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Cedarville finance majors at CFA Institute Research Challenge

Finance undergrads earn regional recognition in research challenge

by Hannah Fair, Public Relations Writer

For the first time in its history, Cedarville University sent a team of students to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge to compete globally against more than 5,000 students from 1,000 universities. The competition was held in February in Columbus, Ohio.

The Cedarville team began working in October on its written report to qualify for local finals. The report is a comprehensive, fundamental analysis of an assigned, publicly traded company, including a buy, sell or hold recommendation to investors. Judges reviewed reports from universities in the southern-central Ohio region and chose four to compete in the local finals.

Cedarville University, Ohio State, Capital University and University of Cincinnati each qualified. Each school was required to use its written report to create a 10-minute presentation and prepare for an additional 10-minute question-and-answer session with the judges afterward. Cedarville did not qualify for the national finals.

“We were competing against very large universities and students who were a few months away from earning a master’s in business administration and had a few years of work experience. It was an honor to compete in the local finals and represent Cedarville for the first time there,” said team member Timothy Flavin.

The Cedarville team included senior finance majors Flavin (St. Louis, Missouri) and Kyle Nikerle (Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania) and senior finance and marketing major Corinna Ward (Dayton, Ohio).

To prepare for the competition, the team spent 10 hours with Dr. Bill Ragle, associate professor of finance, and six hours with their industry mentor, Micah Martin, research analyst for Diamond Hill Capital Management (Columbus, Ohio) and a Cedarville alumnus.

“The CFA Research Challenge was a wonderful opportunity to represent Cedarville University in a competition celebrating equity research for the next generation of analysts,” said Ward. “I was able to grow through experiential practice and learn from both our faculty advisor, Dr. Ragle, and our industry mentor, Micah Martin.”

The three students spent approximately 200 hours working on the written report and presentation.

“Multiple judges and CFA representatives complimented our conduct and quality of work,” said Flavin. “For it being our first time competing, we did remarkably well.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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