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ST. CLAIRSVILLE -- Ohio University Eastern hosted the 2nd Annual OUE Shark Challenge recently to increased fanfare. The event showcased four area collegiate teams that had advanced to the final round after surviving an elimination preliminary round. The teams advancing to the finals were Ohio University Eastern, Eastern Gateway Community College, Belmont College, and Ohio University Zanesville.
The Ohio University Eastern team took home the first place prize of $1,000. Team members, Ezry Bennett, Griffin Roberts, and Jonathan Marhefka developed an idea for an "app-based" contracting company. The application would employ GPS technology, similar to what Uber uses, to give exact times that a contractor would arrive on site.
The team was coached by Dr. Sarah Mahan-Hays, associate professor of communication studies, who was rightfully proud of her team of undergraduate students. "Our team took the idea and ran with it," she said. "They worked well together and demonstrated great presentation skills. I was really impressed with how they accepted the challenge and competed for the title. The Shark Challenge was an exceptional learning experience that will benefit them greatly in future endeavors."
The Ohio University Zanesville team, coached by Dr. Darci Wagner, lecturer of applied management, took second place. The team members, comprised of Kelly Robinson, Cameron Corns, and Alissa Myers, proposed a wind-farm in southeast Ohio as an alternate energy resource.
According to Mike Schor, lecturer in applied management, the credit for the Shark Challenge dates back to Eastern Campus Dean Paul Abraham. "Dean Abraham approached me with the general idea a couple of years ago and asked me if I would be interested in taking the ball and running with it," said Schor. "Seeing a team of students take responsibility for the planning, promotion, and administration needed to make The OUE Shark Challenge a success, is highly gratifying and provides a wonderful backstory to our exciting event. I am privileged to play a role in this unique experience for the student participants."
The Shark Challenge, which was part of a number of community related activities leading up to OUE's 60th Anniversary Gala this fall, was sponsored by TechGROWTH Ohio. TMI Hospitality (Residence Inn) and Murray Energy also provided support for the event.