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), Eastern Economic Association annual conference and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Ten percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2021 completed undergraduate research while at Elon.

2021 Theses

The following students presented their undergraduate research projects at Elon’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum:

“Why Does Cyberloafing Help You and Hurt Me? An Investigation into the Role of Personality on Cyberloafing and Stress”
Sophie Blumenfled ’23 (mentor: Assistant Professor of Management Brittany Mercado)

“Exploring the Relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance in the Oil & Gas Industry”
Jannik Elmer ’21 (mentor: Assistant Professor of Management Scott Hayward)

“An Analysis on the Relationship between Teenage Participation in Sports and Income”
Kyle Fränkel ’21 (mentor: Associate Professor of Economics Katy Rouse)

“Exploring Small Business Use of Cross-Promotion of Social Media Across Communities in Alamance County”
Grace Granger ’22, Ben House ’23 and Nia Griffin ’23 and (mentor: Doherty Emerging Professor Elena Kennedy)

“Moderating Role of CSR Initiatives and Team Net Worth on Consumer Authenticity Perceptions of Professional Sports League”
Kylee Hebert ’22 (mentor: Assistant Professor of Marketing Prachi Gala)

“The Economic Impact of Allowing Refugees the Right to Work”
Graham Hutchinson ’21 (mentor: Assistant Professor of Economics Brandon Sheridan)

“Corporate Social Responsibility and Trade Credit Policy”
Andrew Jackson ’21 (mentor: Associate Professor of Finance Chris Harris)

“Federal Reserve Announcement Shocks on United States Equities Markets, as Reflected in Volatility”
Avery Keller ’21 (mentor: Assistant Professor Brandon Sheridan)

“Investigating the African Gender Education Gap”
Kelley McCarten ’21 (mentor: Lincoln Financial Professor Tina Das)

“The Economic Impact of Critical Habitat Designations on Indigenous Communities”
Caroline McGimsey ’21 (mentor: Assistant Professor of Economics Andrew Greenland)

“Impact of Childhood Parasitic Infection on Future Wages in Indonesia”
John McGinley ’21 (mentor: Assistant Professor of Economics Tonmoy Islam)

“Investigating the Impact of Investor Attention on Volatility and Volume of Cryptocurrencies and Stablecoins”
Matthew Mitten ’21 (mentor: Associate Professor of Finance Chris Harris)

“Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Spiritual Intelligence”
Meghan Murray ’21 (mentor: Associate Professor of International Business Carri Reisdorf)

“The Impact of Technology Use on Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills of Elementary School Students”
Marybeth Nemecek ’21 (mentor: Associate Professor of Economics Katy Rouse)

“An Investigation into the Role of Age and Performance on Perceptions of Pay Disparity
Marlo Neske ’21 (mentor: Assistant Professor of Management Brittany Mercado)

“Is Having a Child Damaging to a Woman’s Earning Potential in the Labor Market?”
Alexa Rasmussen ’21 (mentor: Martha and Spencer Love Professor Steve DeLoach)

“The Gender Effect of a Nation’s Leader on Environmental Performance”
Morgan Rafferty ’21 (mentor: Professor of Economics Casey DiRienzo)

“The Effect of Stories Told by Celebrity versus Regular Person Endorsers on Consumer Perception of Luxury Goods”
Alexander Wellendorff ’21 (mentor: Associate Professor of Marketing Lawrence Garber)

“Predicting Power: The Impact of Economic Growth on Geopolitical Influence”
Maxwell Zucker ’21 (mentor: Associate Professor of Economics Mark Kurt)

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. Elon students serve as referees and associate editors. Each year the journal sponsored undergraduate sessions during the Eastern Economic Association annual conference. Kyle Fränkel ’21, Graham Hutchinson ’21, Caroline McGimsey ’21, John McGinley ’21, Marybeth Nemecek ’21, Alexa Rasmussen ’21 and Maxwell Zucker ’21 participated in the 2021 Eastern Economic Association conference as session chairs, presenters and paper discussants.

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 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
  • AMA Triangle Marketing Jam