Centers for Excellence

Marist Goes Two for Three

Marist College

Sports Communication team wins national case study competition for second time in three years

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 6, 2013)  – A team of four Marist College sports communication students won this year's undergraduate case study competition held last month at the College Sports Research Institute (CSRI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The case study presentation was held as part of the institute's annual academic conference on intercollegiate athletics. Marist was announced the winning team Friday morning at the conference.  Marist also won the competition in 2011 and placed second in 2012.

Marist competed against 12 other teams from colleges and universities around the country. Marist's team consists of senior Milena Carrese (far right in photo below), junior Taylor Mead (far left), and sophomores Caitlin Kelly (second from left) and Zachary Obid (second from right). All four are sports communication majors. None of the four competitors were part of previous case study teams, making their overall victory even more impressive.

An image of Taylor Mead, Caitlin Kelly, Zachary Obid, and Milena Carrese "I could tell by the positive reactions of the judges that we had really made the right choices with all our research,” said Kelly.  “We worked really hard, and I’m proud of the entire team.”

Case study coordinator Dr. Coyte Cooper of the University of North Carolina noted the high quality of student work this year and the increased competitiveness of all teams. During the awards ceremony, he also noted Marist’s tradition of top finishes.

This year’s case study focused on College of the Holy Cross and the evolution of the Big East Athletic Conference. For the competition, teams had to successfully complete two parts of the case study project. First, they wrote and submitted in advance a written case study on whether Holy Cross should have joined the Big East at its formation in 1979. Second, students gave a 10-minute presentation on whether Holy Cross should now entertain a move from its current athletic conference to another, like the new Big East, if given the opportunity. The presentation was followed by five minutes of questions from a panel of academics and sports administrators.

Obid noted that Marist’s location in the northeast gave them a strategic advantage in discussing Holy Cross and northeastern athletic conferences.

“I grew up near Boston, and I’m very familiar with these schools and these leagues. When we had to answer questions about arenas in Worcester, I could actually talk about those arenas because I’ve been there,” noted Obid.

Keith Strudler, director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication and the team’s faculty adviser, is thrilled by the professionalism of these students in producing high caliber work.

“Winning is always great for the students, and it’s a validation of all the time and effort they put into this project,” said Strudler.  “But more importantly, I am impressed by how well they handled a very competitive academic environment and really came together as a team.”

For more information about CSRI's case study competition, go to For more information about the Marist College Center for Sports Communication, visit

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