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APSU students place third in regional poster competition

By: Elaina Russell October 19, 2023

APSU finance students at the SMIFC poster competition hosted by Indiana State University.
APSU finance students at the SMIFC poster competition hosted by Indiana State University.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.– Austin Peay State University finance students recently placed third in the Student Management Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC) poster competition hosted by Indiana State University.

Students participated as members of the Govs Fund, an Austin Peay investment club that allows them to manage a portfolio of $500,000 in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). They placed ahead of universities such as George Mason, Indiana State, Kennesaw State, UT Martin, Northern Illinois and others. The consortium's main objective is to encourage best practices in investment management among its partner institutions, creating an invaluable student resource.

Dr. Dong Nyonna, chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, said the conference offers a unique opportunity to enhance student learning, scholarship and network in investment management.

"Seeing and hearing other people invest is not as impactful as doing it yourself," he said. "The Govs Fund allows our students to translate what they learn in class into reality. In addition, active participation at conferences like SMIFC by Govs Fund student managers serves as a basis for confidence building, leadership skills and a first-hand chance to hear from industry experts." 

Members of the Govs Fund leadership team, Thomas Pyron and Keith Groll, shared their perspectives on what set them apart from their competitors.

"I think we had a better understanding of the fund's performance, investment policy and philosophy," Pyron said. "We pride ourselves on making sure everyone in the Govs Fund understands all of these pieces so we can improve."

The group said that confidence and knowledge of the fund were among the biggest reasons for their third-place win.

"We stood out because we were extremely professional in presenting ourselves and our poster," Groll said. "We were clear and concise in presenting our investment strategy, organization hierarchy and how we make investment decisions."

The conference allows students to share best practices and build meaningful relationships, a staple in the consortium's mission of bringing peer institutions together.

For more information about the Govs Fund, contact Nyonna at nyonnad@apsu.edu.