UH business scholars win national government finance contest

You-Fan Chai, Manying Huang and Alaina Rhoades
You-Fan Chai, Manying Huang and Alaina Rhoades

This story was originally posted on March 25 on UH News.

A team of three University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business students won a national government case challenge, and each took home a $1,000 scholarship award.

You-Fan Chai, Manying Huang and Alaina Rhoades spent several months analyzing data for a selected city, which was Denver, Colorado, and developed a “Citizen-Centric Report” for that location.

“It was really surreal winning this competition, and it was a great learning experience,” Chai said. “This competition made us challenge our skills to look for the information we needed regarding Denver, Colorado.”

Chai said the team used Canva and CapCut to help make their report, presentation and video visually appealing.

“We encourage students to participate in competitions like this, not only for the prize, but also to develop themselves through the learning experience,” Chai said.

Hosted by the National Association of Government Accountants (AGA), the Government Finance Case Challenge illustrated the importance of government accountability and transparency, demonstrated how much data needs to be transformed into information for citizens to consume and raised awareness about exciting careers in government.

The team was advised by UH Mānoa School of Accountancy Professor Jian Zhou.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Pamela Young from the AGA—Hawaiʻi Chapter for her indispensable support,” Zhou said. “Throughout the AGA Government Finance Case Challenge journey, the students undertook a transformative learning experience characterized by their unwavering commitment and receptiveness to feedback from AGA, Pamela Young and myself. Observing their extraordinary development over the course of this journey has been immensely gratifying. Their outstanding achievements in a nationwide case competition are truly commendable, and I couldn’t be prouder of their success.”

Submissions were judged by a panel of government finance experts, and finalists presented their findings in a team-created video of a mock government meeting. This is the third UH Mānoa team in four years to win at either the graduate or undergraduate level.

View the UH Mānoa team’s report (PDF).