High-Impact Practices

One of Elon University’s distinctions is its leadership in the area of “high-impact” educational practices. These high-impact practices are seen as particularly beneficial for the development of undergraduate students. Each year U.S. News & World Report issues a “Focus on Student Success” ranking of key programs that enrich the college experience. Elon is the only university in the nation identified as a leader in seven high-impact practices:

1. Study abroad
2. Internships
3. Senior capstone experiences
4. First-year experiences
5. Learning communities
6. Service learning
7. Undergraduate research/creative projects.

The faculty and staff of the Love School of Business are strongly committed to having students engage in these high-impact practices. Read on and you will see how we do this.

Undergraduate Research | Service Learning | Study Abroad | Leadership | Internships

Undergraduate Research

The research process involves solving ill-structured problems and employing critical thinking and communications skills. Working under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students engage in inquiry in their chosen field of study and complete an original thesis. Select students present their research in public forums such as Elon’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF). Eighteen percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2016 completed undergraduate research while at Elon.

2016 theses:

Patrick Michael Barnes, “NCLB & Adequate Yearly Progress: A New York State of Teacher Turnover” (mentor: Assistant Professor Katy Rouse)
Presented at SURF

Alex Battaglia, “How Does the Young Adult Mandate Affect Wages and the U.S. Labor Market for Younger Workers?” (mentor: Assistant Professor Katy Rouse)
Presented at SURF and the Eastern Economic Association Conference

Ameya Benegal, “The Effects of Armed Conflict on the Incidence Rates of Infectious Diseases” (mentor: Assistant Professor Steven Bednar)
Received Best Thesis Award from the Department of Economics
Presented at SURF, the Eastern Economic Association Conference and the Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference

Rudolph Biagi, “Does the Access to Health Insurance Through the Affordable Care Act Affect Labor Market Outcomes?” (mentor: Assistant Professor Steven Bednar)

Andrew Brazel, “The Varying Effects of Monetary Integration on the EU’s Core and Peripheral Business Cycles: An examination of GDP correlations across the Eurozone” (mentor: Assistant Professor Vitaliy Strohush)

William Burke, “An Examination Of Corporate Whistleblower Protection” (mentor: Professor Susan Anderson)
Presented at SURF

Alex Butler, “How Much Tourism Will Lead to Sustainable Growth in Cuba?” (mentor: Lincoln Financial Professor Tina Das)

Lena Caliari, “A Study Of The American Rap Music Market” (mentor: Associate Professor Barth Stempek)
Presented at SURF

James Chadwick, “Modern Mobile Gaming Monetization: The End of Gaming Consoles?” (mentor: Associate Professor Greg Lilly)

Edward Cooley, “Empirical Estimation of Bitcoin Prices: Integration of Market and Bitcoin Data” (mentor: Assistant Professor Vitaliy Strohush)

Cameron F. Douglass, “Economic and Environmental Benefits of Market Based Emissions Policies: Carbon Cap-and-Trade vs. Carbon Taxes” (mentor: Instructor Brooks Depro)

Logan Drew, “Minimum Wage Effects on Unemployment Rates Examined Using a Cross-State Data Set” (mentor: Associate Professor James Barbour)

Liam Dugan, “The Effect of Education and Wealth on Crime Rates:  An analysis of Crime Rates, Economic and Educational Indicators in 2012” (mentor: Associate Professor James Barbour)

Miriam Eltus, “The Effects Of Brand Personalization On Consumer Attitude and Choice” (mentor: Associate Professor Lawrence Garber)
Presented at SURF

Martin Enssle, “Asset-Based Style Risk Factors For Benchmarking Hedge Fund Performance” (mentor: Assistant Professor Kate Upton)
Presented at SURF

Michael Faircloth, “Recreational Boating” (mentor: Associate Professor Jen Platania)

Sandra Graf, “Are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV; Also Referred To As ‘Drones’) A Feasible Future Logistics Concept for Deliveries In Urban Areas?” (mentor: Assistant Professor Alisha Horky)
Presented at SURF

Olivia Grigg, “Effects Of Corporate Governance and National Culture on Earnings Management in Emerging Markets” (mentor: Assistant Professor Rosey Bao)
Presented at SURF

