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President's Awards

olivia-anderson.pngOlivia Anderson

hanna-2.pngHannah Beazoglou

Olivia Anderson ’21

“Understanding the impact of partisanship on climate change opinion from 1973-2016”

My interests have culminated in my undergraduate research, in which I dissected the relationship between public opinion and climate change. The completion of my thesis was my most rewarding undergraduate experience because it represented my commitment to learning how to solve difficult contemporary issues.

While designing my project, I struggled to synthesize my interests in both policy and the environment. I wanted my work to demonstrate that I am dedicated to incorporating an understanding of scientific concepts in a policy context. In essence, I was determined that my thesis be representative of my dual interests. My thesis work challenged me to not only question, refine and deepen my knowledge of the environmental catastrophe that is climate change, but also consider the manner in which this issue is politicized. As I conducted my analyses, it energized me and sparked my desire to contribute to further research in the field of climate science.

It was gratifying to see the relevance of my work when I ran my time series analysis and confirmed my hypotheses about the relationship between elite cues and public opinion. Through my research, I came to definitive conclusions about why environmental policy is hindered by political polarization. This creates avenues for future research that could enhance understanding of variability in public opinion on climate change and inform the strategies of policymakers who seek to bridge partisan perspectives on climate policy.

The completion of my thesis represented a tremendous growth in my skills as I completed an extensive research study on one of the most significant issues of our time — climate change. My work allowed me to display my quantitative reasoning skills through conducting rigorous analyses and implementing visual figures. My qualitative research skills expanded greatly as I compiled and analyzed over 600 newspaper articles. Through my research, I came to definitive conclusions about why environmental policy is hindered due to polarization, which creates avenues for future policy analysis research that could enhance understanding of variability in public opinion. I am confident that I will be able to apply the qualitative and quantitative research skills I gained through the duration of my thesis, in my future graduate studies.

Courtney Broscious, Associate Professor of Political Science

“Olivia’s work on the politics of support for environmental policy is important, timely, and the result of years of developing a research agenda at Eastern. Olivia is a political science major and environmental earth science minor who has dedicated her academic coursework and co-curricular activities to issues of environmental policy reform. She embarked on this project to understand the limitations of political scientists’ approach to the discussion of political polarization and its role in determining public support for environmental policy.

“This work not only adds to the political science literature but also has practical implications for policy advocates. Her work can inform the strategies of interest groups seeking to promote policy change through public opinion campaigns to protect the environment.

“Olivia’s hard work has paid off since her work was accepted into the very competitive Posters on the Hill conference this April. She was also accepted into a Master Program in Climate and Society at Columbia University. As part of her participation in Posters on the Hill, Olivia will present her work to representatives and senators. She will also meet with U.S. senators and representatives from Connecticut to promote congressional support of undergraduate research. Not only does this reflect Olivia’s quality and importance of work, but also draws significant attention to our University.”

Hannah Beazoglou ’21

“An Analysis of Length of Stay and Readmissions of AMI Patients: A Nationwide Analysis Using Statistical Process Control” 

“During my final three semesters at Eastern, I worked collaboratively with my mentor Dr. Pakdil to complete my Honors Thesis. My topic was largely inspired by my experience and interest in the health care industry. I have interned at Aetna, a CVS Health company, every summer since my freshman year. After completing my Honors Thesis, Dr. Pakdil shared with me opportunities to present the work. I was selected to present at the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Conference (NEURSCA). I am also scheduled to present at the Northeast Decision Sciences Institute (NEDSI) 50th Annual Conference along with the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) this spring. Now, I am working with Dr. Pakdil to go through the peer-review process and publish my Honors Thesis in a scholarly journal. Although daunting and challenging, my Honors Thesis was the most rewarding and empowering endeavor of my undergraduate career. 

“I have accepted a full-time position with CVS Health in the General Management Development Program (GMDP) upon graduation. The GMDP, sponsored by CVS Health President and CEO Karen Lynch, is a 4.5-year program that consists of three 18-month rotations across key business areas. The program encourages a well-rounded experience, exposure to the business, as well as a unique opportunity for accelerated development of the general management skillset and leadership qualities. The program helps position participants to be the next generation of leadership at CVS Health. In addition, I plan to purse a master’s degree while working full time.” 

Fatma Pakdil, Professor of Management and Marketing

“Hannah’s outstanding performance was equivalent to graduate students’ studies in her Honor’s Thesis. As mentioned in her thesis, there has been a significant demand for improving the quality of care while simultaneously reducing costs and inefficiency in the U.S. health care system. Hospitals, in particular, have been a target for change since approximately 45 percent of the health care budget is spent by hospitals. Hospitals must find and apply strategies that reduce costs without the loss of quality. In this context, Hannah’s thesis focused on how to implement statistical process control (SPC) in the analysis of length of stay (LOS) and 30-day readmission rates of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) patients to discover whether SPC is capable of detecting abnormalities on LOS and 30-day readmissions on time.”