Rowan students compete in inaugural CHSS case study competition

The winning group poses for a photo during the Case Study Competition hosted by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences on Friday, Feb. 23, in the Student Center. -Photo courtesy of Will Mendez

Early Friday morning several teams of Rowan students, each under the guidance of a professor from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), met in room 221 of the Chamberlain Student Center. The students were there as part of the inaugural CHSS case study competition, in which students presented their solutions to a theoretical situation.

In this particular instance, the case study dealt with the question of what to do about inviting a controversial speaker to campus at the fictional “Garden State University.” Teams showcased their ideas in front of judges, who after hearing them present would ask the students questions relating to their solution to the case study.

One of those judges was Jason Rindosh, a Rowan alumnus who graduated in 2009 with a double major in philosophy and history, who now works as a partner at Bedi Rindosh, a law firm. Rindosh said that every team really stepped up their game and made a positive impression on him.

“I have to say that I was very impressed with all of the students,” Rindosh said. “As a civil rights attorney, I was very happy to see that all valued free speech, and even when they didn’t agree about how to moderate it in a sensitive place like a public university campus, they all presented ideas that are logical and actually tie in with their majors for the most part. So I was very impressed with the quality.”

After each of the five teams finished presenting, the judges excused themselves to deliberate. Following the small break, the winners were announced. The team lead by Dr. Misty Knight-Finley, an assistant professor of political science at Rowan, won the competition. After the results were announced, she had nothing but good things to say about her team’s performance and the obstacles they overcame along the way.

“I’m immensely proud,” Knight-Finley said. “We’ve been rehearsing [the presentation], I’ve seen this every step of the way and I still wouldn’t have been able to tell you that they were going to walk up there the way that they did with exactly what they did. I mean they didn’t even know each other. These people don’t know each other. They were thrown into a room, only half of them were there. We had some trials. We started as a team of six, came down to a team of four, and I’m immensely proud of them.”

Knight-Finley’s team was made up of Rowan students Juan Florez, Monica Monteiro, Austen Johnson and Trishawna Forde. The members of the group all agreed that the friendships they had made working on this project were a benefit to the competition. And for Monteiro, a junior English major, the competition brought with it the chance to see other teams responses to the case studies.

“I didn’t think that it would be as competitive [as it was],” she said. “But then once you get into the room it’s such a pleasant competitive vibe. We saw ideas that we had thought about at once, that other groups incorporated in a different way, and it was really nice seeing how everything was incorporated.”

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