Elon University / Today in Elon / Elon students present theses at an undergraduate research conference in New York


A group of senior economics students participated as presenters, commentators and session chairs at the Issues in Political Economy conference.

Eleven students from the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business presented their senior thesis research at the 29th annual Issues in Political Economy (IPE) Conference, held February 25-26 At New York.

Economics Majors Aniyah Adams ’22, Madison Duchesneau ’22, Bridget Foel ’22, Kara Friske ’22, Cole Haecker ’22, Isabella Hindley ’22, Morgan Kearns ’22, Kimheng Larch ’22, Maria Mendoza ’22, Liam O ‘Connor ’22 and Malia Takei ’22 also participated as session chairs and article commentators.

“Being able to attend the IPE conference was a great way to complete my economics education at Elon,” Duchesneau said. “I was able to combine everything I learned into a final presentation and have a valuable opportunity to receive constructive feedback from my peers and other mentors on future steps.”

The conference included a networking reception, allowing students and faculty to connect and build relationships.

“The IPE conference was a valuable addition to my final year not only preparing me for further work in my research, but also giving me the opportunity to interact more closely with my peers,” said Hindley. “Although I was in class with many of the Elon students who attended the conference, I rarely had the opportunity to talk with them about their post-graduate plans and interests. During the conference, I was able to learn so much more about my peers and build relationships that will last after I graduate.”

Isabella Hindley ’22 presents her work examining the effect of high school teacher expectations on student enrollment in post-secondary education.

IPE, the leading undergraduate research journal in economics, is co-published by Elon University and the University of Mary Washington. Steve DeLoach, Martha and Spencer Love Professor of Economics, advises the student-run publication, with Mendoza and Haecker as this year’s co-editors. Andrea Sheetz ’22 served as IPE 2022 Conference Director.

“Hosting the IPE conference broadened my idea of ​​what I thought was possible with my Elon economics background,” Sheetz said. “It was great to learn from my peers about the topics they chose to study and inspiring to see the many different directions in which we took our research opportunities in relation to our personal and professional interests.”

Thirty-two students from 11 colleges and universities across the country participated in the seven conference sessions: International Development, Crime and Deviant Behavior, Education, Macroeconomics and Finance, Environment and Health, Public Policy, and Labor, Gender and Education.

“I was blown away by the 32 students who got to know them, what motivated their research and what they do next,” Sheetz added. “We all know what our undergraduate research means to each other through our own projects and it was wonderful to have a weekend to celebrate these opportunities and accomplishments. »

The Elon papers presented at the conference:

  • “The success of soap making: How Ugandan refugees’ entrepreneurial training is impacting their outcomes in village savings and loan associations”
    Aniyah Adams (mentor: Martha and Spencer Love Professor Steve DeLoach)
  • “Measuring the effect of age at first birth on wages”
    Madison Duchesneau (mentor: Professor Casey Dirienzo)
  • “The gender gap in test scores and teacher grades in ECLS-K:2011: can non-cognitive skills explain?”
    Kara Friske (mentor: Associate Professor Katy Rouse)
  • “The predictive ability of cognitive and non-cognitive skills on fifth grade achievement”
    Bridget Foehl (mentor: Associate Professor Katy Rouse)
  • “Women’s Family Planning Accessibility and Its Impact on Income Generating Activities in South West Kenya: An Individual Level Analysis”
    Cole Haecker (mentor: Professor Casey DiRienzo)
  • “The Effect of Secondary School Teacher Expectations on Student Enrollment in Post-Secondary Education – A Gender Analysis”
    Isabella Hindley (mentor: Associate Professor Katy Rouse)
  • “Cumulative consequences of sexual violence: Age of first experience on human capital”
    Morgan Kearns (mentor: Professor Casey DiRienzo)
  • “Alcohol Use and Labor Market Outcomes”
    Kimheng Larch (mentor: Professor Mark Kurt)
  • “Impact of Abortion Clinic Closures on Deportations”
    Maria Mendoza (mentor: associate professor Steven Bednar)
  • “An analysis of the relationship between innovation in public libraries and social capital”
    Liam O’Connor (mentor: Martha and Spencer Love Professor Steve DeLoach)
  • “The relationship between the 2008 recession and birth rates in the United States”
    Malia Takei (mentor: Martha and Spencer Love Professor Steve DeLoach)

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