Senior economics students present research at conference

A group of Elon undergraduates participated in an educational and scholarly exchange on economic policy during the Eastern Economic Association’s annual conference.

Several Martha and Spencer Love School of Business students presented their senior thesis research at the Eastern Economic Association’s annual conference, held March 1-3 in New York.

Senior economics majors Judah Brown, Carson Fawzi, Michaela Fogarty, Kira Hughes, Camille Kelley, Luz Regina Mendoza, Hannah Quinlan and Katelyn Roache participated in the conference as undergraduate session chairs, presenters and paper discussants. Quinlan additionally served as the undergraduate conference director.

“Participating in the EEA Conference was the highlight of my Elon career,” Quinlan said when reflecting upon her experience. “Through both my involvement as the conference director and as a research presenter, I discovered a sense of self-confidence that I could’ve never imagined. From coordinating various moving parts of the conference schedule to the quantitative aspect of conducting research to communicating my results, I’ve gained a strong skillset that will be incredibly valuable in the future.”

The Elon papers presented were:

"The Impact of Political Protests on NFL Television Ratings"
Judah Brown I (mentor: Brandon Sheridan, assistant professor of economics)

“Recreational Dispensaries effect on Real Estate Values”
Carson Fawzi (mentor: Tonmoy Islam, assistant professor of economics)

“Contraception and Women's Decision-Making Power in Indonesia”
Michaela J. Fogarty (mentor: Steve DeLoach, professor of economics)

“The Gender Gap in STEM Fields: Female STEM Student Attrition”
Camille Marie Kelley (mentor: Katy Rouse, associate professor of economics)

“Impact of Village Savings and Loan Associations in South Sudanese Refugees and Ugandan Citizens in Northern Uganda”
Luz Regina Mendoza (mentor: Steve DeLoach, professor of economics)

“The Relationship Between Education, Experience, and Political Productivity”
Hannah Quinlan (mentor: Vitaliy Strohush, assistant professor of economics)

“Measuring the effects of microinsurance on the poor's ability to smooth consumption in Ghana”
Katelyn Roache (mentor: Steve DeLoach, professor of economics)

“Presenting was an extremely valuable experience as I could discuss my paper with other economists on how much impact research can have on the future of Microfinance,” Mendoza remarked. “I was also able to learn much about society and the economy by listening to various presentations and networked with students from all over the country through a common interest and passion.”

For Roache hearing other students' research was a highlight of her experience, as well as receiving feedback on her paper and networking with peers and faculty.

Fifty-three students from 22 colleges and universities throughout the country participated in the 11 undergraduate sessions. Participants came from institutions such as Smith College, Quinnipiac University, Saint Francis University, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, University of Mary Washington, Gettysburg College, Furman University, College of Wooster, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Indiana State University, Townson University, and Belmont University.

For the 26th consecutive year, the undergraduate sessions were sponsored by Issues in Political Economy (IPE), the leading undergraduate research journal in economics. The journal is co-edited by Elon University and the University of Mary Washington, and is indexed in Cabell’s Directory of Publishing Opportunities in Economics and Finance. Hughes and Roache serve as the 2019 editors with Professor Steve DeLoach as faculty advisor.

“Presenting my economics research at the Eastern Economic Association's conference was an incredibly rewarding experience, both professionally and personally, and one I’m grateful to have been given at such early point in my career,” Kelley said. “I gained experience completing an independent research project, effectively communicating my results to new audiences, responding to questions and constructive criticism about my work, and providing useful feedback to other students by serving as a discussant. I gained confidence in my quantitative abilities as an economist, in my time management skills and ability to meet tight deadlines, and in my public speaking and communication skills.”

Kelley’s advice for economics students: “If you’re looking to gain experience applying and sharing your knowledge in a real-world setting, go this conference.”

“The relationships formed with my peers and faculty made the conference one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had,” Quinlan added. “Juniors – If you are given the opportunity next year to go, don’t think twice. Go.”