Trading floor debuts at Penn State Fayette

January 26, 2009

With the public debut of the new trading floor at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, students at the campus now have a real-time connection to Wall Street.

Pennsylvania State Senator Richard A. Kasunic was on hand Jan. 23 for the festivities and presented Penn State Fayette Chancellor Emmanuel I. Osagie a check in the amount of $50,000, a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development that funded the creation of the campus’ trading floor and additional electronic tickers for the Williams Building and the Community Center.

The trading floor was created at the campus to provide an advanced learning environment for students at all levels and is intended to replicate a real world trading experience for students. It provides a bridge linking Penn State Fayette students to Wall Street and helps the business program to boast of similar facilities with the top-ranked business education programs nationally.

Pawan K. Madhogarhia, assistant professor of finance, explains, “This is a unique learning environment in which students can virtually trade financial securities as if they were on an actual trading floor. An LCD Screen offers access to live coverage of news from different sources, such as CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN and other financial and news networks. And real-time tickers provide important financial information to gauge the stock and market specific reactions to different news.”

Students using the trading floor will be engaged through simulated trading, analyzing market reactions, portfolio management, derivatives trading, performance evaluation and other business related challenges. Madhogarhia says, “Important concepts that students learn in finance and other business classes will be related to the real world of finance through movements in the markets and specific financial securities as a result of the dynamic changes in different variables that impact their pricing. Students can access corporate accounting and financial data, monitor corporations’ SEC filings, track the trading behavior of financial institutions, and gain insights into valuation of derivative securities. And, through specific business exercises, students will make trading and pricing decisions based on analysis of data — allowing them to apply different portfolio management techniques and test different trading strategies without risking any real capital.”

Osagie, who was a former business professor and the dean of the School of Business at the College of New Jersey prior to joining Penn State University, spearheaded the effort to create the trading floor on the campus. He says, “One cannot rely on static teaching tools and techniques in the tumultuous and ever-changing world of business. There is only so much you can learn from textbooks and in a traditional classroom. In the same fashion that the sciences have laboratories, it is important for business students to have a laboratory to replicate the real-world experience of Wall Street and to have real-time streaming information about financial markets worldwide. Having the ability to actually practice what they are learning helps increase the students’ comprehension and retention.”

Senator Kasunic pointed out the importance of a quality college education for the community’s youth, as well as adults who may need retraining for a career change. “We all need to support Penn State Fayette as the only four-year institution of higher education in Fayette County. It brings world-class quality education to our area residents. If we’re going to continue to grow as a region, we must develop strategic partnerships between the community and the campus. This trading floor partnership will help to create more access to quality education and provide students with the technology they need to compete in a global economy.”

  • From left: Pawan K. Madhogarhia, assistant professor of finance; Penn State Fayette Chancellor Emmanuel I. Osagie; Pennsylvania State Senator Richard A. Kasunic; and Terry R. Halfhill, assistant professor of business administration and head of the campus’ business administration program.

    IMAGE: Susan Brimo-Cox

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Last Updated November 18, 2010