Today@Sam Article

SHSU COBA Students Excel In 56-Hour Competition

May 23, 2024
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

From left: William Ellegood, Riley Okilen, William Hill, Dylan Cormier, Samuel Eastman and Willow Yang.By Tory Josey

Students from the College of Business Administration (COBA) excelled in the 20th Operations Simulation Competition (OpsSimCom 2024) hosted by MIT Operations Management Club and Processim Labs, a 56-hour global operations management competition. The students navigated a complex virtual environment with high costs and steep annual interest rates on loans of 255.5%.

One Sam Houston State University (SHSU) undergraduate team secured sixth place, outperforming other undergraduate and U.S. teams, while another SHSU team demonstrated impressive resilience, overcoming an early deficit and finishing 26th place. The teams competed against 51 opponents, including those from prestigious schools such as MIT Sloan School of Management and Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

The SHSU teams were coached by faculty members Willow Yang of supply chain management (SCM) and William Ellegood associate professor of SCM. Their guidance and expertise played a key role in preparing the students for the competition and providing support throughout the event.

From left: Nicolos Simmons, Renci Yuan Tesorero and Oscar Rodriguez.In addition to faculty mentorship, Professor Emeritus Victor Sower and professor Pamela Zelbst donated funds to support the student teams, honoring their hard work and achievements.

“The achievements of our teams reflect very well on the supply chain management program, COBA and the university,” said Sowers.

The first team that placed sixth consisted of Samuel Eastman, Dylan Cormier, William Hill and Riley Okilen.

The second team that made a strong comeback to 26th place consisted of Nicolos Simmons, Oscar Rodriguez and Renci Yuan Tesorero, all graduating in fall 2024.

“Participating in the MIT Operations Management Competition was a transformative experience that taught me invaluable lessons about teamwork, problem-solving and leadership,” said Rodriguez.

The students' success was also supported by SHSU's innovative teaching methods. The PACE Teaching Innovation Grant, managed by Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin, associate director for development, facilitated the use of an operations management simulation game in multiple classes, providing students with hands-on learning experiences. While the competition didn't directly involve this game, the skills and knowledge gained from it contributed to the students' success by enhancing their understanding of operations management principles.

"I'm extremely proud of how our students tackled the challenge head-on at the competition, watching them skillfully apply their knowledge, adapt to unprecedented scenarios and ultimately excel was incredibly rewarding," said Yang.

SHSU students' achievements in the competition reflect the university's commitment to providing quality education and mentorship. Their performance brings pride to SHSU and highlights the students' resilience and determination. As SHSU continues to focus on student success and access, its reputation in operations management and other disciplines will continue to grow.

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