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Back row (left to right): Brendan English, Schyler Bogert, Michael McCullough, John Sims
Front row: Bela Reeves, Kendra Christensen
JMU undergraduate students Schyler Bogert, Brendan English, Kendra Christensen, Michael McCullough, Bela Reeves and John Sims won the district title in the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's College Fed Challenge competition. The team was coached by Professor Philip Heap.
The JMU team competed in the district finals against teams from American University and Elon University. By winning the district title, the JMU team advanced to the national competition, which was held Dec. 2 at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Board Room in Washington, D.C.
At the 10th annual national convention, Harvard College won the College Fed Challenge, while JMU received an honorable mention.
The College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate college students inspired by the work of the Federal Open Market Committee. The challenge is intended to encourage students to learn more about the U.S. macro economy, the Federal Reserve System and the implementation of monetary and financial stability policies. The competition serves to spur interest in economics and finance as well as help students with advancing their studies and beginning their careers.
During the competition, students delivered 15-minute presentations on monetary policy and also fielded questions from judges during a 15-minute question and answer session. Teams were scored on content and analysis, response to questions, teamwork, presentation and style.
When asked about his experience, Brendan English noted “This was my second time competing in the Fed Challenge and I have to say it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career. The Fed Challenge provides an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the real-world application of macroeconomic theory beyond what is taught in the classroom, and I believe the hours of hard work dedicated by the team, and our coach Professor Heap, exemplifies the type of student-professor interaction that makes JMU an extraordinary undergraduate institution.”
College of Business Dean, Mary Gowan, adds, “Congratulations to the Fed Challenge team! I know that coaching a team like this takes a lot of time and energy. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the team members and their coach, Professor Heap. You represented JMU and the College of Business well!”
She goes on to state, “Giving students the opportunity to participate in real-world experiences is one of the hallmarks of the College of Business. The college focuses on analytical, problem-solving, communications, and teamwork skills, which are highly valued in the business world. We are proud to see our students use these skills to successfully compete in competitions such as the Fed Challenge.”
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