Mendoza School of Business

Notre Dame DEI case competition announces winners

Student teams from across the University proposed solutions for improving equity in health care through private equity.

Published: May 2, 2024 / Author: Carol Elliott

The question of whether private equity could improve quality and equity in health care was the focus of the third annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grow the Good in Business™ Case Competition sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

group shot of 2024 dei case competitionThe competition, which kicked off in February, declared the winning teams on April 12 after final-round presentations held in the Stayer Center. Teams of undergraduate and graduate students from across the University participated in the event.

For the undergraduate track, the winning team included finance major Ellen Lundblad (BBA ’24) and physics in medicine major Renee Maslak (ND ’24). On the graduate side, Hannah Darr (MNA ’24), Caitlin Cruickshank (MNA ’24) and Katie Bardine (MNA ’24) took first place.

The competition awarded $35,000 in cash prizes to the top six teams in the competition, with the two winning teams each receiving $10,000.

“Health equity not only aligns with principles of justice, fairness and human rights, but healthier populations are also more productive, leading to economic benefits for society and increased social and economic mobility,” said Kristen Collett-Schmitt, associate dean for innovation and inclusion at Mendoza. “Over the past two decades, private equity firms have become interested in the health-care sector, which some experts believe could provide health-care organizations with the capital they need to improve patient care, expand access and drive innovation.”

Student teams were challenged with devising a for-profit investment that brings a better balance to the U.S. health-care system. The proposals ranged from telehealth platforms and community gardens to meal kits for SNAP users. The solutions served populations such as expectant mothers and rural communities, and involved for-profit and nonprofit organizations, social impact investors and a wide range of community partners.

judge asks question of competitorsSeventy-nine students entered from nine graduate programs and 20 undergraduate majors. Students competed in teams of two to four members, with one student per team required to be a Mendoza student. Each team submitted written and oral solutions to a panel of judges made up of Notre Dame faculty and staff members as well as representatives from sponsoring organizations.

Sponsors included KPMG, ADP, South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership, 1st Source Bank, Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership, the Fanning Center for Business Communication, Beacon Health Foundation, Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing, Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, Impact Assets and the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society.

“The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grow the Good in Business™ Case Competition is one of the College’s many endeavors that reinforce that the pursuit of equity is essential to good business and to our charge at Mendoza,” said Collett-Schmitt. “The stellar work of our students in incorporating DEI ideals into real-world business plans confirmed what most of us already know, which is that our students are leaving Notre Dame with the important and essential capacity to be ethical business leaders. Our futures are certainly in good hands.”

Topics: Features, Mendoza