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STR’s SHARE Center crowns winners of Student Market Study Competition in New York

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HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee—STR’s SHARE Center crowned a graduate team from the University of North Texas and an undergraduate team from Michigan State University as the winners of the fifth STR Student Market Study Competition held earlier this month in New York.

The competition featured 37 teams, 12 graduate and 25 undergraduate, representing 32 colleges and universities from around the world. Each team selected a market to research and analyze in the months leading up to the conference. The teams presented to a diverse panel of senior-level industry judges.

North Texas’ winning graduate team of Travis Holladay, Tyler McLaurin, Thao Thi Thanh Nguyen and Tatum Specht presented on the Dallas market. The team’s presentation was advised by Jihye Min, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism at North Texas.

“Students were very grateful to take part in this prestigious event and proudly represent UNT and the college,” Min said. “The competition truly challenged students to analyze the market with real-world data and present to industry experts. Our students set their own standards and goals, and devoted countless hours to exceed them. I am very proud of the students, and the competition truly helped them develop the skills and knowledge necessary for their future career goals.”

Michigan State’s winning undergraduate team of Alexandra Clarkson, Logan Fish, Katie Harding, Leilei Ran and Nicole Stein presented on the Boston market. The team’s presentation was advised by Seung Hyun Kim, associate professor in the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State. The university placed first in STR’s Hong Kong competition earlier this year.

“I definitely know that all of the student teams and faculty advisors spent countless hours to come up with innovative ways for their presentations,” Kim said. “I was truly impressed with their dedication and commitment. Our MSU students began working in August to understand the Boston market, analyze the data and draw impactful takeaways. We are extremely honored to be recognized as a winning team among all 25 excellent undergraduate teams. I am very proud of our dedicated students who consistently challenged themselves to excel. It has certainly been a busy year for me as faculty advisor and coach of two different STR competition teams this year alone, but I have been absolutely thrilled that both of the MSU teams placed first this year in Hong Kong and New York City.”

In the graduate division, students from Florida International University finished second, and a team from Tulane University placed third. In the undergraduate division, students from Cal Poly Pomona and Virginia Tech University came in second and third place, respectively.   

“The student teams each year continue to impress with their analysis and professionalism,” said Duane Vinson, STR’s VP and assistant director of the STR SHARE Center. “Each team represented their school well and should be very proud of their accomplishment.”

Each presenting team received a plaque, while the top three teams received special recognition and the winning teams received a US$1,000 cash prize.

University of North Texas

                                                                 1st place - Graduate division - University of North Texas

Florida International University

                                                                2nd place - Graduate division - Florida International University

Michigan State University

                                                                1st place - Undergraduate division - Michigan State University

Cal Poly Pomona

                                                                2nd place - Undergraduate division - Cal Poly Pomona

Virginia Tech

                                                                3rd place - Undergraduate division - Virginia Tech University

*not pictured: 3rd place - Graduate division - Tulane University

About the SHARE Center
The STR SHARE (Supporting Hotel-related Academic Research and Education) Center supports schools around the globe by providing large volumes of hotel and tourism data, as well as related resources to professors and students for research, student projects and use in the classroom. The SHARE Center’s objective is to help improve the quality and increase the industry relevance of hospitality and tourism research and education. Launched in 2011, there are more than 850 member schools from 73 countries.

About STR
STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for global hospitality sectors. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. STR was acquired in October 2019 by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces. For more information, please visit and

North America Media Contacts:
Nick Minerd
Senior Director, Communications
+1 (615) 824-8664 ext. 3305

Haley Luther
Communications Coordinator
+1 (615) 824-8664 ext. 3500