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EKU Banking Students Win National Competition

EKU Business and Technology Center dome

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) in Washington, D.C., today named a team from Eastern Kentucky University as the winner of its 2018 Community Bank Case Study Competition. 

The winning student team members are Lorelei Nguyen, Aaron Schmidgall and Dalton Stanley. Maggie Abney served as faculty advisor and Central Bank & Trust Co. as the team’s community bank partner. Luther Deaton, President and CEO of Central Bank in Lexington, said, “The students gave us keen insights into their perceptions of what banks should be doing to serve their needs more effectively. We were very impressed by their knowledge.”

While this is the fourth year of the competition, it is the first year that EKU fielded a team. “We were impressed by the work of the five finalists, and the Eastern Kentucky University team’s case study was outstanding,” said CSBS Senior Executive Vice President Michael Stevens. “Their quality of work and the information they yielded exemplifies why we have the competition.”

As first place winner, the Eastern Kentucky University team will receive a $1,000 scholarship per student, be invited to present at the CSBS-Federal Reserve Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference held in St. Louis in October, and be published in the CSBS Journal of Community Bank Case Studies. 

The team advanced through three rounds of judging by banking professionals and overcame a pool of 51 competitors in the competition, which is open to undergraduate students in all fields of study as an opportunity to gain valuable first-hand knowledge of the banking industry. This year’s case studies looked at how community banks are using technology to streamline processes and better serve their customers.

“It was a phenomenal learning experience,” said team faculty advisor Maggie Abney. “The more they studied, the more interested and driven they became. It was an enlightening and gratifying project for the students.”

Kentucky's Commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions, Charles Vice, has been following the students' progress closely. “The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) congratulates the EKU students for their hard work in preparing a case study for the sixth annual Community Bank Conference. The students studied how offering financial services through technology platforms presents both challenges and opportunities for community banks. I want to thank the EKU team members for their excellent work that has been recognized on a national level,” said Commissioner Vice.

Second place went to the University of Missouri – Kansas City team who will each receive a $500 CSBS scholarship. And Southeastern Louisiana University placed third bringing home  a $250 CSBS scholarship for each of their team members. Both teams also will have their works published in the Journal of Community Bank Case Studies.

For more information on the 2018 Community Bank Case Study Competition, visit

Published on May 10, 2018

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