Students to compete in university-wide Smeal College business competition

On February 3, four business students from Penn State Worthington Scranton will be at University Park to compete in the Smeal Case competition, an intense, 24-hour business competition sponsored by Kohl's.


The competition consists of five teams of four, including one team from the University's Smeal College of Business, competing against four other teams made up of the University's top business students from University Park and other commonwealth campuses.  


Penn State Worthington Scranton was notified last month that its team was one of the select commonwealth campus teams chosen to compete.


Penn State Worthington Scranton will be represented by students Alexandra Paradise, Moscow; Melissa Manglaviti, Lake Winola; Franceska Sweeney, Madison Twp.; and Kenneth Robbins, Kingsley.


Each team will be required to research, analyze and prepare a 20-minute presentation for Kohl's representatives. The winning team will receive a $5,000 Kohl's shopping spree.


Dr. Russell Casey, assistant professor of business administration, is the team's adviser. He helped them with the entry application for the competition and will be meeting with the team weekly to help them prepare for the competition.  


"I have a strong background in case research, saw the opportunity from Smeal and recruited the team based on the students' strengths," Dr. Casey said. 


The students then met with the campus' Career Services coordinator, Sophia Robles, to update their resumes and Dr. Casey helped them complete the competition application, on which the students described why they wanted to enter the competition and why they thought their background would be a fit to compete in the competition. 


"The team is very excited, as three of the members of the team are applying to transfer to the Smeal College and this is a great experience to compete against current Smeal students," Dr. Casey said.  


"I like this opportunity for students, as I believe in teaching theory and other conceptual concepts, but allowing students to apply the information in a real-world situation is a valuable experience to provide students," he added. "That is what excites me, that is, they will be using the concepts/theories as a basis to solve a real-world or a hypothetical situation for Kohl's department stores. To me that type of experience is very valuable; to show students now that what they are learning in college can be a valuable asset to them in the real world."


"I am hoping that the competing students will not only gain skills and the hunger to learn more but will bring back what they learned and inspire other students to want to develop analytic and application skills they can use now and long after graduation," said Dr. Casey.