Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield team earned second place in the 2024 Community Bank Case Study Competition, hosted by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). The UIS team partnered with INB in Springfield.

UIS team members James Aldus, Robert Lassiter and Kurt Wagner were guided by faculty advisors David Saner and Serkan Karadas. Each team member will receive a $750 scholarship.

The annual competition was open to undergraduate students in all fields of study, offering an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the banking industry. This year, 27 student teams representing 21 colleges and universities entered the competition.

The teams partnered with local community banks to determine lessons learned from the Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank closures, identify the banks’ expectations for regulatory and supervisory changes, and evaluate how the banks were using social media.

“This competition is the fruit of collaboration between the College of Business and Management, Office of Engaged Learning and INB,” said Karadas, the PNC professor in banking and finance. “By participating in this competition, students not only earn internship credits but also get to compete nationally and develop relationships with the team running a local bank. I am very proud of this year's team, and I feel very fortunate to be working at an institution where experiential learning is prioritized and rewarded.”

Mark Donovan, the chief operating officer for INB, called the partnership an “incredible privilege,” adding that the bank has gained invaluable insights by engaging with the student group and sharing its story within the dynamic financial services industry.

“When we were approached about assisting UIS with the case study competition, our decision to say yes was immediate,” Donovan said. “The entrepreneurial and experimental mindset of the involved staff and faculty truly impressed us. It's the ideal scenario—a ‘trinity’ where the business community, the university and the students unite to elevate the student learning experience.”

CSBS is the national organization of financial regulators from all 50 states, American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. State regulators supervise roughly three-quarters of all U.S. banks and a variety of non-depository financial services. CSBS, on behalf of state regulators, also operates the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System to license and register non-depository financial service providers in the mortgage, money services businesses, consumer finance and debt industries.

“Watching the students evolve their case study through engagement, observation and analysis over the semester was very rewarding,” Donovan added. “We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the student team for their persistent dedication and ultimate success. Equal praise is due to the UIS staff and faculty who championed the local framework for this competition.”

The top three case studies will be published in the CSBS Journal of Community Bank Case Studiesavailable in October.