Sterling College business students participating in nationwide banking competition

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Sterling College business students are competing against over fifty student teams from 39 colleges and universities across the nation in the 2021 CSBS Community Bank Case Study Competition. The student teams will partner with local community banks to examine how they have navigated the Covid-19 pandemic and what they are doing for diversity and inclusion. Sterling students partnered with the First Bank of Sterling for the competition. 

“The CSBS Community Banking competition provides a great opportunity for our business students to directly engage in discussion and research of real world issues and business decision making. We are excited to partner with First Bank to help grow and develop our students' understanding and knowledge of the banking industry,” said Tim Thorpe, associate professor of business.

The Sterling team consists of students McKenna Thornton, of Frederick, Colo., Claire Fisk of Frederick, Colo., and Vanessa Burnett of  El Paso, Texas. The First Bank of Sterling is led by President Jeff Laudermilk and his team. 

“By participating in the CSBC competition, we hope to help students expand their understanding of community banks and the real world issues in banking. We also seek to deepen our relationship with the biggest economic and cultural driver of our local area. Whether we are sharing our knowledge with students, or learning side by side together about banking topics, we are enriched and improved by the experience,” said Laudermilk.

The competition is a nationwide academic competition for undergraduate students. The student teams will “examine how community banks have responded to major forces that impacted the nation this year: the Covid-19 pandemic and a renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion.”  

“It is an exciting opportunity to learn more about banking and how they are dealing with current global issues that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise,” said Fisk.

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit