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Westminster College Student Presents to Alumni Panel

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Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College senior Kevin Winner, a philosophy major and economics minor, presented his credit analysis of a major defense contracting firm to an alumni panel on Sept. 8.

Winner is a son of Kevin and Cherie Winner of Hermitage and a graduate of Hickory High School. He completed an independent study with Dr. Daniel Fischmar, professor of economics and business; with assistance from Westminster alumnus Ben Nelson ‘06, a lead credit analyst at Moody's Corporation.

"Kevin wanted to do some original research on a topic that would give him exposure to the financial industry," Fischmar said. "Through contacts with Ben Nelson, he became interested in a project that would require him to assign a credit rating for a defense company."

"This demonstrates how faculty and alumni can work together to coordinate very meaningful experiences for the students that link academic course material with the world outside of campus," Nelson said.

During his research Winner had the opportunity to talk with credit analysts about the defense industry, analyze the consequences for defense contractors of the potential sequestration of the federal budget, study financial reports from the SEC, forecast the financial position of the company and assign a credit rating to the debt of the company. He presented the results to the panel made up of three faculty members and six alumni.

"It was a real treat seeing one of our students perform at a level that was truly impressive," said Dr. Russ Martin, professor of history and panel participant. "His presentation was knowledgeable, mature, and thoroughly professional. I give enormous credit to Dr. Fischmar, to the alumni that assisted Kevin, and most of all, to Kevin."

Additional alumni, faculty and friends of the college who served on the panel included: Russ Mills '05, political science professor Bowling Green University; Jordan Hinds '06, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Christie Nelson '06, Rutgers University; Lee Scott '07, Coalition for Christian Outreach; Jesse Ligo, Westminster professor of accounting; Mark Drabick ‘10 from the Bank of New York Mellon; and Tom Nelson from Ameriprise.

The Westminster College Alumni Association was established in 1884. All graduates of Westminster are Association members. The events and activities of the Association are guided by the leadership of the Alumni Council. Past events included: "Networking 101," an alumni panel discussion focusing on proper networking techniques; "For Seniors Only" dinner, where seniors learn how to create and manage a budget; mock interviews for students to learn how to better highlight their attributes during interviews and how to develop a resume that stands out.

The next Alumni Council meeting is Saturday, Jan. 26, at 9 a.m. in the McKelvey Campus Center.

For further information about Alumni Council activities or the annual Alumni Association meeting contact the alumni office at or (724) 946-7364.