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

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). Fourteen percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2017 completed undergraduate research while at Elon.

2017 Theses:

“Tertiary Education and its Impact on Quality of Life: A Cross-Country Analysis”
Tom Bailly (mentor: Vitaliy Strohush)

“Exploring Millenials’ Social Media Usage and Green Consumption”
Stephanie Bedard (mentor: Carri Tolmie)

“The Impact of Mental Health on Wages”
Justin Bellinger (mentor: Steve DeLoach)

“An Analysis of Pennsylvania Charter Schools: Performance and Graduation Rates”
Steve Bendit (mentor: Vitaliy Strohush)

“Import Competition in South Africa: The Effect of the Chinese Manufacturing Shock on the South African Labor Market”
Andrew Brailey (mentor: Andrew Greenland)

“Determinants of Latin American Art Auction Prices”
Danielle M. Brown (mentor: Steve DeLoach)

“Examining the Impacts of Debt on First-Time Home Buyers”
Holly A. Brueggman (mentor: Jennifer Plantania)

“The Impact of Labor Unions on Economic Welfare:  An Analysis of Labor Unions and Economic Development in the United States from 1997-2014”
Jack Cove (mentor: Tonmoy Islam)

“Congestion Makes it Harder to Breathe: Do High-occupancy Toll Lanes Reduce Emissions?”
Ken Crew (mentor: Tonmoy Islam)

“NAFTA and the Real Wages of Hispanic Workers in the United States”
Patrick Dowd (mentor: Andrew Greenland)

“The Effects of States’ Expansion of Medicaid on Health Insurance Market Competition”
Seth Gatto (mentor: Steven Bednar)

Amanda Genova ’17 presents her thesis, “Pay Discrimination in the Workforce.”
“Pay Discrimination in the Workforce”
Amanda Genova (mentor: Tina Das)

“Successful Sports Franchise’s Effects on Their Economy”
Alec Goodman (mentor: Doug Redington)

“TOURNAMENT THEORY IN PROFESSIONAL ATHLETICS: An econometric analysis of the effects of salary structure on team success in American professional athletics”
Nick Groll (mentor: Doug Redington)

“Finding Fraud: Financial Ratio Analysis as a Fraud Detection Tool”
Jake Jimenez (mentor: Catherine Chiang)

“Healthcare Enrollment Trends: A Labor Market Outcome Analysis”
Connor Kilday (mentor: Tonmoy Islam)

“The Impact of Obesity on Job Performance:  An econometric analysis on obesity rates and job performance in the United States”
Paige Lorton (mentor: Tina Das)

“How Different Technology Affects The Cable Industry: A Study of Cable and its Relation to Netflix”
Ryan Lowe (mentor: Gregory Lilly)

“Does illicit drug use and prescription drug abuse during the adolescent years have a negative effect on future wages earned?”
Hadley Lucas (mentor: Casey DiRienzo)

“Relative Income and Self-Assessed Health”
Zachary Lyons (mentor: Steven Bednar)

“The Smoking Wage Gap: Smoking as a Cause vs. a Case of Self-Selection”
Jared Mactas (mentor: Greg Lilly)

“Entrepreneurial Regulation and Activity on the Growth Rates of Economic Productivity”
Demitri Marken (mentor: Jennifer Platania)

“An empirical analysis of student achievement: examining the effects of student financial aid programs and depression among undergraduate students”
Cameron McSorley (mentor: Vitaliy Strohush)

“The Relationship Between Income and the Hospitalization Rates for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions”
Justin Morin (mentor: Katy Rouse)

“Academic Achievement and Graduation Rates of Secondary Education”
Meagan Quigley (mentor: Casey DiRienzo)

“Wage Discrimination in Germany Between Turkish Immigrants and German Natives:  An Empirical Analysis of Labor Market Outcomes of Turkish Immigrants”
Catherine Ray (mentor: Steve DeLoach)

“The Factors that Influence the Wage Gap between Native and Non-native Workers in the United States’ Agriculture Sector”
Nicholas Rhyne (mentor: Brandon Sheridan)

“State Legislatures and their Impact on the Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for Households and Individuals”
Nicholas Suarez (mentor: Steven Bednar)

“Economic Sanctions and Their Effect on Trade:  An Empirical Analysis”
Corey Theiss (mentor: Tina Das)

“Effects of Adolescent Physical Activity on Future Obesity Outcomes”
Andrew Van Hoof (mentor: Katy Rouse)

“Exploring the Relationship Between Tourism Receipts and Terrorism Rates”
David Wallach (mentor: Casey DiRienzo)

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 2016-17 academic year, 26 Elon students served as referees and four were associate editors. In spring 2017, the journal sponsored 12 undergraduate sessions during the 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 seniors 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:

  • Collegiate Ethics Case Competition
  • Scotia Bank Ethics in Action Case Competition
  • McDonough-Hilltop Business Strategy Challenge
  • John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition
  • International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition
  • Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition
  • X-Culture Competition
  • CFA Institute Research Challenge
  • 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
  • International Collegiate Sales Competition
  • Diamond Dollars Case Competition
  • “2 Minutes to Win It” Business Idea Contest
  • Enactus Regional Competition
  • MIT Global Startup Workshop’s Elevator Pitch Competition
  • Society for Human Resource Management Student Case Competition
  • Charlotte Venture Challenge
  • Startup Weekend

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. Eighty-nine percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2017 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 established 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. Fifty-nine students earned a place on the honor roll during the 2016-17 academic year.

Global Engagement

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. Eighty-one percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2017 reported studying abroad or participating in Study USA 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 and Culture 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.

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 Shanghai

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. In four years, students earn one degree from Elon and one from a European partner institution. Twenty-nine students were enrolled in the program during the 2016-17 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-two percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2017 reported serving in a leadership position for a student organization while attending Elon.

During the 2016-17 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. Ninety-two percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2017 reported completing an internship for credit.

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 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.

Learning Communities

The Business Living Learning Community gives students the opportunity to live with like-minded business students and build strong relationships that will last throughout their life, both professionally and personally. Located near the Koury Business Center, the community is very accessible to the class hubs of business students.

Business Living Learning Community members interact with faculty, staff, alumni and students associated with the Love School of Business, participate in professional development activities, and enhance their learning through intentional connections between community programming, academic courses and co-curricular interactions with Elon faculty and staff.

The Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community and Innovation House provide residential spaces for students who share a desire to develop their entrepreneurial thinking. They foster a collaborative environment that encourages continual dialogue and idea sharing among students.