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) and Eastern Economic Association annual conference. Fourteen percent of Love School of Business majors in the Class of 2017 completed undergraduate research while at Elon.

2018 Theses

The Rise of Incarceration in the U.S.: The Burden of Crime on Society
Evan Becht (mentor: Brandon Sheridan)

Federal Reserve Transparency and its Effect on the Financial Markets in the United States
Nicholas Berntsen (mentor: Vitality Strohush)

Do Student Loans Affect the Decision to Have Children?
Claire Donnellan (mentor: Vitality Strohush)

The Effects of Universal and Free Healthcare on Entrepreneurial Environments: An international analysis
Jonathan Eves (mentor: Tina Das)

Are Prisons the New Asylums? A Look at Transinstitutionalization and the Effects of Mental Illness on Crime within New York State
Amanda Feldman (mentor: Steve Bednar)

Impact of Presidential Elections on Gun Sales
Matthew Furlong (mentor: Brooks Depro)

The Impact that Playing Sports in High School has on Future Earnings
Julie Gibbons (mentor: Katy Rouse)

The Effect of NAFTA on U.S. Manufacturing Employment
Parker Holbrook (mentor: Casey Dirienzo)

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: The Effect of Child Body Weight on Academic Achievement
Brooke Hunziker (mentor: Katy Rouse)

The Effects of Corporate Taxes on Economic Growth: A U.S. State Empirical Study
Nicholas Kyle (mentor: Brooks Depro)

The Impact of Table Position on English Soccer Spending in January
Bennett Lemanski (mentor: Doug Redington)

Changes in high school start times and teen traffic crashes
Stephan Marsh (mentor: Andrew Greenland)

Exploring the Effect of International Wage Differences on Brain Drain
Austin Martin (mentor: Brandon Sheridan)

The Impact of the Severity of Worldwide Natural Disasters on U.S. Immigration
Marianne Michael (mentor: Vitaliy Strohush)

The Effect of the Estate Tax on the Distribution of Wealth and Income Across States
Calvin Mincer (mentor: Steve Bednar)

Studying what economic factors affect college attendance rates in North Carolina
Andrew Murray (mentor: Tonmoy Islam)

Social Inclusion and Innovation in a Digital World
Caroline Perry (mentor: Haya Ajjan)

Bilingualism and earnings
Adrian Pomeroy (mentor: Tonmoy Islam)

The Relationship Between Income Inequality and Life Expectancy
Christian Reese (mentor: Mark Kurt)

Health and Economic Growth in Developing Countries: An Analysis of Infant Mortality Rates in OECD-Classified Least Developed Countries in 2014-15
Megan Ross (mentor: Tonmoy Islam)

Assessing the Impact of U.S. International Sugar Trade Policy on America’s Drug Epidemic: Evidence from U.S. Counties
James Setzer (mentor: Andrew Greenland)

The Unlikely Determinants of Player Salaries in Premier League Soccer
Patrick Silk (mentor: Doug Redington)

Corporate Tax Rates and Gross Fixed Capital Formation
Adam Wanstall (mentor: Brandon Sheridan)

Migration and Educational Outcomes
Sean Webber (mentor: Brooks Depro)

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 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