Presidents Earn Top Scores in Rigorous Economics Competition

Created: July 29, 2015  |  Last Updated: July 17, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

WASHINGTON PA (July 29, 2015)- Five Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) students presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Undergraduate Research Poster Competition, receiving top scores in a highly rigorous competition that includes students from colleges and universities within the 4th Federal Reserve District.

This is the second year W&J has participated in the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition, which was held in May. Competitors included the University of Akron, Oberlin College, Marietta College, Case Western Reserve University, and University of Findlay, setting the bar high for the W&J students to perform well – and they did.

W&J’s competitors were Chris DeNunzio ’15, Angela Giglio ’15, Adam Kmett ’15, Mike Magdic ’15, and Valerie Dunlap ’15, all economics majors. DeNunzio, who is now working as an investment banking analyst at UBS Investment Bank, took first place, making it the second year in a row that a W&J student won first place at the competition. In 2014, Margot Wummer ’14 won first place and Bayleigh McMenamin ’14 took second place. Giglio took third place at this year’s competition. The success W&J economic students have had in this competition highlights the hard work the students have accomplished at W&J.

“For the W&J students that have participated, the experience has been invaluable as it has been a real validation of all of the work they have put into their economics major. They can see that the work they are doing compares very favorably to the work being done by other undergraduate students. It also makes it clear to them that the opportunity they have to learn professional research methodologies and conduct independent research at W&J is unique,” said Robert Dunn, Ph.D., an economics professor at W&J.

Projects were judged by research economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland staff.

Projects ranged from “Labor Force Participation Rate and Educational Attainment: Women’s International Migration,” to a project that examined the relationship between primary source production as a share of economic output at the U.S. state level as compared to college degree attainment within each state.

Although the courses the students took made them well-versed and prepared for their topics, the competition helped further their skills for the professional world.

“I learned how to answer difficult questions about the economics research I conducted for my senior thesis project. Being put on the spot by professional economists added to my public speaking and critical thinking skills…These opportunities have broadened and strengthened my writing skills, skills undeniably important for a career in law or business,” Kmett said.

Other students said their experiences both at the competition and at W&J proved to be invaluable.

“My success at the conference was a great way to end my senior year, but I also think it was a great way to transition from an undergrad student to feeling like a professional. Also, it was nice getting to talk to other professionals and hearing their praise for our projects. That really made me realize how much the economics department at W&J has taught and helped me,” Giglio said, who is headed off to Duquesne University School of Law in the fall.

Dunlap was also recently selected as one of 13 national recipients for the NCAA Women’s Enhancement Program Postgraduate Scholarship for Careers in Athletics. The $7,500 scholarship will go towards her studies at The Ohio University as a student in its Professional Master of Sports Administration program.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.

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