Student leaders of the new student-run Higher Education Fund. Back row, from left: Seungjae “Jake” Lee, Nathanael Thomas, and Joshua Agres Ocean. Front row, from left: Marion Peeschla, Sean Tedford, Nicholas Yellets, and Tanner Leary.

(Charlottesville, Va.) – Students at Piedmont Virginia Community College are forging new territory through the creation of a student-run investment fund.

Launched in 2016, the Higher Education Fund is the brainchild of students in PVCC’s Student Investment Club, whose mission is to educate and improve member knowledge of investing market practices and to foster a deeper understanding of the business realm. PVCC students Nathanael Thomas, Seungjae “Jake” Lee, and Joshua Agres Ocean, all of Charlottesville, and Marion Peeschla, of Crozet, founded the initiative.

According to Mahmood Moghimzadeh, PVCC economics professor and faculty advisor for the Investment Club, PVCC’s student-managed fund will allow students to contribute and analyze the results of financial decisions made over a multi-semester time frame. Current students act as investment managers and are supported by an executive committee, comprised of faculty and staff, who guide quarterly activities of the fund.

“Colleges that have initiated student-run investment funds allow students to manage a small portion of money as a way of helping students gain practical experience outside the classroom,” Moghimzadeh said. “Here at PVCC, students will learn about stocks and gain a more in-depth understanding of proper investment procedures.”

PVCC business major Nathanael Thomas, who is serving as the student fund manager for the initial launch, agrees.

“All of the country’s leading four-year universities—Harvard, James Madison, Georgetown, Notre Dame and others—have established student-run investment funds. It’s important for community colleges to do the same,” said Thomas. “Establishing this fund will allow us to not only generate positive financial returns for PVCC’s Educational Foundation, but help to create tomorrow’s community leaders.”

In addition to Thomas, several other students are involved in the 2016 launch. Co-founder Seungjae “Jake” Lee is serving as the treasurer and a junior sector manager; co-founder Marion Peeschla is serving as the logistics and sector manager; and co-founder Joshua Agres Ocean is serving as a technical analyst and sector manager. They are joined by fellow business and finance majors Nicholas Yellets, of Palmyra; Tanner Leary, of Troy; and Sean Tedford, of Charlottesville, all of whom are serving as junior sector managers for the new investment fund.

“The PVCC Student Investment Club has created a unique opportunity for learning,” said Kim McManus, vice president of finance and administrative services at PVCC. “I don’t know of many community colleges—and only a few four-year universities—that have this type of learning environment with the students investing actual money in real securities. PVCC is proud of the student initiative and their commitment to creating this opportunity for current and future students to achieve a deeper understanding and practical application of investment finance.”

To learn more about PVCC’s new student-run Higher Education Fund, visit, or call 434.961.5226.