Earlham students advance to semi-final round of John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition

From left to right: Earlham students David Huang, Jennifer Calderon and Momo Hirose prepare for the preliminary round of the 2022 John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition.

A team from Earlham College has been selected to compete in the semi-finals of the 2022 John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition hosted by Emory University.

Composed of students representing five countries, the team has been challenged by UPS, the multinational shipping corporation, to develop solutions for the company’s supply chain issues . They will make a virtual presentation in front of a panel of judges on Thursday, Jan. 20, and vie for one of four spots in the competition’s final round.

“I think our diversity and background in entrepreneurship has separated us from the other teams,” said Ruslan Dominic, a junior Global Management major from Moldova. He noted that the other semi-finalists are graduate students from larger universities, “So we’re very proud to come this far.”  His teammates include David Huang, a junior global management major from Singapore; Jennifer Calderon, a neuroscience and public policy double major from Chicago; Ted Jacquet, a junior quantitative economics and data science double major from Haiti; and Momo Hirose, a global management major from Japan.

The team received a $1,000 stipend from the competition to conduct research needed to prepare their presentation. Faculty from Earlham’s business department and centers for Social Justice and Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity, mentored the team.

“This competition is all about the delivery of racial equity in business,” Huang said. “The reason our team has been successful is that we represent the foundation for this competition. That is really highlighted by our work, along with Earlham’s international student body and approach to education.”

Seventy-six teams from 40 institutions of higher education competed in the preliminary round and submitted presentations of intent to be considered for the semi-finals. The team’s presentation focused on racial inequality in transportation.

Twenty teams were chosen for the semi-finals and will compete in five industry-specific competitions, including healthcare, consulting and professional services, food and beverage, technology, and transportation and logistics. One team from each category will advance to the finals on Friday, Jan. 21, and compete for monetary prizes ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. All prizes are a one-to-one split, with 50 percent given to the winning team and 50 percent donated to an organization advancing racial justice of the winner’s choosing.

Earlham is competing in the transportation and logistics category. Other semi-finalists come from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business; Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business; and the University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Business.

Earlham students are routinely selected to compete in local, regional, national and international competitions in the areas of social entrepreneurship and supply chain management. The College also hosts multiple entrepreneurship competitions to inspire students to be catalysts for good in a changing world.

In 2016, a team of students won the $1 million Hult Prize and launched a company to optimize public transportation in Africa.  Twice in the last four years, Earlham teams have competed in the Association of Supply Chain Management Case Competition and advanced to the semi-final round. Earlhamites also finished first in the 2019 Conexus Indiana supply chain management competition.

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