For the second consecutive year, a team of Northern Kentucky University doctoral students has taken first place in the graduate case study competition at the 14th Annual International Leadership Association Global Conference, which was held in Denver Colo., last month.
The competition pitted graduate teams from across the country against each other as they designed responses to a case study presented in three phases: a case brief; a poster illustrating theoretical concepts; and, for the three finalists, an oral presentation before a panel of judges.
Erin Robinson, Gannon Tagher and Ron Gladden, all doctoral candidates in NKU’s Ed.D. program, were presented a case study involving a small, early-education school seeking to change employee behavior. The challenge considered termination, staff development and accountability. It was a tool for considering organizational leadership and the influence of human behavior and personality on organizational outcomes.
The team worked in advance of the conference preparing responses and posters, but had to develop their presentation overnight as one of three finalists. Insights from the conference workshops and keynote speakers had to be incorporated into the final phase. Judges complimented the team’s understanding of systems theory and organizational dynamics, its use of generational theories and its sound human resources policies and principles.
“All of us on the faculty of the Ed.D. program are so proud of our learning associate teams who have chosen to enter the ILA contest and won the first two years which NKU entered,” said Dr. Paul Wirtz, director of the NKU Ed.D. program. “It is a clear indication of how exceptional these students are. They reflect our program and their fellow learning associates very well.”
This marked the sixth year of the case study competition, which is one of the conference’s most popular features. Last year, five NKU doctoral students claimed first place in the case study competition.