LSU’s National Diversity Case Competition Team Places Runner-Up

Tiger Paw Solutions team

LSU’s Tiger Paw Solutions team consisted of Nekivia Sledge, Micheal Brown and Carmen Calderon.

February 13, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A team from LSU’s Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of Business Student Success placed runner-up at the 2019 National Diversity Case Competition (NDCC) at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The competition is held annually the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day and brings together some of the best and most diverse talent in undergraduate education from across the country. This was the eighth year for the event, which took place Jan. 18-19. Nearly 170 business students from 42 teams competed – up from 35 teams last year.

Students are challenged to solve diversity-related business issues and share ideas while benefiting from workshops and networking with companies that value inclusion. This year, the competition focused on a case provided by Target Corp. that examines the role that small-concept stores can play in urban areas.

“My goal is to always make sure our teams are prepared to compete with the best,” said Angela R. Guidry, director of Diversity and Inclusion in the E. J. Ourso College's Office of Business Student Success. “This year’s Tiger Paw Solutions team was prepared to compete confidently and with a determined mindset. They were resourceful, poised and committed to excellence. You know everyone wants to see the finished product, how did we place, did we win…well this year our team was runner up, but this year I believe as John C. Maxwell says, sometimes you win and sometimes you learn!”

Each four-student team must include two members from an underrepresented population. Among the students participating, 38 percent were African American, 24 percent were Hispanic, 13 percent were Asian, and 14 percent were multi-racial. Women accounted for 55 percent of the competitors.

LSU’s Tiger Paw Solutions team consisted of Micheal Brown, Carmen Calderon and Nekivia Sledge. Brown is a junior from Richland, Miss. majoring in information systems. Calderon is a senior from Breaux Bridge, La. pursuing dual-degrees in international trade & finance with a minor in energy and French. Sledge is a junior accounting major from Hoover, Ala.

“As a returning participant to the NDCC, I can only express gratitude for the experience. The skills developed in preparing the case and presenting to a panel of judges is invaluable and such great practice for the future,” Calderon said. “My favorite aspect of the experience is the Q&A round and getting to defend your case. The first time I participated I was greatly impacted by a workshop presented by GE and this past competition I was able to reconnect with that same presenter and tell her how she had inspired me to pursue my career path.”

“Enhancing Diversity at LSU is a core institutional value,” said dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business Richard White. “It is critically important that we promote a diverse and inclusive environment to better prepare our students for the collaborative workplace. The continued success of our students in the National Diversity Case Competition is indicative of our achievement of these pillars.”

About the Office of Business Student Success

The Office of Business Student Success (OBSS) offers a comprehensive collection of services to enhance the academic and professional development. The goal is to provide the tools needed to succeed academically and professionally to prepare students to enter the workforce in careers that are well matched to their talents, interests, and values. Established in August 2010, Diversity and Inclusion helps ensure that the E. J. Ourso College reflects the diversity of its many students and that all individuals feel welcome, equal, and equitable.

About the E. J. Ourso College of Business

Since its establishment in 1928, the E. J. Ourso College of Business has continuously improved and expanded its offerings for students and alumni. Additionally, the college has made it a priority to provide its faculty with the resources it needs to further research in every aspect of the business world and to produce industry leaders for a global work environment. For more news and information about the E. J. Ourso College, visit

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Wendy Marx
E. J. Ourso College of Business