Benjamin Foshee, “Analyzing Health Care Expenditure through Heart Disease: What Drives Growing HCE?” (mentor: Assistant Professor Tonmoy Islam)

Atticus Grinder, “The Effects of Microfinance Activity on Government Corruption in Developing Nations” (mentor: Professor Casey DiRienzo)

Christopher Grippo, “The Effect of a State’s GDP on Eco-certified Buildings: An Analysis of the Kuznets Curve” (mentor: Associate Professor Doug Redington)

Michael Keenan, “Microfinance, Disasters, and their Impact on Business Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia” (mentor: Professor Steve DeLoach)
Received Best Thesis Award from the Department of Economics
Presented at SURF and the Eastern Economic Association Conference

Willie Kenyon, "Effects of European Colonization on Former Colonies Growth Rate" (mentor: Assistant Professor Steven Bednar)

Sarah Krulewitz, “The Effect of Renewable Energy Generation on Residential Electricity Prices” (mentor: Instructor Brooks Depro)

Erin Lanzotti, “The Cultural Influence on Purchase Intent Through Facebook In The Middle East” (mentor: Assistant Professor Haya Ajjan)
Presented at SURF

Samantha Lutz, “The Effect of Microfinance Loans on Domestic Violence in Bangladesh” (mentor: Assistant Professor Andrew Greenland)
Presented at SURF

Danae Macleod, “Formal Savings And Child Labor In Indonesia” (mentor: Professor Steve DeLoach)
Presented at SURF and the Eastern Economics Association Conference

Bernardo Missura, “Oil Prices & Corruption: Do Lower Oil Prices Increase Corruption in Oil Exporter Countries?” (mentor: Assistant Professor Vitaliy Strohush)

Kaitlyn Mulder, “Volatility Effects and the Energy Market: A study of crude oil and natural gas price volatility” (mentor: Assistant Professor Andrew Greenland)

Laura Orr, “Bridging The Gap: Obstacles And Opportunities For Knowledge Transfer In Evidence-Based Management” (mentor: Assistant Professor Sean McMahon)
Presented at SURF

Krissy Parrett, “How do unemployment rates impact household carbon emissions?” (mentor: Associate Professor Jennifer Platania)

Jaqueline Peifer, “An Analysis of College Rankings on Earnings for Top 50 Ranked Institutions” (mentor: Assistant Professor Tonmoy Islam)

Carolyn Powell, “Saving for Retirement: A Behavioral Economic Approach” (mentor: Associate Professor Greg Lilly)
Presented at SURF and Eastern Economic Association Conference

Flo Ravaud, “The Validity Of Practitioner’s Rules Of Thumb For Visual Merchandising: Optimization Of The Shelf Facings Of Retail Stores Using A/B Testing” (mentor: Associate Professor Lawrence Garber)
Presented at SURF

Jeremy Revelise, “Job Mobility and Wage Progression Among TANF Recipients” (mentor: Assistant Professor Tonmoy Islam)
Presented at SURF

Rebecca Sansale, “The Predictive Power of Personality on Productivity: Evidence From American Millennials” (mentor: Professor Steve DeLoach)
Presented at SURF and the Eastern Economic Association Conference

Justin Schweitzer, “Crowdfunding Viability in Low-Income Nations: An Experimental Study” (mentor: Associate Professor Greg Lilly)
Presented at SURF and the Eastern Economic Association Conference

Chris Shannon, “The Impact Of Oil Price Volatility On Investment In Alternative Energy” (mentor: Assistant Professor Chris Harris)
Presented at SURF

Derek Sims, “Foreign Aid” (mentor: Lincoln Financial Professor Tina Das)

Stephen Taliadoros, “American Urbanization and Local Ozone Levels: A Cross Sectional Analysis” (mentor: Associate Professor Doug Redington)

John Taylor, “The Effects of Democratic Policy on Economic Development: An Analysis of Countries within the Caribbean Region from 1960 to 2014” (mentor: Lincoln Financial Professor Tina Das)

Stephanie G. Tizik, “Prison Overcrowding and Recidivism” (mentor: Assistant Professor Andrew Greenlaw)
Presented at SURF

