BMCC Team Wins College Fed Challenge

BMCC College Fed Challenge team wins Maiden Lane Division, New York Region, fifth time in a row.

November 28, 2022

For the fifth year in a row, a Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) student team led by Business Management Professors Julian Schroeder and Yanni Tournas has been awarded First Place in the Maiden Lane Division of the National College Fed Challenge, New York Region.

Professors Tournas and Schroeder have served as mentors and advisors to BMCC’s College Fed Challenge teams for more than 10 years. Student participants attend weekly Finance and Banking Club meetings to gain knowledge of monetary policy as well as hone their presentation skills.

As Professor Tournas explains, the College Federal Reserve Challenge of the Federal Reserve System is a yearly academic competition among student teams from colleges and universities across different regions of the United States. The Fed Challenge teams are comprised of five to 10 students that strive to create a professional presentation, 20 minutes in length, in the initial stage of the competition. Teams that progress to the next stage take part in a Q & A with a panel of judges including academics and professional economists.

“The November 2023 ceremony and award mark the end of a process that began in Summer 2022 and intensified in early September, resulting in over three months of diligent work,” says Professor Schroeder. “We congratulate all the students who in any way participated in this effort. From analysis through initial stage video presentations to the final stage Q & A with Federal Reserve judges, this was a strong group effort. Everyone contributed and learned through the process about economic developments and monetary policy making.”

The BMCC Fed Challenge team members are Economics majors Dayan Avila, Steven Bugge, Marco Martinez, Sarah Paliotta and Ignacio Salas, and Business Administration majors Aura Baez, Geoffrey Mandell, Chris Panagakos and Deep Sukhadwala.

The BMCC Fed Challenge associate team members are Financial Management major Ayman Benhamida; Small Business Entrepreneurship major Carlene Nelson; Business Administration majors Aaron Cespedes and Ursula Stando, and Business Management majors Deondre Jean Paul, Ofelia Sierra, Parris Vogt and Tong Wang.

BMCC alumna Sulay Restrepo Sanchez describes her experience preparing for the College Fed Challenge in 2020 through the BMCC Finance & Banking Club.

“As a selected team member for the College Fed Challenge, I had the opportunity to gain first-hand finance experience at the Federal Reserve Bank,” Sanchez says. “We used project management and data analytical skills to complete a U.S. economy case study. I valued the opportunity to think as an economist with a different lens as we pulled from fields outside economics, including psychology and sociology, to inform our monetary policy recommendation. I’m also grateful for the connections I made, as I’m still very close to Professor Yanni. It was an amazing opportunity!”

After graduating from BMCC, Sanchez was selected as a Kaplan Educational Foundation scholar and transferred to Brown University, where she is majoring in Economics. During the summer of 2021, she worked at the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and in Summer 2022, she trained with the Greenwood Project, participating in a stock pitch competition. She also completed an internship at UBS, focusing on Wealth Management, and passed the Securities Industry Essentials exam.

BMCC students interested in careers in finance are encouraged to join the Finance & Banking Club where they can gain, as Sanchez did, a foundational knowledge of banking and monetary systems, to help inform their next steps.

The BMCC Finance & Banking Club meets year round — including summers — both in person, in FitermanHall, Room 701, and virtually. The meetings are held Wednesdays during BMCC club hours between 2 and 4 p.m.

BMCC students interested in joining the Finance & Banking Club and preparing for Fed Challenge 2023 are encouraged to email Professor Yanni Tournas at or with FED CHALLENGE in the subject line.

Details about the activities and archives of the BMCC Finance & Banking Club are available here.

Participating in the College Fed Challenge relates to BMCC’s Strategic Plan, including but not limited to Strategic Goal 3: Integrate Career Development Throughout the Student Experience.


  • For the fifth year in a row, a BMCC student team led by Business Management Professors Julian Schroeder and Yanni Tournas has been awarded First Place in the Maiden Lane Division of the National College Fed Challenge, New York Region

  • Team members attended weekly Finance and Banking Club meetings where they engaged in rigorous discussions of economic policy and more

  • BMCC students interested in preparing for Fed Challenge 2023 may contact Professor Tournas at and include FED CHALLENGE in the subject line.

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