The winning students, all Michigan residents, include: Jamarr Pettiford of Detroit, Paula Sunderman of Drummond Island, Tess Lewis of Macomb and Ebony McGee of Canton. Lewis attends Baker College of Auburn Hills, and Pettiford, Sunderman and McGee all attend Baker College Online. The students were coached by team mentor, Beth LaValley, Baker College business instructor and former advisor of the Student Business and Human Resource Management Club.
Co-sponsored by CapSource and in collaboration with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville (RMHC Jax), the IACBE competition tasked undergraduate and graduate-level student teams with solving a relevant, real-world challenge for RMHC Jax executive leadership. In this case, students were challenged to create an actionable strategy to virtually engage RMHC Jax’s network of 4,000+ volunteers during the current coronavirus pandemic and throughout 2021. Teams had to submit a written executive summary and three-minute video presentation of their proposal.
The winning team proposed a RMHC Jax mobile app, with convenient functions for messaging, task list management, volunteer sign-up, calendar, chat, donations, event check-in, virtual story time and more. The concept earned them a score of 68.5 out of 75 points, the highest score in this year’s competition, among both the undergraduate and graduate teams.
“I’m so proud of what our students accomplished, and I also am beyond impressed with the incredible amount of teamwork and collaborative effort they put forth in this competition,” said Dr. Na “Lina” Li, professor and dean, College of Business at Baker College. “These students are already juggling school, jobs and family responsibilities, and to see their enthusiasm for this project, and for the people it would help, was truly awesome.”
LaValley added, "Just as Dr. Li said, I couldn't be prouder of my team. As soon as we knew the task assigned by CapSource and RMHC Jax, and decided the route we were going to take, the team members were immediately focused on their designated responsibilities and how they could work as a team to accomplish what they wanted.” She continued, “The mobile app they proposed was such an amazing idea and can help numerous families in need, volunteers willing to help and RMHC Jax in so many ways.”
In addition to the resume-boosting experience, the winning students also earned internship opportunities with RMHC Jax, and modest cash prizes.
To learn more about the College of Business at Baker College, visit our Program Page.