Illinois Team — Marshall Cup Finalist

Like proud parents, we cannot help bragging about the outstanding abilities and performances of the undergraduate students in the College of Commerce. We base this on the academic credentials that first admit them to the college, their performance in the classroom once they get here, the contributions they make through extracurricular activity, and the aggressive way they are recruited for internships and career jobs when they graduate. But every now and then some of our students are given the opportunity to test their mettle against the best in the world, proving that our pride is justified. Here's a case in point.

In February, a team of four Commerce seniors was named one of four finalists in the international Marshall Case Competition. The Illinois team — Stephanie Chang, Marc Grey, Jason Jochum, and Stephanie Katz, coached by Douglas Johnson, assistant professor of business administration — competed against a field representing some of the best undergraduate business programs in the world. This invitational competition is hosted by the University of Southern California.

The smiles tell it all! Jason Jachum, Stephanine Chang, Stephanie Katz, Doug Johnson, and Marc Grey
"Their analysis, recommendations, and presentation of the case on Acer Computer were great!"

Doug Johnson, business administration

The other finalists were the Copenhagen Business School (winner of the Marshall Cup), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and USC. While the judges do not officially discriminate between second, third, and fourth positions, Doug Johnson reported that "we were told unofficially that we `just missed' winning the Marshall Cup." Johnson was more than pleased with the performance of his team. "I had the good fortune of seeing our team present, and let me tell you, win or lose, they did a fantastic job. Given that this was the first time the University of Illinois participated in this competition, our team's performance was even more impressive."

Here's how the competition works. Each team is given twenty-four hours to prepare an analysis of a business case and then present their recommendations to a panel of judges drawn from business and the academy. The judges base their decision on the quality of the recommendations, the quality of the presentation, and the team's ability to field questions from the panel. The assignment for this competition was to examine Acer Computer's position in the global computer industry. The CFO of Acer American, Michael Tung, participated in the awards ceremony.

The competition was a heady experience for the team members. The dedicated members of the Illinois team pulled an all-nighter to prepare the case. So it is understandable that they decided to go to breakfast in their PJs. "Bad decision," blushed Stephanie Katz. "All the other teams were in business dress and the judges were present in the dining room. We really thought we had blown it." Obviously not. Some of the other top business schools in the competition were University of California, Carnegie Mellon, McGill, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Indiana, University of Melbourne, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and University of Texas.

New Option


The option — long informally available to students in LAS — of aligning a second subject, or minor, along with one's major is now open to students at CBA through a campus initiative.

Beginning with the January '99 degree list, students in Commerce may post a minor to their transcript, in the other colleges that have traditionally offered minors — LAS, Applied Life Studies, and Engineering. "We have no idea yet where the focus is going to be," says academic records officer Cynthia Faullin, who anticipates active interest in such areas as computer studies and foreign languages. "This will have no effect on our enrollments," she adds. "If anything it's going
to put more pressure on course enrollments in other colleges."

In Memoriam


Commerce has bid a sudden and searing farewell to a promising young senior. Christopher Fischrup, 21, was killed on an Arkansas highway when returning from Mardi Gras with two friends, who also lost their lives in the accident. Mr. Fischrup, a resident of Hoffman Estates, was in the company of Ryan Anderson, a senior in LAS who came from Bourbonnais, and Bryant Reynolds, a pipe-fitting apprentice from Kankakee. They were returning from annual pre-Lenten festivities in New Orleans when the catastrophe occurred on February 14.
Chris Fischrup and friend

"I knew him since the first grade," recalls his roommate and fellow Commerce student Paul Peterson. "We met each other on the playground. He was one of the best-natured people I have ever known. Everybody really liked him. He was a treasured friend and he will be much missed." In his memory, his parents have established the Christopher S. Fischrup Scholarship Fund, to support students from Hoffman Estates High School who attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Contributions and inquiries may be addressed to Harris Bank, 1400 N. Gannon Drive, Hoffman Estates, IL 60194.