Matthew VanDerveer, “Exploring Differences in the Effect of Divorce on Individual Health Insurance Coverage by Gender and Within-Gender Demographics” (mentor: Assistant Professor Katy Rouse)

Allison Weiler, “Family Firms, Corporate Governance, And Firm Performance” (mentor: Assistant Professor Yilun Shi)
Presented at SURF

Issues in Political Economy Undergraduate Research Journal

The Department of Economics supports the undergraduate research journal Issues in Political Economy, which is co-edited by students at Elon and the University of Mary Washington. During the 2015-16 academic year, 33 Elon students served as referees and five were associate editors. In spring 2016, the journal sponsored 10 undergraduate sessions during the 2016 Eastern Economic Association annual conference. Seven Elon seniors presented their theses during the conference.

Love Award for Excellence in Business Leadership

The Love School of Business offers the Love Award for Excellence in Business Leadership to rising juniors enrolled in any Love School of Business major. The award honors and provides financial support to complete an independent research project on a business-related topic. The typical project involves an in-depth independent research project that might include an internship, service-learning, leadership or study abroad experience. A project may address a business question for a particular organization or can be broader in scope, addressing an issue that cuts across organizations or industries. Projects will establish standards of creativity and excellence that will inspire others, have clearly defined objectives and tangible results, and will culminate in a written document and public presentation to the faculty and students of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and other appropriate parties. 

Case Competitions

Case study is a staple of engaged management education. In addition to exposing students to real-world scenarios, it engages them in undergraduate research: gathering information, analyzing that information, developing a recommendation, and communicating that recommendation persuasively. Unique to case studies, however, is the purpose to which the research, analysis and communication are put: to solve a complex business problem or to provide advice to a firm as it looks into new opportunities.

Case studies have also become the basis for case competitions hosted by business schools and firms throughout the world. Love School of Business students participate in a variety of case competitions: business ethics, strategy or market opportunity analysis, as well as competitions within specific disciplines such as accounting, economics or finance.

Students prepare for case competitions by taking specialized courses, independent studies or through membership in student organizations.

Over the years, Love School of Business case competition teams have participated in such competitions as:

  • Eller Ethics Case Competition
  • Ethics in Action Case Competition
  • McDonough-Hilltop Business Strategic Challenge
  • John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition
  • International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition
  • 3M Invent a New Future Challenge
  • X-Culture Symposium Business Competition
  • Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education
  • CFA Institute Research Challenge
  • National Investment Banking Competition
  • Beta Alpha Psi's Southeast Regional Conference Best Practices Competition
  • Beta Alpha Psi's Project Run Withit
  • Institute of Management Accountants Student Case Competition
  • College Fed Challenge
  • Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up
  • National Collegiate Sales Competition
  • BSU Regional Sales Competition
  • Russ Berrie Institute National Sales Challenge
  • World Collegiate Sales Open
  • Diamond Dollars Case Competition (SABR)
  • "2 Minutes to Win It" Business Idea Contest
  • Enactus Regional Competition
  • MIT Global Startup Workshop's Elevator Pitch Competition
  • Pacific Venture Capitalist Conference
  • Society for Human Resource Management Student Case Competition
  • Southeast Regional Business Ethics Case Competition
  • Charlotte Venture Challenge


Service Learning

Performing service provides students the chance to meet a social need while developing skills they would not gain through formal teaching alone. Service is performed through service-learning courses, student organizations, university programs, on-campus events and community partners. Examples of Elon programs students participate in are The Village Project, Safe Rides, ElonTHON and Relay for Life. Ninety-one percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2016 reported completing at least one service experience while at Elon.

Service-learning Courses

Service-learning courses include service components that are relevant to course objectives. Examples of such courses taught by Love School of Business faculty include Marketing Research, Business Communications and Economics of Poverty.

Honor Roll for Social Responsibility

The Love School of Business created the Honor Roll for Social Responsibility to recognize and motivate student volunteerism and community service. The program aims to create responsible business professionals who understand how business success is linked to both financial and social responsible performance. Eighty-six students earned a place on the honor roll during the 2015-16 academic year.


Study Abroad

Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to expand their global perspective and broaden their cross-cultural awareness, better preparing them for a global business environment. Seventy-four percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2016 reported studying abroad at least once during their college career.

