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Four University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business students took second place in the prestigious Aspen Institute’s 2016 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition. The Daniels team included four full-time MBA students: Jim Gordon, Patrick Brennan, Brian Hartman and Shirin Porbanderwala.Gordon is also pursuing a Masters in International Security, Brennan is pursuing a Masters in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration and Porbanderwala is pursuing a degree in law.

Daniels was one of 25 leading business schools chosen to engage in the Aspen Institute’s Competition. More than 1,000 students from around the world will analyze a newly authored case study by the Yale School of Management and give deep thought to the potentially positive role that a well-managed business can have in society. The case focused on illycaffè, a global premium coffee company aiming to create a more equitable coffee industry for all people involved in the production from the grower, to the roaster, and to the barista.

“Engaging students in active, challenged-based educational activities reflects the very best of today’s business schools,” says Daniels Dean E. LaBrent Chrite. “We’re thrilled that the judges recognized the performance of our students at the Aspen competition. The Daniels College is uniquely committed to developing our students to compete and succeed in a 21st century market.”

Daniels MBA students have competed the past seven years in the case competition and made it to the finals four times. The Daniels team placed first in 2012.

“Now in its seventh year, this program provides a unique, important – and fun! – opportunity for MBA students to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom in a practical and meaningful way,” said Claire Preisser, associate director the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program. “We are proud to work with our partnering schools who are inspiring the next generation of business executives to think long-term and act in the best interests of our society.”

The competing teams were flown to New York City, where they presented to a panel of corporate judges and other social impact thought leaders. The Daniels team won $7,500 for second place. The other winning teams included:

1st Place: Wilfrid Laurier University, School of Business and Economics

2nd Place: University of Denver, Daniels College of Business

3rd Place: University of Oxford, Saïd School of Business

4th Place: Concordia University, John Molson School of Business

5th Place: Villanova University, Villanova School of Business