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UW College of Business Students Finalists in National Competition

May 24, 2016

Five University of Wyoming College of Business students are among 12 university-led teams across the nation selected as finalists in the 2016 Community Bank Case Study Competition. The winner will be announced Thursday, May 26.

The competition finalists were chosen from among 23 undergraduate college teams representing universities around the country. Facilitated by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the competition encourages students to explore community banking by partnering student teams with local banks to conduct original case studies. This year’s competition focused on the impact of small business lending efforts by local community banks.

The five UW team members -- Brooke Benigni, of Fort Collins, Colo.; Travis Brammer, from Sterling, Colo.; Jordayn J. Dalby, of Laramie; Garrett Dietz, from Prosper, Texas; and Aspen M. Ruane, of Windsor, Colo. -- partnered with First Interstate Bank of Laramie on their project.

First Interstate Bank Loan Manager Mike Peck, also a UW adjunct instructor who teaches an entrepreneurial finance course in the College of Business, was both the bank liaison and the primary faculty adviser. He provided information about the bank, while co-adviser Sherrill Shaffer, UW’s John A. Guthrie Sr. Distinguished Professor of Banking and Financial Services, provided information about sources of data and helped to critique the students’ final paper.

Other team finalists in the national competition are from Arkansas State University; Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; Fairfield University; Idaho State University; Murray State University; Southeastern Louisiana University; Texas Tech University; University of Arkansas-Fayetteville; University of Mississippi; University of Missouri-Kansas City; and University of Southern Indiana.

The Community Bank Case Study Competition is for undergraduate students interested in banking, finance or business-related fields. UW students prepared a case study and produced a video showcasing their research.

The competition gives students:

-- The opportunity to gain valuable, firsthand knowledge of the banking industry through interactions with bank executives and networking opportunities.

-- An opportunity to sharpen research and analytical skills, practice problem-solving and enhance communications skills.

-- Banks have a public forum in which to share their unique stories that document their impact on local markets, and also can foster interest in banking careers and connect with potential employees.

The UW case study evaluated First Interstate Bank’s financial performance and management; assessed the impact of the institution’s small business lending efforts; and presented the company’s history that spreads across three states, including Wyoming.

The first-place team will receive a $1,000 CSBS scholarship and an opportunity to present its case study at the CSBS-Federal Reserve Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference later this fall in St. Louis, Mo. The winning case study also will be published in the “Community Banking in the 21st Century: Opportunities, Challenges and Perspectives” yearly report that is released at the annual research conference.

Competition finalists will have their case studies published in the “Community Banking in the 21st Century: Opportunities, Challenges and Perspectives” publication.

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