Case Poster Competition

Poster and Presentation

Start forming your team now for the September 20th deadline to compete in the voluntary case poster competition!

  • College or University undergraduate students may compete.
  • Faculty advisors are not required but recommended.
  • This is a team poster competition with two (2) participants per team. Both team members must attend the conference and present in-person to a panel of judges.
  • Cash Prizes: $1,000 for first prize, $500 for second prize, and $250 for third.


SEPT. 20 - Email Lt. Col. Connolly to sign up. We will need: competitor names; school affiliation(s); name of advisor (not required); and contact info for both competing students. Include your poster idea (i.e., abstract or executive summary). Judges will evaluate submission idea and select teams who will more forward to present at the conference.

OCT. 5 - VMI will contact teams to indicate status for presenting and other details regarding the competition as needed.

Why Compete?

The student case poster competition provides participating teams the opportunity to ...

  • Practice developing a comprehensive and potentially complex solution to a real-world problem for leaders or from a leadership perspective while mitigating other potentially bigger problems.
  • Learn as you incorporate leadership theories and practices applicable to your case study.
  • Gain an appreciation for the complexity of leadership as it relates to addressing and solving contemporary, social or organizational problems.
  • Engage in dialogue with subject-matter experts and receive feedback to strengthen analytical and presentation skills.
  • Compete with other like-minded students.

Decorative line icons representing areas of competition topic

The Competition

  • Each team will consist of two (2) undergraduate students. Students can be from the same school or different schools. Faculty mentors are highly recommended, but not required.
  • The team will select one topic to explore from among the following: Freedom of Speech, Military Ethics, Civil Rights, Social Media, Movements/Social Causes, Government, Business, or Culture.
  • Teams must develop the theme of Principled Dissent within your topic area and mitigate or solve the problem from a leader or leadership perspective.
  • The case study and plan of action should be realistic, practical, well thought out, and not create other unintended problems.
  • The Case Competition is an in-person defense of the research with a poster presentation in front of a panel of judges by the top teams. The poster, 3' x 4' (easels provided on-site), should contain the executive summary and main points (can be text, images, or both). Teams must also bring a digital version of their poster.
  • Cash prizes are $1,000 for 1st place, $500 for 2nd place, and $250 for third place.


Competition Rules

Each team must notify us of their intent to participate by noon on Tues., September 20, 2022 by emailing Lt. Col. Kim Connolly,  An official from VMI  will contact teams to indicate their status for presenting at the conference. When signing up, include names of competitors, school(s) affiliation, contact information for both competitors, poster topic area from one of the eight topics we’ve provided above, and your executive summary.

Team members selected to move forward in the competition must register to attend the conference where they will defend their presentations in front of a panel of judges at the conference.

In preparing for their submissions, teams may explore any public information source that would be accessible by any scholar, student, or professional consulting group. Teams may consult books or articles, search libraries, use the internet, etc. Selected teams will receive instructions on where to download the grading rubric.

Teams may be advised by faculty, coaches, or other individuals prior to the competition; however, advisers, coaches, or other individuals may not contribute to any of the team's products. Teams are free to receive verbal feedback on initial drafts and practice presentations.

Submission Guidelines

Teams will prepare and submit an Executive Summary of no more than two single-spaced pages (excluding references). The Executive summary must be submitted electronically to Lt. Col. Kim Connolly ( by noon on Tues., September 20th deadline. Submissions after that date will not be entered into the competition.

An Executive Summary is a concise and impactful summary of the social problem or challenge being addressed. It highlights the specific framing of the problem, briefly summarizes the major points to be covered in reference to the problem, including the history and causes of the identified problem and outlines the recommendations that will be offered to address the problem. We ask that the theme of the conference,  Principled Dissent: Navigating Moral Challenges, be integrated into this portion of the case study. Although it is an abbreviated representation of the case/project to be presented, a judge should be able to acquire the information needed from the Executive Summary to adequately prepare for the Video Presentation. Based on the Executive Summary, judges should have a fundamental understanding of the problem being addressed, the reasons it exists, and the actions being recommended to help mitigate it.

Teams will create a 3’ x 4’ poster to support your oral presentation. Posters will be on display throughout the conference. Easels will be provided on-site. You will also need to submit a digital copy of that same poster so that we may show your poster on a large screen for our audience should your team be selected as one of the finalists. Edits may be made to the digital poster as needed up until judging.