Winners announced for Collegiate Challenge powered by Walmart

Penn State Abington wins competition
group of students and adviser

Penn State Abington Team 1 placed first at the CRS Collegiate Challenge 2019 held at the Lehigh Valley campus on Oct. 17.

Credit: Camille Kacerik

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The Council for Retail and Sales (CRS) took the “Shark Tank” television show concept and applied it to a regional collegiate competition in retailing and sales on Oct. 17 at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Undergraduate teams from two-year and four-year colleges were eligible. Each team was tasked with providing recommendations on how to grow Walmart’s eCommerce sales.

“Student involvement in these competitions prepare them for the exciting world of retail,” said James R. "Doc" Ogden, co-chair of CRS, noting the talent and determination of the participants.

The judges of the competition were from Walmart, including: Nicole Everett, market manager; Larry Murphy, market eCommerce manager; Joanne Zahran, market human resources manager; Adam Vutech, store manager; and Marvin Faison, market fresh operations manager.

“The competition’s a tremendous way to help students go from the classroom and help solve real-world problems,” said Denise Ogden, co-chair of CRS and professor of marketing at Penn State Lehigh Valley.

Seven teams competed in the event. The first-place winners were from Penn State Abington. The team took home a traveling trophy to be housed at their campus until next year’s challenge. These winners also received $1,000 from Walmart. The second-place team received $400 from Walmart. 

“This was a great opportunity that I was hesitant to try at first, but now that I did, I am happy I gave it a try.” said Moshe, a student from Penn State Abington. “It was the best thing for me to prepare for the business world.”

The winning teams were as follows:

1st place – Penn State Abington Team 1

Advisers: Thomas Stone and Kevin Mayhew

  • Farrukh Karimov
  • Makeeda Murray
  • Hridoy Shawkat Ali
  • Callista Weigel

2nd place – Penn State Lehigh Valley

Adviser: Denise Ogden

  • Hemil Patel
  • Yusuf Horuz
  • Jaspreet Kaur
  • Namjot Kang

This yearly event is sponsored by the CRS, located at Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. The CRS is part of PSU-LV and works in conjunction with the Lehigh Valley LaunchBox. CRS works with the retail and sales communities to stimulate interest in retail and sales careers. The council is a leading authority on issues and solutions that face the retailing and sales industries. In addition to professional education, CRS connects students to entry-level retail and sales opportunities.  For more information, visit the CRS website.


Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

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