Media Advisory – For Immediate Release – Dec. 1, 2003



First-Time Competitors Take Place Behind Barnard/Columbia, Rutgers

GENESEO, N.Y. and NEW YORK CITY – In its first time ever competing in the College Fed Challenge, a contest designed to help undergraduates become more knowledgeable about the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a team of students from the State University of New York at Geneseo placed third in a competition held in New York City on Nov. 24.

The competition is designed to familiarize undergraduates with the Federal Reserve and the decision-making process of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy-setting group.

The winners of the 2003 College Fed Challenge are: Barnard/Columbia, first place; Rutgers, second place; SUNY Geneseo, third place.

Participating team members from SUNY Geneseo were Rand Matthew Gee of Rochester, N.Y.; William Evans of Stanley, N.Y.; Mary DiStasio of Warwick, N.Y.; Brian Imrich of Hawthorne, N.Y.; and Briton Nelson of Buffalo, N.Y. All are economics students in Geneseo’s Jones School of Business. The winning teams receive prize money, and the names are posted on the Federal Reserve website. The national cable business channel CNBC was expected to broadcast a story on the event.

"Earning third place against these highly qualified and experienced teams, particularly during Geneseo’s first time competing, is amazing," said Leonie Stone, assistant professor of economics in the Jones School of Business at SUNY Geneseo. "We are extremely proud of our exceptional students." Stone advised and prepared the students prior to the competition, and accompanied them to New York for the event.

"This was an outstanding opportunity for the students and for the college, and it gave Geneseo exposure for the quality of its students and its programs at the highest level," said Christopher Annala, assistant professor of economics at Geneseo, who advised the team prior to the competition.

Jones School of Business Advisory Council member Kent Gardner, director of Economic Analysis at the Center for Governmental Research in Rochester, also helped the team prepare a mock presentation where he grilled them with challenging questions during their semester of preparation for the competition.

According to organizers, teams participating in the College Fed Challenge consist of three to five undergraduates from the same college or university. A team’s participation involves two parts: a 20-minute presentation and a 15-minute question and answer session led by a panel of judges (usually economics professionals, college faculty and/or Fed officials).

The Geneseo team’s presentation included a discussion of current economic and financial conditions; a near-term forecast of economic and financial conditions affecting monetary policy; identification of risks that threaten the economic well-being of the country; and a recommendation as to the action the Federal Reserve should take with regard to short-term interest rates. A question-and-answer session followed the presentation.

Students on the original twelve participating teams were judged based on five criteria: knowledge about the Federal Reserve’s role in developing and implementing monetary policy; responses to judges’ questions; presentation skills; quality of research and analysis; and evidence of teamwork and cooperation.

According to competition organizers, the College Fed Challenge is intended to promote greater understanding of the Federal Reserve’s role in developing and implementing monetary policy; greater interest in economics and finance as a subject for advanced study and as the basis for a career; research, presentation, critical thinking, and cooperation skills; and a closer relationship between colleges and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

\"This was an honor to compete in this prestigious competition," said Mary Ellen Zuckerman, dean of the Jones School. "The team has been working hard all semester to prepare their presentation, and they performed extremely well. I am proud to say that this illustrates the type of activities that Geneseo students participate in, and demonstrates the quality of the opportunities they have while at the college."

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MEDIA: For more information, or to set up an interview with anyone involved in this event, contact Sarah Grace Frisch, assistant vice president for communications, at (585) 245-5516 during traditional business hours or at (585) 657-5488 after hours or on weekends.