Campus Life

UWF places first at regional conference two years in a row

The University of West Florida (UWF) placed first among competing schools from nine states at the Southeast Case Research Association’s (SECRA) annual conference for the second year in a row.

Professionals and students from the southeast region presented cases over the course of three days to be double blind reviewed by industry professionals. Both authors and referees are anonymous.

Trey Powell, Katie Martin and Joanna Roland, all business majors pursuing a master’s degree from UWF, were presented with the Best Student-Authored Case award for the second consecutive year on Feb. 23.

Blaine Lawlor’s Strategic Management and Policy Formation class works for the duration of the fall semester each year, analyzing particular business scenarios, asking questions and providing answers to common business cases. Lawlor then selected the best case and took the respective team to the conference on Feb. 21.

“The conference and competition is an amazing opportunity for the students,” said Lawlor. “Most research cases that are presented are done so by faculty who have at least five years research experience. This competition allows students at the graduate level to present similar works, having had little research experience.”

Lawlor said the class teaches critical thinking and learning objectives, as well as the skills and knowledge to become successful. He said the award gives them a competitive advantage both in the work force and academically.

“Industry professionals are starting to take notice,” said Lawlor. “I think our success really says a lot about the benefits of the program and student-professor collaborations.”

Powell, Martin and Roland are all currently working in their fields as directors and coordinators in the business environment.

“Winning an award like this is very gratifying because it justifies the hard work of the MBA program,” said Martin. “It’s nice to see a project we spent so much time writing and perfecting gain acknowledgement from a prestigious conference.”

“The program is blessed to have two years of awards under its belt,” said Lawlor. “Let’s hope we can keep it going.”