HAMMOND and WESTVILLE – A team of six Purdue Northwest (PNW) graduate students won the grand prize at the internationally-recognized 2017 Smith Travel Research (STR) Market Study Competition earlier this month in New York City, NY.
The STR competition gives leading hospitality and tourism schools from around the world an opportunity to analyze actual market research and data and interpret the story of a specific market.
At the beginning of the fall semester, students of the PNW White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) graduate and undergraduate classes began to analyze and research a specific hotel market’s data to be submitted as a 30-minute video presentation to qualify for the competition.
“Our students worked extremely hard analyzing the Denver hotel market,” said Mike Flannery, director of the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “Their insightful presentation demonstrated their excellent research and analytical skills in a very competitive industrial environment.”
PNW was named as a finalist alongside Kansas State, Michigan State, Texas Tech and University of Missouri. The graduate students presented their findings to a panel of industry experts. The undergraduate student team presented as a non-finalist among 26 competing universities.
“The opportunity to work with real data and present before industry professionals has provided a rare and invaluable experience for our students,” said Wendy Kasche, interim assistant dean in the College of Business.
The graduate student team included David Arredondo (Munster), Yeonju Bae and Richard Chambers (Hammond), Paul Money (Porter), Carolyn Sandrick (Dyer), and Madison Walker (Crown Point).
The first-place recognition includes a commemorative plaque and a cash prize. Additionally, the participating students’ names will be added into the STR national database for future internship and mentorship opportunities.