|Contacts:||Jonathan McKain, Human Services|
| ||Elaine Plunkett, Human Services|
PITTSBURGH - Last week, 55 graduate students from Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh spent two and a half days, from Wednesday evening through Saturday morning, preparing their presentations for the 2010 Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) Local Government Case Competition.
Now in its fourth year, the Case Competition, generously funded by the Human Services Integration Fund, elicits the creativity and knowledge of interdisciplinary teams of graduate students to address real-world challenges and managerial dilemmas faced by government and business leaders in Allegheny County.
“In previous years, the Case Competition has generated ideas about environmental sustainability and the future of human services delivery,” said DHS Director Marc Cherna. “These ideas have provided the department with fresh perspectives and suggestions for addressing the challenges we face. I would like to thank all of the students and judges for their participation and the Human Services Integration Fund for making this annual event possible.”
This year’s challenge was for teams to imagine it was the year 2020 and that they were hired 10 years earlier, in 2010, to devise and implement a plan to narrow the academic achievement gap for students involved in human services and to raise the bar for all students who are enrolled in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. After a decade of work, the teams must now present the results of their efforts to community leaders.
With the challenge given to them on Wednesday, Nov. 10, shortly after 6:00 p.m., the 16 interdisciplinary teams worked to craft feasible, action-oriented recommendations until the morning of Saturday, Nov. 13 at 8:00 a.m. Throughout the day on Saturday, each team presented their recommendations to one of four panels of judges. Each panel selected one of the four teams it judged to advance to the final round, where the top four teams presented again to all of the judges in attendance. Judging panels were made up of leaders in local government, private foundations and the academic community.
Prizes were awarded to the winning team and three runners up. The first place team was awarded $3,000, second place was awarded $1,500, third pace was awarded $500 and each member of the fourth place team was awarded a gift card.
Although only one team is selected as the winner of the entire competition, innovative ideas are taken from all of the teams that have participated and participants walk away with a greater sense of the Department’s reach in the community.
For more information about the Case Competition and to view the 2010 presentations, visit www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/casecompetition.aspx.
The 2010 DHS Local Government Case Competition winners are:
First Place Team
- Russell Brown (Duquesne)
- Brittany Claud (CMU)
- Kyle Crawford (Pitt)
- Mary Frances Stotler (Duquesne)
Second Place Team
- Kelly Wilkinson (Pitt)
- Laurence Chan (CMU)
- Stephen Legault (Pitt)
- Simone Rede (CMU)
Third Place Team
- Lauren Sukal (Duquesne)
- Manuel Gómez Solórzano (CMU)
- Mary Brodland (Pitt)
Fourth Place Team
- Matt Richmond (Pitt)
- Ngiste Abebe (CMU)
- Paul Sandberg (CMU)