Monday, November 21, 2016

[201] MTSU psychology students earn top prize in national human resources contest

MURFREESBORO — With an impressive presentation to human resource executives from Fortune 500 companies, five MTSU graduate students captured the highest national honor available for majors in their discipline.

Students in the second year of the MTSU Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program won the Krannert School of Management Human Resources Case Competition Nov. 3 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

“We are very proud of their hard work and their achievement in winning this national case competition,” said Rick Moffett, associate director of MTSU’s Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness and professor of psychology.

The competition, which is open to all business-related master’s programs among United States universities, gave all teams an identical business case to analyze. Each team had to develop and submit an executive summary and presentation slides over a one-week period in advance of the contest.

After the finalists were chosen, each team had 60 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to present and 10 minutes to answer questions from a panel of human resources experts from Amazon, Dell and General Electric.

MTSU’s team defeated finalists from Brigham Young University, the University of Minnesota, Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh and Purdue University. Their prize was a $5,000 check to be split among the students.

The team members were Kin Chan, Paya Besar Kedah Lunas, Malaysia; Katelyn Class, Oxford, Ohio; Jacqueline Masso, Peoria, Illinois; Hung Nguyen, Lawrenceville, Georgia; and Megan Wertheimer, Waterford, Michigan.

“The case competition provided our team not only with an opportunity to present to HR executives from Fortune 500 companies, but also provided us with the opportunity to learn from each other and grow in our expertise while simultaneously building stronger relationships and memories that are sure to last for years to come,” said Masso.

“We received feedback from one of the judges indicating that we won because we were able to take a complicated project and clearly communicate our solution so that it could be easily understood,” said Wertheimer. “I think that this is a testament to the value of I/O psychology and what we have to offer.”

Industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology is an area of scientific study that addresses psychological concepts and principles in the workplace. It applies evidence-based research in solving organizational issues of all kinds, as opposed to relying on anecdotes, hearsay and the latest management trends.

For more information, contact the Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness at 615-898-5458, email or visit

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