Mar 31, 2009

HR Teams 'manage' national competition

by Drew Menard

Liberty University’s Human Resource (HR) Blue Team pummeled Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the final round of the 2009 SHRM Virginia State HR Games, Saturday at the Liberty School of Law, to claim first place honors.

The Blue Team also claimed the “Collegiality Award” for sportsmanship and professionalism, which is voted on by peers and Human Resource Management (HRM) business professionals, according to HR Team Coach and Faculty Advisor Colleen McLaughlin.

The Flames sent two teams to the competition, the Red Team of Lauren Fontaine (captain), Sandra Kouaho and Brittany Cooksey and the Blue Team of Louis Lolli (captain), Jonathan Mills and Jordan McLaughlin.
The competition is played in Jeopardy format and features five preliminary rounds followed by a single-elimination semi-final and final round. Students are required to “master the body of knowledge of the human resource profession,” according to McLaughlin.

The two Liberty teams entered the semi-finals ranked first and second, with a significant point advantage over the competition.

Liberty’s Red Team engaged in a heated debate with the 2008 Virginia State and SE Regional champion VCU Gold Team. The teams remained locked until VCU broke the tie on a “wagered” question, according to McLaughlin.

VCU went on to face Liberty’s Blue Team in the championship round, where the Flames dominated and cruised their way to victory.
The competition was sponsored by the state of Virginia and National Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The games exist to “promote human resource education, the value of the Professional in Human Resource certification exam and showcase the development of students in this critical field,” according to SHRM.
McLaughlin said that Liberty plans to take three HR teams to the 2009 Southeast Regional SHRM HR Games at VCU in Richmond on April 17-19. The winner will be awarded a free trip to the 61st Annual National SHRM Conference & Exposition in New Orleans this summer.

Contact Drew Menard at


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