Challenge Pits MBA Students Against Faculty in Sporting Events


Students and faculty play croquet on the lawn of Robert A. Dempster Hall.

Poised to hit his next croquet shot is Dr. Michael Camarata, right, of the Southeast Department of Management and Marketing. Looking on, at left, is Harrison College of Business Graduate Assistant Nishant Bhardwaj, a Southeast MBA student.


March 28, 2008 – A healthy dose of competition has developed a great camaraderie among the faculty and Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate students in the Harrison College of Business at Southeast Missouri State University.

The Student/Faculty Challenge, pioneered by the MBA Association, is now in its third semester and pits MBA graduate students against faculty in various sporting challenges. This semester, the challenge consists of 11 events, including darts, pool, croquet, bocce ball, waffle ball, ping pong, golf, volleyball, bowling, softball, and a trivia night contest.

This week, the students challenged the faculty to bocce ball and croquet on the grounds of Robert A. Dempster Hall, with the faculty winning this event.

This semester, the faculty lead the MBA students 5-1, with the faculty having won in darts, pool, croquet, bocce ball and ping pong. The students won the bowling challenge.

According to Dr. Kenneth Heischmidt, director of Graduate Programs in Business, the purpose of this challenge is to create an opportunity for personal and professional interaction between faculty and graduate (MBA) students within the Harrison College of Business. 

“Students and faculty appear to enjoy the opportunity to get to know one another outside of the classroom environment,” Heischmidt says. “Especially for the students, there is a real feeling of being part of a larger group in the business education environment.

“Students really see faculty as both friends and mentors, people the students can relate to on an individual basis,” Heischmidt said.

The faculty won the first two challenges in spring 2007 and fall 2007, and the students are hoping to take the trophy and bragging rights away from the faculty this semester, according to the MBA students. The infamous trophy is housed in the MBA office on the second floor of Robert A. Dempster Hall, and a plaque related to the challenges is on display outside of the MBA office in the Dempster Hall corridor.

“Students really like these challenges because of the interaction with the faculty,” Heischmidt says.

“Both students and faculty are very competitive in these events,” he says. “The competitive events always provide a lot of fun-loving verbal give-and-take between them both before and after the events.

“Everyone enjoys having the bragging rights associated with winning a competition, yet it is all done in the appropriate spirit of competition,” he said.