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Hillsdale stu­dents recently par­tic­i­pated in the Western Michigan Project Man­agement Insti­tute’s THE Project. Facebook.

Nine Hillsdale College stu­dents will present on Monday their solu­tions to mal­nu­trition in poorer areas of Michigan through com­munity farming.

Two teams of four and five stu­dents will rep­resent Hillsdale in THE­P­roject, a col­le­giate project-man­agement com­pe­tition spon­sored by the Western Michigan Project Man­agement Institute.

Judges will score teams from seven Michigan uni­ver­sities on the quality of their pre­sen­tation and solu­tions as well as their use of proper project-man­agement tech­niques.

The top three teams earn cash prizes and teams can also win various other awards, including best pre­sen­tation and most improved project.

Last year, a Hillsdale team placed first and won $5,000 — $1,000 for each team member — and $5,000 for Hillsdale College. This is the fourth year Hillsdale has com­peted.

“Our teams have brought some­thing home every year so far,” Assistant Pro­fessor of Man­agement Douglas Johnson said. “I don’t know if that will remain true this year or not.”

With the $5,000 that Hillsdale won at last year’s com­pe­tition, Johnson is trying to form a program that would allow stu­dents to com­plete intern­ships in project man­agement over the summer months.

“Stu­dents could get their cer­ti­fi­cation in project man­agement as a part of that course,” Johnson said. “And that’s always an option for anybody that actually par­tic­i­pates in the normal project com­pe­tition, too.”

Two years ago, one Hillsdale team won an award for the quality of its pre­sen­tation and the other team won an award for improvement over the course of the project. Each student came home with $100.

Par­tic­i­pating stu­dents have enrolled in a class with Johnson this semester and arrived to campus a week before the semester started to begin work.

“We bring people back for a boot camp, and they begin work on the project,” Johnson said. “Then they have a series of mile­stones leading up to the actual pre­sen­tation.”

The class is a three-credit 400-level class.

“It takes a lot of work,” Johnson said. “They end up probably working harder than normal for a three-credit class.”

The entire process gives stu­dents invaluable expe­rience in man­agement, he said.

“It’s an excellent way of learning what it’s like to actually work on a project,” Johnson said. “They learn about the formal methods of project man­agement.”

The com­pe­tition will take place at the Pin­nacle Center in Hud­sonville near Grand Rapids.