It was a big weekend for the West Virginia University business school graduate students who participated in the Big 12 MBA and student Society for Human Resource Management case competitions, as well as for a graduate student who was named the top presenter at the MBA event.

Student teams from the WVU College of Business and Economics placed second in the SHRM Case Competition in Omaha, Nebraska, and placed third in the Big 12 MBA Case Competition held at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. WVU MBA student Matt Brumley was also named the best individual presenter at the Big 12 MBA competition.

“The case competitions are excellent examples of experiential learning,” said B&E Interim Dean Nancy McIntyre. “Our students are prepared to take on real-world business challenges and make a difference, and our success in these competitions are evidence of that.”

Rachel Hamilton, Beckley, West Virginia, and Brittany Bond, Parkersburg, West Virginia, comprised the two-person team from B&E’s Master of Science in Industrial Relations program who participated in the SHRM competition. Both are first-year, human resource management students and represent the first time WVU has used a two-person team as a competition strategy.

“The competition provides a realistic preview of the types of problems that students may encounter in the workplace,” said Dr. Suzanne Gosden Kitchen, teaching assistant professor of management and industrial relations and the team coach. “The case study focuses on any number of HR/workplace issues and requires strategic thinking, ethical decision-making, and strong leadership and presentation skills.”

Only New York University beat out WVU in its division.

The WVU team in the 2016 Big 12 MBA Case Competition included MBA students Matt Brumley, Charleston, West Virginia; Jonathan Michael, Beckley, West Virginia; Nichole Benson, San Antonio, Texas; and Tommy Skinner, West Grove, Pennsylvania. The group was assigned a case on Boeing that was provided by Boeing and Deloitte.

“The teams were given the case at 9 a.m. on Friday and were given 21 hours to turn in their analysis. All teams gave a Saturday morning and an afternoon presentation to two panels of judges manned by executives from Boeing and Deloitte,” said Dr. David Dawley, team coach, director of the Robbins Center for Global Business and Strategy and associate professor of management at B&E.

WVU placed third in the MBA event, with Kansas State coming in second and Baylor winning the case competition. Baylor University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas Christian University, University of Kansas, University of Oklahoma and WVU participated in the annual competition.

Additionally, WVU team member Matt Brumley was recognized as the competition’s best overall presenter. “Unlike any other presenter, Matt positioned himself squarely in front of the judges,” Dawley said. “The judges were all very high-ranking people from Boeing and Deloitte. He was the only speaker to go toe-to-toe with the judges and speak directly to them, and without any notes whatsoever. His professional presence was unparalleled.”

WVU received a $1,000 team prize and Brumley received a $250 prize, Kansas State received a $3,000 prize and Baylor was awarded a $5,000 prize. WVU won the competition in 2015.

“These events see very tough fields of competition,” McIntyre said. “B&E’s commitment to these graduate programs is strong, and we keep working to get better by doing things like providing experiential learning opportunities through case competitions. We’re very proud of these teams.”

For further information on the WVU College of Business and Economics, follow B&E on Twitter at @wvucobe or visit


CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics


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