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Lafayette took second place in the national College Fed Challenge held Nov. 30 in the boardroom of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.

This is the second year in a row that the College’s team has excelled on the national level. Last December, Lafayette won the 2009-10 College Fed Challenge. More than 100 teams throughout the country compete in the challenge through the local, regional, and national contests.

“The effort on the part of our team was outstanding,” says faculty adviser James DeVault, associate professor of economics. “While we were disappointed not to win, finishing second in a competition that involves so many elite and prestigious schools is an accomplishment our students can be very proud of.”

Dylan McNamara ’11

On Nov. 1, the College’s team won the Third District College Fed Challenge Regional Championship, which was hosted by Lafayette in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, to advance to the national competition. The regional contest included teams from Princeton, Lehigh, Gettysburg, Delaware, the College of New Jersey, Saint Francis, Elizabethtown, and Shippensburg.

Lafayette team members include economics majors Kirtika Challa ’12 (Mumbai, India), Laura Wong Hon Chan ’12 (Tombeau Bay, Mauritius), and Haley Huffines ’12 (Dallas, Texas); international economics and commerce major Nan Li ’12 (Shanghai, China); math major Dylan McNamara ’11 (Pasadena, Md.); math and economics double major Nicholas Stacey ’11 (Mbabane, Swaziland); and mathematics-economics majors Marc Tancer ’11 (Montville, N.J.) and Miao Wang ’12 (Cheng De He Bei, China).  Julie Smith, assistant professor of economics, also serves as the team’s faculty adviser.

Haley Huffines ’12

Sponsored by some of the nation’s Federal Reserve banks, the College Fed Challenge encourages better understanding of the U.S. central bank, the forces influencing economic conditions in this country and abroad, and the ways the economy affects everyone’s lives.

In the competitions, teams play the role of members of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policymaking body. Teams give a 20-minute presentation on monetary policy and then defend their position during a 15-minute round of intensive questioning by the judges. The teams are judged on content, teamwork, responses to questions, presentation, and style.

Last year, Lafayette outperformed Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers-Newark to win the national crown. In this year’s competition, Bentley University took first with Northwestern and Rutgers-Newark placing third and fourth.

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