UNT students earn cash awards in Northwestern Mutual competition

Monday, December 22, 2014 - 21:59

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Three teams of University of North Texas students earned cash prizes for analyzing a technology vendor for the hospitality industry in the Fall 2014 Northwestern Mutual Integrated Business Case Competition.

Six teams of graduating seniors, selected by instructors from a representation of all College of Business departments, made presentations to a panel of judges in November. The judging panel included: Chris Gray of Accenture Consulting, Grace Warden of Northwestern Mutual Corp, Randall Jamison of Ze-Net Technologies and Scott Jamison of Ze-Net Technologies.

"The experience was very beneficial to our organization, and the students were able to highlight and bring into focus some of the issues we know we've been facing, but having fresh eyes and perspectives on things we see every day brings creative solutions and ideas to the surface that we may not otherwise consider," said Scott R. Jamison, vice president of operations for Ze-Net Technologies and a 1999 graduate of UNT.

"We were very impressed with the caliber of the students, both in their presentation and in the ideas they brought to the table," Jamison said. "The quality of the student that the UNT College of Business and this competition is presenting to the business community is outstanding."

The competition has been held twice a year at UNT since 1995 as part of the capstone course for graduating seniors in the UNT College of Business.

"Students were required to apply their knowledge and skills learned to address a complex set of strategic, structural, and behavioral issues related to this privately held, family-owned business," said Derrick D'Souza, professor of management at UNT.

The following students earned first place and $700 per team member:

  • Jirinet "Melissa" Argueta of Garland
  • Myongchul Baik of Chuncheon, South Korea
  • Timothy Oliver Day of Plano
  • Joshua Jahn of Rowlett
  • Jeffrey Kemp of Aledo
  • Sumeet Kumar of Denton
  • Heather Moon of Colleyville and Granbury
  • Jennifer Wilson of Cypress, Texas

The following students earned second place and $150 per team member:

  • Lijo George of McKinney
  • Casey Lee of Reno, Nevada
  • Sean Marcus of Denton
  • Lindsay Meyers of South Lyon, Michigan
  • Andrew Morgan of Denton
  • Trang Nguyen of Vietnam
  • Mark Renne of Lubbock

The following students earned third place and $100 per team member:

  • Kassandra Hahn of Houston
  • Sarah Higginbotham of Fort Worth
  • Kevin Long of Lewisville
  • Michael Lossing of Rockwall
  • Brian McGinnis of Denton
  • Joshua Swink of Frisco
  • Norma Varela of Dallas
  • Minmin Zhou of Denton


Past clients for the case competition have included Target Corporation, ReStore operations of the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, the Texas town of Cross Roads, Service King Collision Repair, Denton Community Hospital, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Sonic and more.

Northwestern Mutual and UNT alumnus Tait Cruse, managing partner, Northwestern Mutual--Dallas, have pledged $100,000 over four years to organize the event and to fund students' awards.

About UNT's College of Business

With more than 5,500 students, UNT's College of Business is one of the largest business schools in the nation and has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International since 1961.

With 105 full-time faculty members, the college offers 16 undergraduate degrees, 22 master's degrees, seven doctoral programs and 17 certificate programs. Three centers and institutes in the College of Business create synergy among scholarship, research and teaching. Classes take place in the 180,000-square-foot Business Leadership Building, which opened in 2011.

Students enhance their learning experience through student organizations, study abroad programs, internships and the Professional Leadership Program to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today's technological and global business environment.

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