Gatton Students Triumph at WSJ National Biz Quiz
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2012) — The University of Kentucky has won another national championship, actually two more of them — the occasion was the annual Wall Street Journal National Biz Quiz competition hosted by The Ohio State University this past weekend. A three-person team from UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics, Bert Smith, Ryan McFerran, and Scott Deschamp, bested competitors from 17 other top business schools across the nation for the team title, while Smith took top honors individually.
Smith, a senior double major in finance and economics and Gatton Global Scholar from Louisville, successfully navigated three rounds of 120 written questions over two days to place first individually, while he and his teammates handled more than 250 quick recall questions spread over five rounds. McFerran, also a senior double major in finance and economics, hails from Hebron, while Deschamp is a senior double major in economics and chemical engineering from Louisville.
Questions were culled from the past six weeks' news in the Journal and topics ranged from economics and business strategy, to politics, to international affairs, health care, and even fashion.
The Gatton students beat out teams and individual contestants from an impressive list of universities, including Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Purdue, Texas, and Texas A&M.
The Gatton team is coached by Gordon Holbein, a senior lecturer in strategy and leadership at UK.
"The pressure and competition were intense and our students rose to the top," Holbein said. "The guys learned so much about the world and themselves, and about how they fit in the big scheme of things. As I say every year, Gatton students are not only world ready, but they can compete anywhere with anyone."
Holbein has directed the Gatton squad at the National Biz Quiz since it was first invited to take part in 2008. Teamwise, Gatton previously earned two fourth-place finishes, while UK's Jeffrey Howard (in 2008) and Jeffrey Wei (in 2009) captured individual national championships.
Sean Bell, a senior double major in economics and Chinese language and Gatton Global Scholar from Louisville was the first alternate for the Gatton team and served as student assistant coach.
All four of the students are members of UK's Greek community. Smith, Deschamp, and Bell belong to Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, while McFerran is a member of Phi Sigma Kappa.
"Once again Gatton students are showing their exemplary academic abilities through this rigorous competition," said David W. Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College. "We are extremely proud of Bert, Ryan, and Scott. Their hard work and determination proves that Gatton students are some of the best in the country. Gordon Holbein is to be commended and congratulated for his outstanding work with this group of top-notch students."
MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, (859) 257-3200; Michele Sparks, (859) 257-0040.