Business Students Place Second in National Competition Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State
—June 13, 2005
team of undergraduate human resource students from UTSA’s College of Business placed second nationally in a management
case study competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The students received $2,000 and a certificate for their
achievement. Team members were Joanna Barrerra, Danae Bennett, Suzanne Ricketts, Sylvia Rodarte and Lorena Segovia.
“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of these students,” said Lynda de la Viña, dean of the
UTSA College of Business. “The students went head-to-head with prominent universities nationwide, and they were only
bested by a team of graduate students. This is evidence of the quality of students at UTSA and the quality of our academic
Twenty-two universities were invited to participate in a case competition in which student teams analyzed a case focused
on a real problem that the Department of State is facing. They were tasked with developing a plan to improve staffing and
morale at the Department of State embassy and consulate in Nigeria. The students were members of a strategic human resource
management course taught by Professor Mark Lengnick-Hall. Hall was named the HR Southwest Educator of the Year in 2003 and
has advised the student chapter of the UTSA Society for Human Resource Management for five years.
Three teams were selected as finalists from the competing universities and received a free trip to Washington, D.C. to
present their findings to a panel of judges from the Department of State. A team of graduate students from Ohio State University
won first place and Georgetown University placed third.
The competition was a collaboration between EdVenture Partners, a higher education consulting firm, and the U.S. Department
of State. The competition allowed students to apply their knowledge and skills to real problems experienced by the Department
of State and provided the Department of State with assessments from some of the best human resource programs in the United
The College of Business human resource program has been recognized repeatedly for its strong academic and student programs.
Human resource students from the college placed first and second in the Texas HR Games competition sponsored by the Society
for Human Resource Management this spring. In the past several years, UTSA has led the nation in the number of students who
pass the PHR certification exam, and the SHRM student organization regularly receives national honors for its student chapter.