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Westminster College Department of Economics and Business Students Participate in Armstrong Challenge

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College Department of Economics and Business students participated in the Armstrong College Challenge April 3 in Butler.

The students were selected to compete against other local colleges in a marketing challenge sponsored by area cable, telecommunications and internet service provider, Armstrong.

"I enjoyed thinking outside of the box and appreciated how the challenge directly correlated to the case analysis that has been the focus of our capstone class," said student Celeste McBride.  "It was fulfilling taking the skills that we have learned in the classroom and transitioning them to a business actually interested in utilizing our recommendations."

McBride, a senior business administration major, is a daughter of Kevin and Tracy McBride and a graduate of Grove City High School.

"It was fulfilling to be able to present our research, substantiating and backing up our findings with hard facts to the Armstrong Group," Travis Kelly said.   

Kelly, a senior business administration major, is a son of Timothy and Sharon Kelly and a graduate of Wilmington Area High School.

Additional participating students include:

Erin Archer, a senior international business major, is a daughter of David and Katherine Archer and a graduate of Westfield Central School in New York.

Kory Gribbin, a senior business administration major, is a son of Kevin and Judy Gribbin of Gibsonia and a graduate of North Catholic High School.

The students were advised by Brian Petrus, visiting lecturer in economics and business.

"This year's Armstrong Challenge was rather unique in the sense that it was numerically based.  In previous years, students were tasked with creating a marketing message.  This year, however, the students were challenged with developing a marketing strategy via various mediums including small print, radio, broadcast television, local support activities, social media, direct mail, and billboards," Petrus said.

"Given a quarterly budget of $25,000, students determined how to best allocate the funds to obtain maximum exposure and message retention within Armstrong Cable's target market.  

"The true challenge was in finding statistically significant substantiating evidence which backed up the methodology used for fund distribution.  This year's students not only found this supporting evidence, but properly interpreted it to arrive at a strategically planned yearly budget allocation."

Petrus continued, "The Armstrong Challenge was not only a marketing challenge, but it was a great real-world experience for the students.  They had the opportunity to present their work to high level managers within the Armstrong Company, and they did so with surgical precision.  Westminster College as a whole should be extremely proud of these students and the caliber of their work and presentation.  I know I am."

Contact Petrus at 724-946-7163 or email for more information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


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