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Business student is national champion in investment competition

ISSUED: 17 January 2024
MEDIA CONTACT: Cecelia Mason

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A Shepherd University business administration student is the national champion of the 2023 T.E.A.M. University Challenge, a collegiate-level competition where students from around the country develop individual investment portfolios using the software program.

Emma Norton standing in hallway of White Hall holding her trophy that has a bull on it.Emma Norton of Martinsburg, West Virginia, ranked number one in the competition, in which each student was allocated $100,000 to invest across six mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The competition is evaluated in three categories—performance, risk, and internal expense.

“I chose 80 percent in large growth funds, 10 percent in small cap funds, five percent in a money market, and another five percent in a cash fund,” Norton said. “I diversified the account to make sure that I had a little bit of experimentation with volatility while still having controlled and maintained growth overall. I’m glad to see that my strategy worked.”

Norton, who is interested a data analytics and project management career, said she didn’t know going into the competition what the end goal would look like.

“I’m glad that I put my best foot forward and tried my best to do my research on what my selections would be,” she said. “It’s an honor to have this award presented. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I’m thankful for my professors, my team, and my peers in my class who helped motivate each other.”

Norton was presented with a trophy depicting a bronze-colored bull during one of her first business classes this semester. She said the competition gave her and the other students who participated a unique opportunity to utilize software they normally wouldn’t have access to and to gain an understanding of what it would be like to have a job managing investments.

Nine Shepherd students took part in the competition. Five placed in the top ten. Brittany McKnight, a business major from Inwood, West Virginia, was second; Rachel Spates, an MBA student from Hedgesville, West Virginia, placed fourth; Jean-Emmanuel Kouadio, a data analytic major from Côte d’Ivoire, came in ninth; and Jack Rosnage, a recreation and leisure studies major from Saint Leonard, Maryland, placed tenth.

Students in the competition were also judged based on their performance in various other categories. Shepherd students who placed include:

During the fall 2023 semester, the students worked with Dr. James Dovel, assistant professor of business administration, and Dr. Yuying Xie, professor of economics, who guided them on how to use the E-Valuator online platform and the criteria for selecting investments.

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