June 15, 2012
Houghton Business Students Receive National Recognition
The Houghton College Business Department is pleased to accept an invitation to the 2012 Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference in Atlanta from June 22-27, 2012. Houghton will be recognized on stage in front of 13,000 human resource professionals for their outstanding first place finish at the 2012 S.H.R.M. Northeast Regional Case Competition this past March.
This recognition catapults the Houghton business program above hundreds of schools nationwide and sets a new precedent for Christian liberal arts colleges, as Houghton is among the first to receive such national acclaim. Houghton’s team of six students, Josh Akpan ’12 (Hartford, Conn.), Shawn Gillis ’13 (Corning, N.Y.), Mark O’Brien ’13 (Seven Hills, Ohio), Katie Schutte ’12 (Newton, N.J.), Petar Serafimovski ’12 (Skopje, Macedonia) and Meredith Toombs ’12 (Warner Robins, Ga.), will not only be given opportunities for professional networking, but may choose from over 200 professional development seminars and meet world-class management experts such as Jim Collins and Malcolm Gladwell.
The S.H.R.M. competition was hosted by the University of Massachusetts on March 9-10, 2012. Houghton sent six students to compete with business students from five prestigious institutions, including Cornell University, St. John Fisher College, Villanova University, Marist College and Clark University.
Members of the six competing groups prepared a written executive summary and presented a 15-minute implementation plan before a panel of judges and H.R. professionals. Houghton scored in the top two to advance to the final round against Cornell University, where they performed in front of all conference attendees and were ultimately granted the first place award.
“Our entire school is only 1,100 students. Our competitors were from schools ranging in size from 2,800 to 14,000,” said Ken Bates, associate professor of business and department chair. “The fact that our students can compete and even excel among students from such large schools with such well-developed programs in human resources management speaks volumes about the quality of Houghton students and their education. What a privilege it is to work with these students.”
The team received a $3,000 prize as well as pre-paid registration to the national S.H.R.M. conference. The Buffalo-Niagara Human Resources Association has raised the additional travel expenses to send the Houghton students to the conference.