On February 19, 2021, 12 teams of five students from across USC competed in the 2021 USC Global Health Case Competition hosted by USC IIGH. The focus of the competition was on climate-related natural disasters, and student teams were asked to provide realistic solutions including how they would allocate limited resources. The teams came together from across the university and were given two weeks to develop their presentations.
The competition takes place over two rounds with the judges deciding the three finalist teams in the first round, who then compete in the final round to determine the winner. An incredibly diverse expert panel of judges ultimately chose the winning team that moves on to represent USC at the Emory Morningside Global Health Case Competition in the spring of 2021. The competition encourages students to utilize the knowledge they have gained in the classroom, and stresses the need for multidisciplinary perspectives to best address global health challenges.
The case competition requires at least three USC schools be represented on each team. Eleven schools across USC were ultimately represented including USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, USC School of Cinematic Arts, USC Davis School of Gerontology, USC Dornsife School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC Price School of Public Policy, USC Marshall School of Business, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, USC Roski School of Art and Design, and the USC School of Pharmacy.
The winning team included Isha Sanghvi, Joseph Naseib, Marcus Yao, Rhys Richmond and Sachin Narayan, all undergraduate students who presented their solution titled “GUIDANCE (Ground Up Interventions Designed to Answer Need for Community Engagement)”. After winning, Sachin Narayan, a global health undergraduate student said “Winning the case competition today…was a really cool experience for all of us. We really tried to take every single one of our unique approaches to everything and the backgrounds that we have. The winning was just the cherry on top.”
Isha Sanghvi, a neuroscience undergraduate student, stated “Because all of us come from different backgrounds, we have different ideas for prioritization for what interventions seem important to us based on our academic disciplines.” When asked about the process of working with students from other schools Joseph Naseib, a neuroscience undergraduate student added, “Working with people from different schools was very interesting. Oftentimes, at least for myself, for bio classes you feel very one dimensional and you’re just learning the hard science of it. But now when you’re forced to apply it, it was very interesting to get other perspectives. It was a great experience and I think it combined a lot of our strengths and diversities.”
The judges selected the winning team based on feasibility of the solution, scope of the project and overall presentation
Judges for this year’s competition were comprised of USC faculty from the Keck School of Medicine including Anamara Ritt-Olson, Rima Habre, Rita Burke and Taylor Burkholder; from the USC School of Cinematic Arts including Roberto Gomez and Jeremy Kagan; and from Dornsife College including Darren Ruddell and Jill Sohm. External judges included Joel G. Breman, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health;,; Joel Lamstein – President and co-Founder, John Snow Inc. (JSI); President, World Education, Inc; and Richard Walden – President and CEO, Operation USA.
Judge Joel Lamstein, had this to say regarding the team’s presentation: “I was thinking about how much work went into it, and if this were a semester course and this was the end of it, I would say this is terrific. But they had much less time to do it and did it incredibly well.”
The a video of the 2021 Case Competition can be viewed here.