A multidisciplinary team of five UK students took the second place and won $3,600 during the 5th annual Emory Global Health Case Competition held at Emory University from March 27 to 28.
About 140 students, in 24 teams, from universities across the United States, as well as Australia and Denmark, participated in the competition. Each team received a 20-plus-page scenario about gun violence in Honduras, one of the most violent countries in the world, and had to present its solution to a panel of judges. University of California, Berkeley won the first place, and the University of Miami won the third place.
UK team members include Nneka Udechukwu, a sophomore in the College of Medicine; Sindhu Nimma, a senior in the College of Medicine; Ryan McElhose, a sophomore studying Sociology in the College of Arts & Sciences; Kevin Chen, a first-year graduate student in the College of Pharmacy; Josh Gwinn, master’s candidate at Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.
The team was also the receiver of the Participants’ Choice Award – a popularity award based on a vote of all other student participants after they viewed the final four presentations.
“We were overwhelmed with amount of obstacles we had to consider in the hope of presenting a pragmatic case that would reduce gun violence,” McElhose said. “We had to look at the drug trade, anti-corruption, gang violence and social structures to name a few. Once we realized that we would be taking a multi-faceted approach, we were able to bring our strengths to the case.”
McElhose said teamwork and chemistry is key for the team to win the second place.
“We have that relaxed environment because we spent time getting to know each other,” McElhose said. “So we understood who would be effective delivering certain parts of the case. I think that team cohesiveness is important in this competition.”
April Young, assistant professor in the College of Public Health and faculty mentor, said the team did a good job in representing UK.
“It was incredible,” Young said. “They were up against schools that historically have been ranked top five in public health such as Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Emory and University of California, Berkeley. I was really proud of them, and I think they represented UK really well.”