“The competition was incredibly special because of our partnership with Diversity Enhancement Programs (DEP). They are an outstanding team and through DEP we were able to partner with two historically Black colleges and universities for the first time."
—Erik Foley , director, Center for the Business of Sustainability
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A team of four Penn State Smeal College of Business students partnered to win first place recently in the Second Annual Smeal Undergraduate Sustainable Business Case Competition.
The Penn State Smeal Ethical Thinkers team, which included Farah Patmah (junior — marketing major), Dihana Hernandez (junior — enterprise risk management), Isabelle Duroseau (junior — supply chain management) and Luddy Hiraldo (freshman — finance), placed first and won $3,000.
Penn State Smeal Greenwave Consulting, which included Kayla Anthony (sophomore — management), Jillian Wagner (junior — marketing), Maansi Shah (sophomore — marketing) and Kacey Lo (sophomore — economics), placed second and won $2,000.
The Bears, a team from Morgan State University, placed third and won $1,000. Penn State Lehigh Valley Z Consulting, a team from Penn State Lehigh, placed fourth.
This year’s competition, which attracted seven teams, was co-sponsored by the Smeal Center for the Business of Sustainability, Smeal’s Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs, Lincoln University in southeastern Pennsylvania and Morgan State University from Baltimore.
This year’s case focused on COVID-19 and issues associated with vaccination availability, accessibility and acceptability. People of color in the United States have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and yet these communities have also faced the largest barriers when it comes to gaining access to vaccinations, and to relevant, effective education about the benefits.
“The competition was incredibly special because of our partnership with Diversity Enhancement Programs (DEP). They are an outstanding team and through DEP we were able to partner with two historically Black colleges and universities for the first time,” said Erik Foley, director of the Center for the Business of Sustainability.
“We believe in giving students hands-on experiences in using business for good. So, it was extremely rewarding to provide that opportunity to students across Penn State and at our two partnering institutions: Lincoln University and Morgan State University.”