College Fed Challenge

November 14, 2012

American University Wins Richmond Fed Economic Competition

Richmond, Va.

American University won the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s annual College Fed Challenge competition. The winning team included students Ayesha Cooray, Peter Blankenship and Zachary Smith and was coached by Professor Evan Kraft. 

The finalists in the competition, held November 13, were the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia. American University advances to the national Fed Challenge competition to be held November 27 at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.

Preliminary rounds of the competition were held in Richmond, Baltimore and Charlotte offices earlier in the month.

The Richmond Fed sponsors College Fed Challenge, a regional academic competition, to encourage a better understanding of the nation’s central bank, the forces influencing economic conditions in the United States and abroad, and the ways the economy affects everyone’s lives.  In Fed Challenge, teams give 15-minute presentations on monetary policy and are judged on content, teamwork, responses to questions, presentation and style. 

Competition judges included Richmond Fed economists Andreas Hornstein and Ann Macheras of the Research department, and Christian Pascasio of the Research Library. Hornstein and Macheras scored the teams on their knowledge of the Federal Reserve, the current state of the economy and monetary policy, as well as research, analysis and responses during the 15-minute Q&A session. Pascasio scored the teams on the quality of their presentation and teamwork.

American University, winner
Pictured from left to right: Zachary Smith, Ayesha Cooray, Peter Blankenship

University of North Carolina, finalist
Pictured from left to right: Professor Mike Aguilar, Ryan Delgado, Daniel Kearby, Gabriel Tan, Sam Grote, Ben Theye, Nayab Khan, Charles Hughes

University of Virginia, finalist
Pictured from left to right: Matt Liesten, PReston Williams, David Harsh, Brandon Egan, Barnaby Lo

The Richmond Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and most of West Virginia. As part of the nation's central bank, we're one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that work together with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors to strengthen the economy and our communities. We manage the nation's money supply to keep inflation low and help the economy grow. We also supervise and regulate financial institutions to help safeguard our nation's financial system and protect the integrity and efficiency of our payments system.


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