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Students Present at NCUR in North Carolina

Published on April 15, 2016

Students Present at NCUR in North Carolina

The National Conference for Undergraduate Research in Asheville, NC, at the University of North Carolina-Asheville on April 7-9. The conference was established in 1987 and is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all field of study. The Eastern students were selected for 15 available slots from more than 4,000 submissions.

Students conducted multiple semester’s worth of rigorous research. “What issues didn’t I run into? Since no data existed that would be useful for me to do this research, I had to create my own survey and send it to faculty at colleges and universities in New England,” said Gabby Wrobel, a senior, majoring in economics and sociology. Wrobel did her research on the issues that face women regarding their access to paid leave and other benefits. The project is titled “The Effects of Paid Family Leave on the Wages of Female Faculty in New England.”

Sabreena Croteau, a senior majoring in political science and history

presented her project on “Influence and Interference: U.S. Foreign Policy towards Saudi Arabia 1956-1971.” Croteau credited her love for Middle Eastern history and foreign policy to the Arab-Israeli conflict course she took as a freshman. “My problem wasn’t so much in the ability to access resources, because Eastern’s resources allowed me to research extensively. My problem had to do with the sheer amount of sources I had to look through and read to extract the most important information and piece together an argument,” said Croteau regarding her research process. She also presented at the Celebrating Research Excellence and Artistic Talent conference at Eastern, and will present at the Posters on the Hill conference in Washington, DC, on April 19, which has a 10 percent acceptance rate.

Ian Peters, a senior majoring in economics, did his research on interstate corporate tax competition. The study is titled “It’s All Very Taxing: Interstate Tax Competition and the Balanced Budget.” Peters searched for data from the Council of State Governments and the Connecticut State Library. “The librarians suggested I contact other states to see if they had a similar tabulation of tax rates, and after emailing six different states, Washington State had exactly what I needed—each state’s corporate tax rate going back to 1980,” said Peters.

“I have $40 in library fines, so there’s that,” said Mackenzie Williams a senior who is majoring in visual arts and business information systems. Williams’s project was titled “Dynamic Continuity: The Power of Adaptability in the Graphic Design Industry.” Her costly research in the library was due to trying to find an industry standard definition for her project.

“One of the hardest things I discovered with my topic is that graphic

design, because it’s such a young industry, is relatively undefined. A lot of researchers have tried to define it and nobody can really agree,” said Williams. She’s hoping to have two essays, including this one, published by the time she graduates from Eastern.

Erin Drouin, a senior majoring in political science, presented her project titled “From Tradition to Twitter: An Analysis of Traditional Media and Social Media Coverage of Sexual Assault on College Campuses.” Drouin chose her topic because she wanted to touch upon politics, media and feminism. “When I began my data collection I realized that I would need more money for my thesis than I initially perceived in order to collect the amount of tweets needed to complete my thesis. Fortunately, the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Eastern Chapter of the AAUP were gracious enough to contribute funds for my research,” said Drouin.

Professor Carlos Escoto, the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Coordinator at Eastern, chaperoned students on the NCUR trip. “It was good. All the student’s presentations were great and they sat in on each other’s presentations. The trip had a great sense of comradery,” said Escoto.

Written by La Penna