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WVU graduate student team wins inaugural West Virginia SHRM Classic Case Competition

WVU graduate student team wins inaugural West Virginia SHRM Classic Case Competition

A team of graduate students from West Virginia University showed its knowledge of industrial relations and human resources by winning the graduate student division of the inaugural West Virginia SHRM Classic Case Competition. The team, all of whom are students at the College of Business and Economics, won the competition during the WVSHRM annual conference in Bridgeport Oct. 8-9.

A team of undergraduate B&E students placed second in the undergraduate division at the event hosted by the West Virginia chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, finishing only behind the team from WVU Tech.

“This was the first-ever event and students from around the state could compete in Division 1 (undergraduate) or Division 2 (graduate),” said Dr. Suzanne Gosden Kitchen, faculty advisor for the WVU teams and a member of WVSHRM State Council. “The case study involved a national transportation company struggling to properly engage a multi-generational workforce, which adversely affected the company’s position in the marketplace. Current and former HR professionals from throughout West Virginia served as this year’s judges.”

Students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs in areas of study such as human resource management, general business, management, strategy, industrial relations, business administration, international business, organizational behavior or leadership are eligible to participate. All members of the winning graduate student team are enrolled in the WVU Master of Science in Industrial Relations and Human Resources program. Members of the winning graduate team included Megan Pumphrey, Julie Stoll and Lydia Strain.

“I like to take any opportunity to challenge myself while building my human resources skills,” said Stoll, a second-year MSIR student from Wilder, Kentucky. “This competition allowed both to be done in an exciting and developmental fashion!” Strain, a first-year MSIR student from Westover, West Virginia, added, “By participating in the West Virginia SHRM Case Competition, I was able to apply what I am currently learning in the classroom to solve a situation that I may face in the future as a HR professional.”

The purpose of the competition is to promote meaningful student engagement within degree programs, to nurture collaborative educational opportunities between colleges/universities in West Virginia and neighboring states, and to foster networking opportunities between students and HR professionals. Plans are for the competition to become an annual event.

“It was a great experience being able to work with this smart group of women,” said Megan Pumphrey, a second-year MSIR student from Inwood, West Virginia. “Developing our critical thinking and presentation skills was very valuable.”

SHRM is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 300,000 members in more than 165 countries. Membership in SHRM may be extended to collegiate students, and WVU students may also belong to the SHRM student organization.

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


CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, College of Business and Economics



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