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SDSU Students Capture Title at G.A.M.E. VII Forum

South Dakota State University’s student-managed investment fund team won national acclaim last week, earning first place in the student-managed portfolio competition at the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) VII Forum.

The three-day event was held in New York City and brought together more than 1,500 students and faculty mentors representing 157 colleges and universities. The participants were from 41 countries, 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and were able to learn and interact with 140 speakers from nearly 100 companies and organizations. The SDSU team was one of 18 selected to present to the judges, earning first place in the undergraduate competition.

Faculty adviser Zhiguang (Gerald) Wang with student presenters Chad Te Slaa and Justin Price
Faculty adviser Zhiguang (Gerald) Wang with student presenters Chad Te Slaa and Justin Price

“This is a significant accomplishment for not only the students, but for the university,” said Zhiguang (Gerald) Wang, associate professor of finance in the Department of Economics and faculty adviser for the team. “It establishes that SDSU provides students with a high-quality financial and business education to compete on the largest stage for this type of competition. This was a dedicated and talented group of students that stood out against finance and business schools from around the country and the world.”

The annual forum hosts the largest student-managed investment fund competition in the world. It is the first time a team from SDSU has been eligible to compete. A group of 14 students analyzed, presented and voted for stocks on a weekly basis during the 2016 spring semester. The class invested in 23 stocks across nine different industrial sectors.

“We were very fortunate to have a team of students who worked well together and understood how to develop a diverse portfolio that could outperform stock market indices,” Wang said. “The investments included stock in energy, technology, health care, consumer defensive and other sectors of the market. It was a privilege to work with such a talented group and watch their portfolio grow.”

The 14 students included seven senior and seven junior analysts from the student-managed investment fund class. Their majors ranged from economics, economics with a business specialization, entrepreneurial studies, agricultural and resources economics, agricultural business, advertising, and ecology and environmental science. Nine students traveled to the G.A.M.E competition. Justin Price of Brookings, S.D., and Chad Te Slaa of Sioux Falls, S.D., presented SDSU’s portfolio in front of three judges from Wall Street firms.

SDSU student Justin Price attend the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony with other student representatives from the forum.
SDSU student Justin Price attend the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony with other student representatives from the forum.

Wang’s role with the portfolio was to execute trades and serve as a risk manager. The investment experience was made possible through the First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Education Lab, which was dedicated in October 2015. The lab was made possible through a financial gift from First Dakota National Bank in Yankton, S.D. Support from four cooperatives, CHS, CoBank, Farm Credit Services of America and Wheat Growers, covered the operating costs of the lab.

“This accomplishment would not have been made possible without the generosity and involvement of donors and leaders within the industry,” said Eluned Jones, department head for the Department of Economics. “The vision and leadership shown by many, including Steve Stahly’s support of Dr. Wang through the Stahly Faculty Scholar funding, motivated the formation of the Investment Club and pilot investment portfolio, and the transformation of a classroom to a trading lab through funding from Larry Ness and First Dakota National Bank.

“These gifts make it possible for our students to gain confidence in their skill and to demonstrate that they can compete at the highest level,” Jones added. “This really showcases the power of giving and the impact it has on preparing students to enter the workforce and become the next generation of business leaders.”

The economics department’s First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Education Lab is one of the resources available to the Ness Division of Management and Economics. Larry Ness is the CEO and chairman of the board at First Dakota National Bank. Stahly is a principal of Stahly Financial in West Des Moines, Iowa.

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2016 Student-Managed Investment Fund Team

Economics – Business Economics Specialization

  • Justin Price – Brookings, S.D.
  • Nikita Medvedev – Tallinn, Estonia
  • Elaina Johnson – Genesse, Wis.
  • Adam Thompson – Taunton, Minn.
  • Abigail Vlaminck – Ghent, Minn.


  • Chad Te Slaa - Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Yu Chen - Wenzhou, China
  • Austin Erikson - Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Michael Moges - Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Derringer Huff – St. Louis, Mo.

Entrepreneurial Studies

  • Mitchel Foster – Flandreau, S.D.

Agricultural Business

  • Richard Mulder – Lake Benton, Minn.


  • Austin Kost – Sioux Falls, S.D.

Ecology/Environmental Science

  • Lindsey Meiers – Tea, S.D.

2017 G.A.M.E. Participants

  • Justin Price (presenter) – Brookings, S.D.
  • Chad Te Slaa (presenter) – Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Richard Mulder – Lake Benton, Minn.
  • Nikita Medvedev – Tallinn, Estonia
  • Pierce Plucker – Parker, S.D.
  • Michal Minor – Rutland, S.D.
  • Derek Christians – Lamberton, Minn.
  • Austin Sitter – Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Kyle Vos – Slayton, Minn.
  • Dr. Zhiguang Wang – faculty adviser

About South Dakota State University

Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from six different colleges representing nearly 200 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 35 master’s degree programs, 15 Ph.D. and two professional programs.

The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.

About the Department of Economics

The Department of Economics offers bachelor’s degrees with majors in economics, economics with a business specialization, entrepreneurial studies, agricultural business, and agricultural and resource economics through the Colleges of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and Arts and Sciences. The nearly 30 faculty members and four SDSU Extension specialists comprise disciplinary qualifications in economics, agricultural economics, finance, accounting, management, marketing and entrepreneurial studies.

The department offers a broad spectrum of courses in these areas and hosts about 750 undergraduate and 30 graduate students. Minors are offered in accounting, management, marketing, human resource management, agricultural business, agricultural marketing, entrepreneurial studies and economics. A master’s degree in economics provides opportunities for students to differentiate their career path through electives and either a research thesis or business-oriented coursework.

About the Ness Division of Management and Economics

The Department of Economics is a participating department in the intercollegiate Ness Division of Management and Economics. The division serves as a cross-college, interdisciplinary entity comprising faculty from academic programs that share a commitment to education and research in management, economics and data analytics. The division also provides a forum and structure to foster communication, innovation and efficiencies across program, departments and colleges, Additionally, it promotes collaboration between the university and business communities and coordinates and advances efforts in student engagement, faculty interaction, interdisciplinary research and outreach.