A team of three management students from the Craig School of Business at California State University, Fresno defeated defending champion CSU, Stanislaus in the California State Human Resource Management Games Feb. 12 for a tenth state championship.

Students Lauren Velarde of Visalia, Rhiannon Gardenhire of Fresno and Mitchell Pfyl of Boulder Creek, defeated a team from sister valley campus CSU Stanislaus in the championship match 8,400 to 5,400 after dispatching a CSU team from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the semi-final.

Each Fresno student won a $500 scholarship provided by the Professional in Human Resources Association.

Held at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the five-game contest uses a “Jeopardy” style format to test students’ knowledge in areas of management practices, employee selection, labor and employee relations, compensation and benefits, training and development and safety and health.

“It was such a great experience to learn so much about HR,” Velarde said. “It took a lot of work and effort to prepare for the games, but I’m so glad that all the time our team spent studying and working together paid off.”

Ericka Islas, a fall 2010 graduate of Fresno, and students Burke Hudson of Fresno, and Paul Zwama of Leens, Netherlands, also were successful in the round-robin competition and earned the second seed in the final four but eventually lost to Stanislaus.

This is the tenth state championship for the Craig School of Business and adds to an impressive record in the HR Games. Fresno’s business students have won five regional championships, the most of any school in the seven-state region.

Fresno State and Cornell University are the only two universities that have won two national titles.

No regional or national competition will be held this year said Rudy Sanchez, one of the team’s coaches along with Brian Lyons, Fresno State Management professors. Two local human resource management professionals also assist with coaching, Mary Bielenberg-Sanchez and Trisha Kvien.

The 2011 Craig School of Business HR Games teams receive support from the Craig School of Business Annual Fund and the Alumni & Friends of the Craig School of Business.

Designed to foster friendly competition among university students from throughout California, the annual academic competition is hosted at various locations in California.

For more information, contact Sanchez at 559.681.6224 or rjsanchez@csufresno.edu .

(Copy by University Communications news intern Nicole Maul)

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