SUNY Geneseo Wins FDIC Academic Challenge

Winning FDIC Academic Challenge team

FDIC Academic Challenge team (left to right): Jenna Huizinga ’23, Ian Merrihew ’22, Chris Bridenbaugh ’23, and Jake Syzmanski ’25 (photo provided).

A four-member team of students from Geneseo’s School of Business has won the Third Annual FDIC Academic Challenge, a national competition among university and college undergraduate students concerning the US banking sector. This marks the second challenge win for Geneseo, which also took first place in 2021.

Geneseo’s team this year consisted of Chris Bridenbaugh ’23 (economics major) from Livonia, NY; Jenna Huizinga ’23 (economics major, with minors in history and philosophy) from Willseyville, NY; Ian Merrihew ’22 (economics major, philosophy minor) from Averill Park, NY; and Jake Syzmanski ’25 (finance major) from Depew, NY.

The students presented on the effects of the rapid rise in interest rates on the banking sector, particularly relating to events of the last two months, then participated in a 15-minute Q&A session with the judges.

“We had an exceptional team this year, with veterans Ian and Jenna and new members Jake and Chris,” says faculty advisor Léonie Stone, assistant professor of economics. “Everyone worked very hard, and we’d like to thank the many alumni and friends of Geneseo who offered their time to help the team prepare. We all learned so much!”

The competition included more than 20 entrants from around the country. Other finalists represented California State University Fullerton, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and James Madison University, last year’s winner.

The FDIC’s Center for Financial Research hosted the 2022–23 Academic Challenge. In the first round, teams used multiple public data sources to prepare a written submission. In the second round, finalists presented their findings and answered questions from a panel of judges who work in the areas of banking and bank supervision.


Robyn Rime
Senior Writer & Editor
(585) 245-5529