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Pace University students win record-breaking fifth national title at Federal Reserve College Challenge

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Photo courtesy of Pace University

A group of students at Pace University made history this year at the 18th Annual Federal Reserve College Challenge.

The Pace University Federal Reserve Challenge Team took home the national title for the fifth time. With the win earlier this month, Pace now has won five of the last seven competitions and has the most victories of any team in the history of the Federal Reserve College Challenge, surpassing Harvard University’s four titles.

“I’m so excited about this win because it demonstrates that our students are among the very best in the United States,” said Mark Weinstock, economics professor and one of the team’s coaches. “The economics department at Pace has pioneered the role of women and first-generation college students, and has created an inclusiveness based on hard work, merit, and the excitement of learning.”

Captained by economics students Yuwei (Winnie) Liu ’22 and Fiona Waterman ’22, the Pace team is 80 percent women, with no other team in the country having more than 20 percent women on their teams. The Pace team is also made up of students from as far as Beijing, China, and Boulder, Colorado, and as close as Staten Island and Fishkill, N.Y. 

“This win is the result of hundreds of hours of studying and practicing starting in the summer,” said Liu. “We are so lucky and proud to lead a hard-working team, with everyone always being understanding of the workload and striving for excellence.”

Captains Liu (Beijing, China) and Waterman (Boulder, Colorado) are joined on the team by the following Dyson College students:

  • Christopher Beck ’22 Economics, Staten Island, N.Y. ;
  • Gianni Campanaro ’22, Business Economics, Staten Island, N.Y.;
  • Casey Cloutier ’22, Economics and Modern Languages and Cultures, Niagara Falls, N.Y.;
  • Stephanie Ertel ’22, Economics, Fishkill, N.Y.; 
  • and Kate Fong ’23, Economics, Orange County, CA.  

The team received academic guidance from Weinstock and Economics Professor Greg Colman, PhD, with support from Distinguished Professor of Economics Joseph Morreale and Associate Professor of Economics Annya Shostya, PhD. 

“We are especially grateful to our advisers, who were with us throughout this wonderful learning experience,” said Waterman, “as well as members of the Fed Team in previous years who offered valuable suggestions.”   

The Pace team was one of six that advanced to the final round from the pool of 18 teams from across the country that qualified for the national competition. The University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College, both Ivy League institutions, finished in second and third place, respectively, with George Washington University, UCLA, and the University of Wisconsin earning honorable mentions. 

Each team in the national round was required to record a 15-minute presentation analyzing elements of the United States economy, including areas like GDP and unemployment, and provide monetary policy recommendations for the Federal Reserves’ balance sheet and interest rates. The teams then participated in a live, virtual Q-and-A session with members of the Federal Reserve

“This experience is invaluable,” said Weinstock. “It gets students who are passionate about this work close to the action. It teaches them to defend their thinking, be cool under pressure, and clearly communicate verbally and in writing, all skills that will serve them well in their future professions.”

To advance to the national tournament, Pace won the First Round Regional Competition, which was held virtually on Oct. 24, featuring more than 30 teams from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The winners were announced on Nov. 10, 2021.

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