Using vocals, props and photos a team of Eli Broad College of Business students took first place in the Eleventh Annual Black History Month Multicultural Heroes Hall of Fame Case Competition Wednesday night. Elyse Hoekstra, marketing junior; Ting Ting Ni, accounting sophomore; and Deepa Varghese, accounting junior, made the case for the induction of Paul Robeson, an athlete, actor and activist, for induction into the Hall of Fame. They received a $1500 cash grand prize.
Members of the winning team, Determined to Succeed are:
Elyse Hoekstra of Portage, MI, daughter of Steve and Linda Hoekstra, and is a 2009 graduate of Portage Central High School. She is a marketing junior in the Eli Broad College of Business.
Ting Ting Ni of Flint, MI, daughter of Zhou Ming and Ai Hong Ni, and is a 2010 graduate of Flint Southwestern Academy. She is an accounting sophomore in the Eli Broad College of Business.
Deepa Varghese of Northville, MI, daughter of Santha Varghese and is a 2009 graduate of Northville High School. She is an accounting junior in the Eli Broad College of Business.
Members of the second place team, Destiny Fulfilled, who presented Roberta Menchú Tum, a Guatemalan Indigenous Peoples Activist, are:
Adriana Abundis of Whittier, CA, daughter of Maria Alonso and Enrique Abundis, and is a 2007 graduate of La Serna High School. She is an advertising senior in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
Dominique Cobb of Warren, MI, daughter of Arutha Cobb, and is a 2008 graduate of Madison High School. She is a marketing senior in the Eli Broad College of Business.
Amber Johnson-Weeks of McKinney, TX, daughter of Beverly Johnson-McCree and Darryl McCree and is a 2008 graduate of McKinney High School. She is a journalism senior in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
Members of the third place team, Justice League, who presented Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmental and political activist, are:
Rebecca Farnum of Mt. Pleasant, MI, daughter of Kendal and Charles Farnum and is a 2008 graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School. She is an Interdisciplinary Humanities major in the College of Arts and Letters.
Varsha Koduvayur of Auburn Hills, MI, daughter of Kanthi and Sundar Koduvayur and is a 2010 graduate of Avondale High School. She is an international relations major in the James Madison College.
Randel Tomina of Oak Park, MI, son of William and Laylay Tomina and is a 2007 graduate of Ferndale High School. He is a supply chain management major in the Eli Broad College of Business.
Other heroes presented were Alice Paul, the suffragist; Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama; Lucy Randolph Mason, the labor rights activist; Jackie Robinson, the first African American Major League Baseball player.
The student teams represent a diverse cross-section of MSU students from James Madison College, College of Arts and Letters, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Honors College.
The MSU Faculty Panel judging the competition included Dr. Stefanie Lenway, The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business, Dr. Lee June, former Vice President for Student Affairs and Services and Associate Provost for Academic Student Services and Multicultural Issues and Paulette Granberry Russell, Advisor to the MSU President for Diversity and Director MSU’s Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.
Multicultural Business Programs and Altria Group Distribution Company sponsor the competition.