by Geoff Larcom, Published April 29, 2010
YPSILANTI - A team of business students from the Eastern Michigan University College of Business finished first and second respectively in recent state and regional competitions designed to test their knowledge of human resources issues and topics.
Management majors Nick Pacific and Pamela Grace won out over seven other teams in the Human Resource Games, held this spring at Western Michigan University. The two triumphed in the Jeopardy-style competition, which pitted undergraduates in answering questions on topics such as compensation, staffing and training.
“It is so rewarding to see how well the EMU students compete, and to see how much they have learned in their HR classes,” said Professor Fraya Wagner-Marsh, who heads the department of management and coaches EMU’s student HR teams. “I am also so proud of how hard they work in attending practices for almost nine months to prepare for the competition.”
“It was fun to interact and compete with other schools, and to meet other HR geeks like myself,” Pacific said. “Plus, I’m a really competitive person, and this event was like a big playground for me. And it helped tremendously with my classes. Most of the questions we were challenged on were synonymous with things I found on my final exams.”
Eastern won the event for the fourth time since the state competition began in 2002. A second team from Eastern, including Nicole Mersch and Jessica Williams, won the event’s Collegiality Award, voted to the team showing the most college spirit and sportsmanship.
Pacific and Grace then went on to represent Eastern and the state of Michigan at the Regional HR Games competition at Purdue University, finishing second out of 39 teams from around the Midwest. Eastern lost by one question in the semifinal round, ending up second in overall points.
The HR Games seek to promote human resource education, the value of the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification exam and interaction among students and professionals. HR professionals from around Michigan served as volunteers during the state competition.