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Congratulations to the Broyhill Fellows team from Appalachian State University on finishing as a top five global team in CFA Institute’s Research Challenge competition. 

Samuel Crouse

Samuel Crouse will be joining Bank of America this summer in the Finance Management Analyst Program. He is a recent graduate from Appalachian State University with a major in finance and banking and a minor in computer science. Sam has developed a passion for coding and hopes to end up in a role that marries finance and programming. He was a member of the Bowden Investment Group at Appalachian and served as one of the accountants where he analyzed the student managed portfolio and delivered weekly presentations to the team. Sam grew up in the mountains in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. He loves the mountains, and his undergraduate thesis was focused on linking private investors to businesses in rural Appalachian communities.

Olivia Guillebeau 

Olivia will be starting her career as an analyst in the Financial Management Analyst Program at Bank of America in Charlotte. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Finance and Banking. Olivia served as the Vice President and Public Relations Manager of the Bowden Investment Group during her senior year at Appalachian. In her role she launched the group’s LinkedIn page, allowing the group to connect with its audience of faculty, alumni, prospective students, and CFA Charterholders. In the 6 months that Olivia managed the page, she achieved an average engagement rate of 14.5% which was over seven times what is considered a “good” engagement rate for LinkedIn pages. Olivia is enthusiastic about using financial data and research to craft persuasive arguments and presentations. She plans to spend the summer preparing for the CFA level 1 exam and is excited to continue engaging with the CFA Society of North Carolina.

Sean James

Sean James will begin his career at Bank of America Private Bank as a Wealth Management Analyst in July. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Sean is excited to return back to the area for his first career job. He is a recent graduate from Appalachian State University where he double majored in Finance & Banking and Risk Management & Insurance. Outside of the classroom, Sean served as an Appalachian State Student Ambassador, conducted meaningful research as a member of the school’s Risk Management Research Group, and volunteered as a Western Youth Network Mentor. In the Bowden Investment Group, Sean worked alongside Katie Cole to produce monthly update letters to supporters and former graduates. In his free time, Sean enjoys watching the Panthers, Hornets, Hurricanes, and, of course, the Mountaineers. 

Obi Ludwig

Obi Ludwig will be starting his role next month at Bank of America as a Commercial Credit Analyst.  Recently, he graduated from Appalachian State University with a finance and banking degree.  During his senior year, Obi was a member of the Bowden Investment Group, and by proxy the CFA Team, and served as one of three industry analysts, responsible for analyzing two of the portfolio’s highest weighted sectors in the fall, and two of the lowest weighted sectors in the spring.  Prior to attending Appalachian, Obi served nearly five years active duty in the Navy as a weapons technician for the Close-In Weapons System, commonly referred to as “R2D2.”  Obi was born in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada but has spent most of his life growing up across western North Carolina with his four other siblings.  Having lived mostly in rural areas, he is excited for a change of pace and living in a bigger city. 

Zachary Stowell

Zach Stowell is a Midwest native currently pursuing career opportunities in finance in the Sun Belt, hoping to become a CFA charter holder. He graduated this May with majors in Finance & Banking and Computer Information Systems from Appalachian State’s Walker College of Business. Zach served as an industry analyst for the Bowden Investment Group at Appalachian State University, researching the sectors of the S&P 500 index and giving presentations of his analysis to the group. He gave a presentation on Cryptocurrency during his time with Bowden, criticizing how resource intensive maintaining Bitcoin’s blockchain is despite its primary use case being a speculative investment. Bitcoin was near an all-time high when Zach gave his presentation in April. Since then, it has lost over a third of its value. Zach splits his free time looking for chances to go trout fishing and being regularly disappointed by the professional sports teams from Minnesota that he follows.

Dr. Brandy Hadley

Dr. Hadley is the professor for Appalachian State’s Bowden Investment Group and the Faculty Advisor for the Broyhill Fellows CFA Research Challenge Team. She is a two-time alumna of Appalachian State and earned her Ph.D from the University of Tennessee. She joined Appalachian State in 2017 after serving as faculty at California State University San Bernardino. Dr. Hadley teaches courses in Corporate Finance, Investments, and FinTech & InsureTech. In addition, she facilitates executive training in programming and data analytics as a Teaching & Research Fellow with the university’s Center for Analytics Research & Education. Dr. Hadley is an active researcher in the areas of corporate governance and political financial influence. Her research has been published in the Journal of Corporate Finance, The Financial Review, European Financial Management, Managerial Finance, the Journal of Applied Financial Research, and the Journal of Financial and Economic Practice, among other academic and trade journals. In addition, she has made over 30 presentations at national and international industry conferences and has contributed as a financial expert for MarketWatch, WalletHub,, and

Adam Morgan, CFA | Anne Rogers