Winter Term Study Abroad Courses

The Love School of Business, in conjunction with the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center, offers the following undergraduate Winter Term study abroad courses: Business and Culture of Vietnam, Business in the Pacific Rim, and EUROMED.

Semester-long Programs

Examples of programs Elon students participate in:

  • ESDES Business School – Lyon, France (direct exchange)
  • Business & Culture program – Barcelona, Spain in partnership with CIEE
  • Nanyang Technological University – Singapore (direct exchange)
  • Dublin Business School – Dublin, Ireland in partnership with FIE
  • University of Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa in partnership with CIEE
  • Elon Center in London
  • Universidad San Francisco de Quito – Quito, Ecuador in partnership with the NC Consortium

Elon MBA Global Experience

MBA students who participate in Elon MBA study abroad can choose between two experiences that are offered each year - a January trip to Asia and a June trip to Europe. The experience focuses on the nature of doing business abroad.  This may be projects that research and analyze factors involved in establishing an international operation or, alternately, on the characteristics of local firms in the country visited. Most students who chose the study abroad experience enroll in MBA 581 International Business.

The study abroad experiences have proven to be one of the most attractive elements of the MBA program, with over fifty percent of enrolled students participating during their course of study. The most consistent remark from those students who participate is, “I had no idea what business was actually like in China (or Milan, Prague, Hong Kong, or other destinations) until I actually got to see it with my own eyes. Magazine or newspaper articles cannot being to make so clear the actual feel and excitement of business in places such as Saigon or Shanghai.” Elon is one of the very few part-time MBA programs that offer such an experience.

LSB Center Abroad in China

In fall 2015, the Love School of Business Center Abroad opened in Shanghai, China. The center offers business students a semester-long study abroad opportunity to take Love School of Business core courses and business electives, as well as complete an internship in Shanghai.

Business Dual-degree Program

The Love School of Business offers a business dual-degree program through partnerships with ESB Business School in Reutlingen, Germany, NEOMA Business School in Reims, France, Universidad Pontificia Comillas-ICADE in Madrid, Spain, and Universitá Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza, Italy, to offer dual-degree programs. In four years, students earn one degree from Elon and one from a partner institution. Thirty-one students were enrolled in the program during the 2015-16 academic year.



Through Love School of Business courses, students develop important leadership skills, such as oral and written communications, decision-making, persuasion, team building, innovation and motivation. Students further develop and practice their leadership skills through co-curricular activities, including case competitions, consulting projects and student organizations. Fourty-seven percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2016 reported serving in a leadership position for a student organization while attending Elon.

During the 2015-16 academic year, business students held more than 800 leadership positions. Examples of leadership positions include Safe Rides Captains, Lambda Chi Alpha Alumni Relations Officer, Men’s Club Basketball Business Manager, Asian Studies Vice President, Habitat for Humanity Fundraising Chair, Student Union Board Programming Chair, Elon’s Finest Public Relations Representative, Phoenix Pal Program Secretary, Elon Irish Dance Club Treasurer, Alpha Kappa Psi Ritual Chair, Sigma Kappa PHC Delegate and Campus Recreation Team Leader.



Students who are pursuing degrees in one of the majors in the Love School of Business, with the exception of economics and international economics, must complete the BUS 381 Internship in Business course as a graduation requirement and work in an approved internship experience as a co-requisite.

What sets the “academic internship” apart from an independent work experience are:

  • The formal partnership for success that includes the academic instructor, work supervisor and student
  • Objective guidance and support to the student during the experience
  • Reflective journaling and feedback to facilitate the learning process
  • Midterm checkups that include a discussion of how this experience has influenced the student’s career direction; it may also include a site visit by a university representative
  • Creation of a digital presentation that is representative of the culmination of the student’s experiences

The Porter Family Professional Development Center, which was established by a gift from Elon trustee Dave Porter P’11 and his family, provides support and resources to assist students in preparing for and acquiring internships. Ninety-six percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2016 reported completing an internship for academic credit. Students have interned for employers, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, State Street, Credit Suisse, Booz Allen Hamilton, Morgan Stanley, Coca-Cola, UBS, Prada and BlackRock.