Top Winners: Fuel Alternative for Haiti, Real-time Healthcare for Homebound

Those were two of the six student projects selected as the winners from among 24 entries in the college’s second annual Showcase held on April 27 at the college’s Nelson Hall in Raleigh, N.C. The awards were presented at the conclusion of the showcase by Stephen P. Zelnak, Jr., president and CEO of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc, and recipient of the college’s 2010 Person of the Year award.

Before presenting the awards, Zelnak said that as he viewed the students’ posters summarizing their projects at the Showcase, he was “struck again with the importance of innovation in all of the economy right now.” In an interview with Anna Rzewnicki, the college’s communications director, later, he said elaborated on his remarks.

“If you think about the American economy in particular, it’s not really a resource-driven economy. It’s really an economy based on ideas. And innovation is the core of it because if we’re not innovative, we’re not necessarily going to be the low cost producer. We’re not a resource economy. We have to create value out of those ideas and innovations,” he said.

“And if you look at the students, these young people are our future. You know, I was absolutely amazed at the ideas that they had. They’re talking about things in detail that they’re excited about; they’ve done their homework and you’re looking at job opportunities coming off of this that did not exist ten years ago or fifteen years ago. It’s truly the new economy and it was a very wide range of things.”

“The showcase was created to give individuals beyond the students’ classroom a chance to see their innovative ideas at work,” said Ira R. Weiss, dean of the college. “The depth and complexity of this year’s showcase entries reflects the value that the students gain from applying classroom learning to real world problems, the value that they bring to their project sponsors and, ultimately, to their employers. I join Steve, our team of judges and our faculty in congratulating our students for their accomplishments,” he said.

Projects entered into the showcase were completed during the 2009-10 academic year as a part of an academic class, an independent study or as an entry in a national competition.

Three teams from the college’s Undergraduate Programs and three teams from the college’s Jenkins Graduate School of Management were selected as winners and awarded prizes. The winning teams were chosen by a panel of judges that included faculty and members of the college’s Board of Advisors. Each winning team shared a cash prize for their placement level.

Undergraduate Division

  • First place was awarded to Joseph Langley and Patrick Truong for their business proposal to start a waste charcoal dust briquetting factory in Haiti. Their project’s goal is to alleviate the demand on the nation’s scarce forest resources. Their business proposal was written as part of their business writing course. The team members split the $750 first place cash prize in the undergraduate division.
  • Second place went to Chris Hall, Tripp Moser, Mariel Webb and Kendra Wiest for their supply chain project in which they developed a method for their client company, a major financial institution, to assess the environmental initiatives of their suppliers. The team members split the $500 second place cash prize in the undergraduate division.
  • Third place was awarded to Meredith East, Kyle Keith and Charlie Kirchhoff for their supply chain management for Caterpillar, Inc. The team members split the $125 third place cash prize in the undergraduate division.

Graduate Division

  • First place was awarded to Suki Batni, Engkin Kapkin, Grace McIntyre, Prasant Potuluri and Ji Zhou. For their project, they developed the Philips TeleRehab system which would provide a real-time video conferencing solution that enables physicians and therapists to deliver rehabilitation services remotely to home-bound patients. The team members split the $1,250 first place cash prize in the graduate division.
  • Second place was awarded to Pete Carrasquillo, Christina Clark, Rohan Hangekar, Richard Nguyen and Lion Shaw. They developed a product to be used in neonatal intensive care units. The team members split the $1,000 second place cash prize in the graduate division.
  • Third place went to Sarah Hannawi and Peyton Holland for their marketing campaign to promote a new style of young adult-oriented lodging that incorporates exposure to activities in the area that are geared toward this population group. The campaign was developed for Marriott Hotels in Europe. The team members split the $750 third place cash prize in the graduate division.

Following are the six teams of judges who evaluated the 24 projects in the 2010 Leadership and Innovation Showcase.

  • Team one: Rodney Gaddy, vice president, Northern Region, Progress Energy, and Mitzi Montoya, Zelnak professor of marketing innovation and assistant dean for research
  • Team two: Billy Troxler, president and CEO, Troxler Electronic Laboratories, Inc., and Steve Allen, professor of economics and management, innovation and entrepreneurship and associate dean of graduate programs and research
  • Team three: Ron Wainwright, member, Dixon Hughes, and Shannon Davis, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Professor in the Department of Business Management and associate dean for undergraduate programs
  • Team four: Peter Coode, partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Frank Buckless, KPMG Professor and head of the college’s Department of Accounting
  • Team five: Kelly Campbell, president, Interface Technologies, and Doug Pearce, professor and head of the college’s Department of Economics
  • Team six: Samuel Straight, lecturer in the College of Management and GalxoSmithKline executive (retired), and David Baumer, Professor and head, Department of Business Management

Left to right: Joseph Langley and Patrick Truong, first place, undergraduate division winners; Prasant Potuluri, representing his Jenkins MBA team that won first place in the graduate division, with Steve Zelnak, College of Management’s 2010 Person of the Year, who presented the team awards.

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