A team of Grove City College students made it to the second round of a national community bank competition with their study of changes and expectations in that sector of the industry.
Students David Butler ’23 from Allison Park, Pa., Andrew Solman ’24 of Pittsburgh, Pa., Rachel Gallagher ’22, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Zachary Gillispie ’22 of Edinboro, Pa., worked with Mars (Pa,) Bank on their entry in the 2022 Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) Community Bank Case Study Competition.
They worked with Mars Bank executives, including alumnus Shawn Proper ’92, the bank’s Senior Vice President - Mortgage and Consumer Lending, to answer research questions about changes in community banking over the last decade and what to expect in the next ten years. The team developed a 25-page case study for the contest, which is open to undergraduates from any major.
“It was a great experience for the students to work together on an interdisciplinary team and it will serve them well in their future studies and professions,” according to the team’s adviser, Dr. John Coyne ’04, senior major gifts officer. “It gave them a chance to apply the theories they are learning in the classroom to a real-life situation.”
The students made it to the second round of the CSBS competition, which winnowed down the initial field of 23 teams from 21 colleges and universities but didn’t make the top five. The competition provided an experiential learning opportunity that allowed students to network with local banks, CSBS staff, and academics and gain valuable, first-hand knowledge of the banking industry. Coyne said he was proud of the way students represented the College, Mars Bank, and themselves in the competition.
According to CSBS, community banks are vital to the American economy with smaller and less complex banks responsible for approximately 45% of small business loans in the United States and upwards of three-fourths of agriculture lending.