Eck Institute for Global Health hosts virtual Case Competition

Author: Stoll, Colin

Case Competition Photo

This past February, seven teams participated in the Eck Institute for Global Health’s Annual Global Health Case Competition. Due to COVID restrictions, the competition was hosted virtually by staff from the Eck Institute. Notre Dame students from many disciplines were required to develop a solution to the problem of lead exposure in the Maharashtra state of India. 

Teams were initially given a week to review the case study on India and prepare a presentation for a panel of judges from Notre Dame. Each team also had a faculty advisor to provide guidance for their research into the case and development of an intervention. The first round of competition required teams to submit a pre-recorded video with their solution to the case. After a review of the videos, three teams were selected to present their interventions virtually to the judges, after which each team received feedback on their plan. This year’s judges consisted of faculty members of the Eck Institute: Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, Ellis Adjei Adams, and Nitesh Chawla.

The winning team of the 2021 Global Health Case Competition consisted of Mason Sponem, Matt Kozak, Tyler Dann, Morgan Foley, Leah Gudex, and Kyle Duffy. These students will go on to compete in Emory University’s Morningside Global Health Case Competition from March 11-20.

The teams of students that participated in this competition are listed below. Those that were selected as finalists are italicized.

  • Ka Eun Kim, Lizzie Stifel, Theresa Salazar, Dana Hergenrother (Team 1)
  • Melissa Pirko, Olivia Jazbutis, Analie Fernandes, Anna Rutherford, Quinton Hayre (Team 2)
  • Mason Sponem, Matt Kozak, Tyler Dann, Morgan Foley, Leah Gudex, Kyle Duffy (Team 3)
  • Abigail Abikoye, Andrew Neider, Ryven Mangundayao, Meghan Figueras, Matty Aubourg (Team 4)
  • Rahul Lobo, Amy Bernard, Brian Dineen, Samantha Garcia, Margaret Elliot, (Team 5)
  • Savannah Joye, Hawraa Al Janabi, Stephanie Acosta Ruiz, Arafat Aliyi (Team 6)
  • Eileen Leach, Kenzie Phillips, Alexander Lewis, Shannon Steines, Liana Bigaud, Patrick Kelly (Team 7)

Competition participants worked in interdisciplinary teams, providing them the opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue. Members from the finalist teams described the practical applications and collaborative nature of the competition.

"The competition challenges us students by forcing our solutions to adhere to real-world challenges like limited budgets and cultural considerations,” said Mason Sponem, an Business Analytics student. “This allows us to use empathy and creativity when solving these problems, which may not always occur in the classroom." 

“Through the Competition, I enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing minds surrounding a real issue that we all grew to truly care about, even in such a short time. I wish I had heard about the Case Competition before my senior year so that I could have had this experience again!,” said Matthew Aubourg, an Environmental Science student.

The Eck Institute’s Case Competition was organized by Marian Botchway, program director at EIGH, with assistance from Notre Dame students Aaron Francis-Verbeelen, Lauren English, and Colin Stoll. Next year’s case competition will commence with seminars beginning in the fall, followed by the actual competition occurring in the early Spring. Those who are interested in learning more about the competition can visit

Originally published by Stoll, Colin at on February 25, 2021.