable for a total of four years' worth of support.

Congratulations to first place winner, Ross Brydon (from Scotland!), second place winner Kelly Spencer (from Summerville, SC), and third place winner Josh Halter (From Fairport, NY). Honorable mentions included: James McGuinness (Rockville Center, NY), Nicholas Meredith (Dublin, OH), Charlie Michelin (Boca Raton, FL), Mitchell Newell (Delaware, OH), and John Suther (Mooresville, NC).

As far as we know, we are the only school conducting a high school case competition like this one. It requires students to think critically when analyzing the case, to communicate effectively when presenting the case, and to think on their feet during questions-and-answers. That's the McColl Experience!

As always, we'd love to hear from you, we'd love to meet you for coffee some morning, and we would love for you to subscribe to the McColl School blog. It's your move.

Ron Shiffler


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