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Elon senior wins top prize at Duke Undergraduate Research Symposium

Elon University senior economics major Kaylyn Swankoski was awarded the 2011 Allen Starling Johnson Jr. Outstanding Symposium Presentation Prize for the April 29 presentation of her senior thesis at the Duke Economics Department 9th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Kaylyn Swankoski

Swankoski was one of 12 students selected to present her work at the annual symposium. Selection to the symposium was determined through a formal process, where papers were reviewed by both Duke University's economics faculty and students.

The prize is awarded to the top research presentation at the symposium and comes with a $500 cash gift. According to her acceptance email, selection to this conference "was a very competitive process."

In her thesis, "The Influence of School on Childhood Weight Gain," Swankoski uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-1998 Kindergarten Cohort and advanced econometric techniques to examine the relative impacts of time spent in school and out-of-school on BMI growth. Her findings suggest that BMI growth is greater when children are in school than when they are on summer break. This finding is encouraging given current debate about the nutritional value of school lunches.

Swankoski worked under the guidance of Katy Rouse, assistant professor of economics at Elon. Swankoski previously presented her paper at the Eastern Economics Association annual conference in New York, N.Y., on Feb. 26 and at Elon’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum on April 27.


Katy Rouse,
5/26/2011 11:28 AM