2017 Global Case Competition registration now open

By Hunter Jones, Office of International Programs

Dignity Before Detention WSU global competition team PULLMAN, Wash. – Registration for the 2017 Global Case Competition is now open. Registration will be open until all teams are filled and meet the competition requirements.

Washington State University’s annual Global Case Competition is hosted by the Office of International Programs. The competition brings together diverse students across the university system — undergraduate, graduate and global. Teams are challenged to collaborate and find solutions to real-world issues.

Each team is given a faculty advisor whom it can consult throughout its solution development. A panel of expert judges evaluate each team’s solution and select the top five teams to present their solutions in an open forum. From those presentations, a winning team is chosen.

WSU Global Case Competition winning team "Dignity Before Detention" in UN Room IX
WSU Global Case Competition winning team “Dignity Before Detention” in UN Room IX

This unique competition calls for students to use interdisciplinary approaches and teamwork to make a creative resolution. Teams compete for scholarships and a chance to visit a foreign country where they can present their research findings.

Last year’s winning team, Dignity Before Detention (DBD), traveled to the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland, to present their findings. The team was comprised of history student Madeleine Hunter, chemical engineering students Kasey Markland and Margaret Wyckoff, Global Campus and humanities major Kari Whitney, and graduate student Kiana Yektansani from economics. Together, these five students competed to find the most creative solutions to arbitrary detention in the United States.

Hunter said the key to their success was strong partnership. “We were successful because we respected each other’s ideas and found the best information we could.”

After being named the winning team, DBD traveled to Geneva to visit the U.N. office. While there, they presented their arbitrary detention solutions to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD). Their proposal included a four-pronged approach that included education and community outreach, economic policy reform, implementation models and funding.

“The best part of the trip was answering questions from WGAD and NGO representatives,” said student Kari Whitney, “during which I realized that these organizations operate best when in collaboration with others.”

WSU Global Competition team "Dignity Before Detention" at train station.
WSU Global Competition team “Dignity Before Detention” at train station. (l-r) Margaret Wyckoff, Madeleine Hunter, Kiana Yektansani (on phone), Kasey Markland ’16, and Kari Whitney ’16 pose for a photo at Gare de Cornavin in Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 21, 2016.

In addition to visiting the U.N., the team was able to visit the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum. There, the team members attended a Humanitarian Law exhibition. The students also met with the International Detention Coalition, The International Service for Human Rights, and Alkarama, an NGO established to assist individuals in the Arab World subjected to, or at risk for human rights violations, including arbitrary detention.

Whitney said, “In addition to exploring another country, the best part of this trip was the opportunities it provided for our group to meet with and present to people working in human rights and have great intellectual conversations with them.”

The Global Case Competition pushes students to expand their world view and gain insight in to global issues that face everyone in today’s world.

This year’s competition will take place in late October. Priority is given to the first 120 students to register. Teams of six will be formed and will each include a graduate, undergraduate, domestic and international students from different WSU colleges and campuses. No prior experience is required and participation is free.


Media Contact:

  • Craig Lawson, communications coordinator, International Programs, 509-335-3346, craigl@wsu.edu