Imagine the pressure of describing your solution to a complex problem to a group of experts. Now imagine having just five minutes to articulate that solution.
Arkansas Tech students Melissa Klinkhammer (photographed, left) and Amanda Knutson (photographed, right) faced that scenario and were judged as the top presenters in a case study competition at the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers (SWACUHO) conference in Tulsa, Okla., Feb. 20-23.
Contestants were given a day-and-a-half to consider a student conduct issue that could occur on any campus. Then, 14 teams stood before a panel of three student services veterans from around the region and gave their solutions to the problem.
Klinkhammer, resident director at Nutt Residence Hall, and Knutson, resident director at University Commons, out-performed teams from such institutions as Texas Tech University, the University of Oklahoma, Southern Methodist University, Arkansas State University and the University of North Texas to win the competition.
"There were a lot of benefits to participating in the case study competition," said Knutson. "It was a new professional opportunity to go through dealing with a situation and thinking about how to handle it. It was a good professional development exercise."
In addition to the three judges, the presentations were open to any person attending the conference.
"We practiced and timed ourselves," said Klinkhammer. "It was realistic because you don't have hours to respond to a situation. You have to be prepared for whatever might happen."
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