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Loyola Fed Challenge Team Heads to Semi-Final Round for 3rd Year

2019 Fed Challenge Team PhotoAfter winning the Maryland/DC competition, Loyola is on its way to Richmond on Friday, Nov. 8, to compete in the College Fed Challenge district semi-finals for the third year in a row. The competition, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, will feature competitors from the Virginia and North Carolina regional competitions (University of Virginia and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). The winner of Friday's competition will go on to the national championship hosted by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.

Loyola's 2019 College Fed Challenge roster includes Matthew Paniccia,'20, Madeleine Brenner. '21, Elisabeth Abdoo. '20, Sean McDermott, '20, Nicholas Spurgeon, '20, Emily Robinson, '21, Mack Bodziony, '20, Daniel Maydwell, '20, Jingtong Zhi, '20, and Manuel Diaz-Rivera, '20. The team is coached by John Burger, Ph.D., professor of economics.

Achieving semi-final status yet again has led the team on an exciting journey thus far. "Knowing how hard the teams have worked in past years and then being able to carry on their tradition has been amazing," said Abdoo, ’20, an economics and finance double major. "We have always had talented and intelligent students represent Loyola, and I am honored to be a part of the legacy."

Paniccia, ’20, an economics and finance double major, touts the team's communication skills and hard work as both a strength and source of fun. "The most rewarding part of being in the competition is connecting with my teammates and getting to know each person better. We have had a lot of fun and we have also done a lot of in-depth research. Finding that balance between hard work, accuracy, and enjoying a task is definitely important and has been rewarding thus far."

Other teammates agree. "The late nights spent working on our presentation, analyzing economic indicators, and brainstorming monetary policy recommendations has really brought us together,” said Brenner, ’21, an economics major. “It was rewarding to be able to celebrate our win last week after our hard work!”
So, how does the team get ready for the next round?

"We are preparing for the semi-final round by tightening up our presentation, updating our data, and reading the Wall Street Journal and Fed Statements to prepare for the Q&A," said Brenner.

"The time limit for the presentation in this round drops, and the Q&A time increases," said Abdoo. "Therefore, we have to be sure that we have thought through what the judges might ask us and know as much as we can. After receiving the judges’ feedback from the last round, I am very confident in our presentation, so this next round is a matter of nailing the Q&A."