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MSU Student Team Takes on National Community Bank Case Study Competition

3-26-18 - Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A group of Mississippi State University students is gaining first-hand knowledge of the banking industry by participating in the 2018 Conference of State Bank Supervisors Community Bank Case Study (CSBS) Competition.

The MSU team is competing against 53 other student teams representing 47 colleges and universities across the United States. Each team is developing an original case study that evaluates how its local community bank is using technology within day-to-day operations. The MSU team is partnered with The Peoples Bank, located in Ripley.

“This program provides a tremendous opportunity for Mississippi State students to work closely with experienced leaders in the banking profession to examine issues facing the financial services industry,” said Mike Highfield, professor of finance and head of the MSU College of Business’ Department of Finance and Economics.

Mississippi Commissioner of Banking and Consumer Finance Charlotte N. Corley commended the students for participating in the competition.

“Encouraging universities and students to participate in the Case Study competition is two-fold,” Corley said. “One – it gives students the opportunity to compete for scholarship money and recognition. Two – it enlightens students on various aspects of the banking industry and encourages them to pursue careers in banking or bank regulation. I am pleased Mississippi State University saw value in the competition and chose to participate for the second year in a row.”

By gaining experience with community banks, the students will learn about a key part of the banking industry. According to the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, community banks are responsible for approximately 45 percent of small business loans in the U.S. and upwards of 75 percent of agricultural lending.

The student teams are competing for an academic scholarship, a chance to have their work published in an academic journal, an invitation to present their paper at The Department of Banking and Consumer Finance’s annual CEO Summit and an opportunity to attend the sixth annual CSBS-Federal Reserve Community Banking Research Conference, held in St. Louis this October. The top three scoring teams will be announced this spring. For more information, visit

Buddy Mortimer, a lecturer in the Department of Finance and Economics and CEO of the Bank of Kilmichael, is serving as the faculty adviser for MSU’s team. The student participants include, by hometown:

BOONEVILLE—Jack Simpson, a junior finance major;

COLUMBUS—Douglas Kilarski, a senior finance major;

HATTIESBURG—Alex Bedwell, a junior accounting major;

MEMPHIS, Tennessee—Elliott Farmer, a senior finance major; and

PLANO, Texas—Zach Ford, a senior finance major.

MSU’s College of Business, the oldest business school in Mississippi and among the oldest in the south, can be found at

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