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UWF takes first place at HR Florida Conference

[Left to right] Dr. April Schantz, Milena Franzini, Brianna Miller, Kaleb Libby, William Ballew and Namrata Lotlikar; not pictured Kaylee Bartee and Nikkie Galvan

A University of West Florida graduate team placed first and undergraduate team placed second at the HR Florida Conference Student Case Competition held during the annual HR Florida Leadership Conference in Orlando on Oct. 13 and 14.


“Not only was the weekend a valuable experience in terms of winning the competition, but it also served as a great networking opportunity,” said UWF graduate student Kaleb Libby. “Over the course of the three days, our team was able to speak with and learn from esteemed HR professionals across Florida, giving us valuable insight into the field today as well as creating strong relationships with professionals across the state.”

Libby, along with Will Ballew, Brianna Miller, Namrata Lotlikar and Kaylee Bartee, all master’s students in industrial-organizational psychology and members of UWF’s Society of Human Resource Management, received a case with human resource management issues prior to the competition. The team had to conduct research and craft unique, creative and relevant solutions addressing multiple questions from the provided case. Students were not allowed to consult with faculty, leaving the team to rely on the research skills and knowledge they have gained in their respective programs. The students were awarded first place out of five teams for their two-page executive summary, 15-minute presentation and Q&A with a panel of judges. The team received a trophy, $1,000 to UWF’s SHRM chapter and free admittance for team members to next year’s HR Florida Conference in Orlando. Graduate students from UWF have competed against other Florida State University System schools and private colleges and won three times since 2019.

UWF’s undergraduate team was composed of students Milena Franzini, a junior majoring in management, and Nikkie Galvan, a senior majoring in psychology. Franzini and Galvan secured second place among six teams for their two-page summary, 15-minute presentation and Q&A with a panel of judges. As faculty advisor for the SHRM student chapter, Dr. April Schantz, assistant professor of psychology, accompanied the UWF teams to the competition.

For more information about the University of West Florida, visit uwf.edu.