Mississippi State University Wins 2020 CSBS Case Study Competition


A team from Mississippi State University was named the winner of the CSBS 2020 Community Bank Case Study Competition on June 18. Prior to schools and banks closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team members were photographed with their faculty adviser and community bank partners. From left, they are the team’s faculty adviser, Matthew Whitledge, MSU assistant clinical professor of finance; spring finance graduates Jake Mlsna of Starkville, Mississippi and Liam Benson of Auburn, Maine; Archie McDonnell, CEO of Meridian, Mississippi-based Citizens National Bank; senior finance major Kirk Wright of Crystal Springs, Mississippi; spring finance graduate Juan Benavides of Greenville, Mississippi; Jeremy Stringer, CFO of Citizens National Bank and senior finance major Byron McClendon of Brandon, Mississippi.

As the first place winner, each MSU team member will receive a $1,000 scholarship from CSBS. The team is also invited to present at the Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference in the fall and its case study will be published in the CSBS Journal of Community Bank Case Studies. 

This year’s case studies examined the impact of the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering (BSA-AML) requirements on community banks.  The 2020 competition drew 37 student teams representing 33 colleges and universities from 18 states across the U.S.

A team from James Madison University placed second. The students are Manushree Bhatt, Homer Eliades, Henry Haas, Daniel Horowitz and Alexis Kakar. Carl Larsson served as the faculty adviser, and F&M Bank, based in Timberville, Virginia, was the bank partner.

Coming in third was a team from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. The student team members are Seungho Lee, Anthony Mastroianni, Abi Welch and Sarah Hart. Atika Benaddi served as the faculty adviser, with Xiaoxuan Ji and Xia Zhou serving as co-advisors. Citizens & Northern Bank, based in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, was the bank partner.  

Students on the second-place team each will receive a $500 CSBS scholarship, while those on the third-place team each will receive a $250 CSBS scholarship. In addition, both teams will have their works published in the Journal of Community Bank Case Studies.

For more information, see the CSBS website.  .