USD students earn top honors at SHRM regional competition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students at the University of South Dakota finished second out of 11 other schools at the North Central Regional Student Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference and Case Competition at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., recently.

Thanks to resources provided by the Beacom Opportunity Fund, which was created to allot resources for initiatives that promote the Beacom School of Business’s students and programs, USD’s SHRM undergraduate team finished first (out of all undergraduate teams participating) but second in the overall competition to a team from Purdue University. In the Case Competition, each team was allowed four hours to review a human resources scenario, write a short paper and prepare a 15-minute presentation for judges. The top two teams from the first round were chosen to present again in front of the entire conference where judges determined the overall winner.

“Every school wants to win, but everyone is also extremely friendly and supportive of each other,” said Damian Lonsdale, Ph.D., assistant professor of management and SHRM faculty adviser. “Our students started working on sample HR cases as a group back in February. I’ve no doubt their diligence and hard work were reasons why they did so well.”

Each spring, the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) organization conducts regional student conferences and case competitions all over the United States. The North Central Regional Student SHRM Conference, traditionally considered one of the largest of these conferences, offers students insightful educational sessions and an opportunity to network with human resource professionals from several states within the region.

“I have been doing the HR games (Case Competitions) for three years and each year we have put the knowledge we have learned to the test,” said student Becky Amundson of Hutchinson, Minn., who serves as chapter co-president. “This has been great preparation for the future. Being able to win in this year’s competition put a great cap on my HR education here at USD.”

Lonsdale added that the USD Student SHRM Chapter open to students in all majors and provides a venue for students to learn more about human resources from practitioners in the field, and establish contacts that pay dividends the rest of their careers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 198 undergraduate and 79 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hailie Warren
USD News