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MSU finance students advance to final round of national Community Bank Case Study Competition – Mississippi State Newsroom

Contact: Allison Matthews

STARKVILLE, Miss.—For the second year in a row, a Mississippi State team of finance students participating in the national Conference of State Bank Supervisors Community Bank Case Study Competition is one of only five advancing to the contest’s final round.

Along with MSU, other teams advancing to final competition include Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Arkansas and the University of Tennessee at Martin. Mississippi State’s team was the overall national winner in 2020.

Assistant Clinical Professor of Finance Matthew Whitledge said the program gives students valuable first-hand knowledge of the banking industry, and this year’s MSU team is representing the university, as well as it’s College of Business and Department of Finance and Economics, exceptionally well.

The case study finalists have advanced through two rounds of judging and an original pool of 35 participating teams representing 29 universities across the country.

“This competition gives students the opportunity to integrate real-world analysis with their education, while working directly with the banking executives at a local, community bank. It extends their learning beyond the classroom in a tangible way, while working on a unique project from beginning to end,” said Whitledge, who also is the MSU team’s faculty advisor. 

“We’ve been extremely impressed by the care and thoughtfulness with which these teams have prepared their case studies. Their work has produced a variety of interesting insights into how banks navigated two of the most important developments of the past year,” said CSBS Executive Vice President Jim Cooper.

The Mississippi State team includes (by hometown):

BYHALIA—Lauryn A. Hoover, a spring summa cum laude graduate in business administration/finance.

INVERNESS—William C. “Will” Anderson, a spring summa cum laude graduate in business administration/finance.

JACKSON, Missouri—Allyson M. Jansen, a senior finance and foreign language double major with concentrations in international business and Spanish.

MOOREVILLE—Hunter G. Roberts, a senior finance and foreign language double major with concentrations in international business, Spanish, and risk management and insurance.

BankFirst Financial Services, headquartered in Columbus, is the team’s community bank partner.

“These four students were able to spend nearly three hours in person and over the phone speaking with three top executives of the bank. In the meetings, the team worked toward addressing the case study topic of how community banks have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the bank integrates diversity, inclusion, and economic fairness into its operations,” Whitledge said.

First, second and third place teams will be announced on July 15 via the CSBS YouTube channel and the CSBS Twitter feed @CSBSNews. Their work will be published in the annual Journal of Community Bank Case Studies.

The overall winner of the competition will have the opportunity to present its case study to regulators, academics and industry leaders at the Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference held in St. Louis in September.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) is the nationwide organization of banking regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit

Learn more about MSU’s College of Business and its Department of Finance and Economics at

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