Fairfield Students Make History at Federal Reserve's College Fed Challenge

Fairfield Students Make History at Federal Reserve's College Fed Challenge

students pictured in NYC at the competition

Class of 2019 College Fed Challenge team members (l-r) Christopher Cioffari, Alexandra Cordero, Nathaniel Macht-Greenberg, Paulina Baclawska, Jack Grygier, Julian Falcioni, and Brandon Arnold

Economics students at Dolan School succeed in head-to-head competition to analyze the state of the economy and make recommendations for monetary policy.

The entire department helps with reviewing the presentation, offering commentary and advice, and questioning team members several times in preparation for the competition.

— Phil Lane, PhD, associate professor of Economics

On Wednesday, November 14, a team of ambitious Fairfield University economics students competed in the semi-finals of the 2018 College Fed Challenge Liberty Street Division, a competition run by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that is designed to bring real-world economics into the classroom. Placement in the semi-finals is a distinct accomplishment, as only 12 teams out of 40 progress from the preliminary rounds to the semi-finals. Fairfield University has competed in the Fed Challenge since 2005, and this is the first group in 13 years to advance to the semi-finals.

Students who participate in the Fed Challenge take the Dolan School’s Macro Economics Seminar with Phil Lane, PhD, associate professor of economics. Teams are judged on their ability to play the role of monetary policymaker by analyzing current economic conditions and recommending a course of action for monetary policy. This challenge provides students with an unforgettable experience in economic analysis, monetary policy decision-making, public speaking, and teamwork.

Dr. Lane described how the Economics Department rallies behind the teams to offer guidance. “The entire department helps with reviewing the presentation, offering commentary and advice, and questioning team members several times in preparation for the competition.”

Teams can compete in one of two divisions – Maiden Lane or Liberty Street – depending on the level of economics courses students have taken at their respective schools. Fairfield was up against tough competition in the Liberty Street Division, facing off against schools such as Columbia, Fordham, Rutgers, and more.

The competition is structured to give student teams 15 minutes to address current economic conditions, explain where the U.S. economy is and where it’s going, develop a monetary policy response, and identify possible issues that present positive or negative risks to the economy. Each presentation is followed by 15 minutes of Q&A from two members of research staff at the Federal Reserve.

Julian Falcioni ’19, described why he thinks his team was so successful. “This year's team had the perfect mix of brains, chemistry, and passion for the economy and financial markets. We prepared for the challenge for 100+ hours, while meeting four to five times a week, including weekends.” Falcioni also expressed his gratitude for their group mentor, saying, “Of course, none of this would have been possible without Dr. Lane's expertise in the area as well as his down-to-earth mentorship.”

The College Fed Challenge is also popular with Fairfield University alumni who have previously participated in the event. These alumni often follow the progress of students throughout the challenge and give current Stags a sense of support from those who have been in their shoes. This is just one example of Fairfield’s extensive alumni network and support for students.

The Dolan School would like to congratulate this year’s Class of 2019 team members for their outstanding success: Brandon Arnold, Paulina Baclawska, Christopher Cioffari, Alexandra Cordero, Julian Falcioni, Jack Grygier, and Nathaniel Macht-Greenberg.

Tags:  Dolan School,  Top Stories

Last modified: 11-30-18 10:41 AM


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