2020-21 Student Co-Directors
Ashley Deng is a sophomore, neurobiology and physiology major. Deng is especially interested in studying the intersection between public health, business, and medicine.
Jackson Devadas is a senior, neurobiology and physiology major with a statistics minor. Devadas is interested in mental health treatment, health outcomes within marginalized communities, and overall psychiatric epidemiology.
Joey Ward is a junior, international business and operations management & business analytics double major with a Spanish minor. Ward enjoys pursuing research on the topics of philanthropy efforts, income inequality, and efficient government expenditure.
William Ahn is a freshman, finance major and is a College Park Scholars in the public leadership program. Ahn is interested in studying the intersection between public policy, business, and social impact.
"My area of research is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the American education system especially for BIPOC and low-income students. I will be examining the extent of the widening achievement gap for these students, and I hope to analyze the inequities in our education system that have exacerbated the current situation."
Brandon Budoo is a sophomore finance major at the Smith School. Budoo is interested in exploring the impact of new financial technology and the outlook of traditional financial institution performance in the future.
"In my research, I hope to look at how will the rise of financial technology might disrupt traditional financial institutions in the future, as well as how the rise of FinTech start-ups may impact retail bank performance. Specifically, I'm interested in how the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrency will affect banking traditions, and what level of regulation will be needed to ensure proper ethics."
Alexandra Graninger is a senior psychology major, hoping to be accepted into a neuroscience PhD program for next fall! Graninger is mainly interested in affective neuroscience, specifically the neural circuitry of emotions and the relationship between neurodegenerative disorders (like Alzheimer's Disease) and emotions.
"The main goal of my research is to identify possible early risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease in college students, in contrast to prior studies which often focus on examining risk factors in older adults. I will be examining memory differences between college students with a family history of Alzheimer's disease and students without a family history of Alzheimer's disease. I hope any findings that come out of this research can provide additional information and strategies to help those that may be at risk for developing this disorder."
Amara Kamal is a senior pursuing a double major in operations management & business analytics and information systems. Kamal is interested in a broad range of topics including behavioral economics, choice architecture, diversity and inclusion, and social networking technologies.
"In my research, I will examine how nudge theory can be used to create more equitable and inclusive hiring practices in tech-oriented career fields. For this study, I will investigate how choice architecture is already impacting diversity and inclusion in the hiring process. I will do a comparative analysis of different firms' hiring practices and career websites to understand their default biases and how nudge theory can be used to reduce these. Through this research, I hope to illuminate aspects of the hiring process which organizations can improve in their approach to hire and retain more minority candidates."
Coby Kranz is a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is enrolled in the undergraduate program of the Robert H. Smith School of Business and is majoring in business management. Kranz is the founder of a new club at the university, the Short Term Finance Club, which will officially begin in the Spring 2021 semester and will feature speakers from a number of local and national companies. Before entering college, Kranz started his own tennis lesson and eBay businesses and also interned for a talent management company in New York City. He also participated in a gap-year travel study program which included travel to India, Bulgaria, Israel and Greece.
"Will Covid-19 cause the death of the movie theater industry? Will the rise of streaming services present the next way for releasing films? How will the entertainment industry adapt to changing times?"
Rohit Krishnagopal is a junior and mathematics and economics, double major. Krishnagopal's areas of interest are in asset pricing, corporate finance, market microstructure, market design, and industrial organization.
"In my research, I will be analyzing the impact of IPOs on financial markets using market microstructure models. Specifically, I am looking into studying underpricing, contagion, information asymmetry, and signaling. Ultimately, I hope that my research will provide further insight into how markets react and respond to IPOs."
Bradley R. Mascarenhas
Bradley Mascarenhas is a senior at the Robert H. Smith School of Business pursuing a double major in finance and information systems with a minor in real estate development. Mascarenhas is also in the Plus One program for a MS in information systems to further his understanding of the intersectional role between IT and business.
"Knowledge combined with curiosity and creativity can become very powerful to change or understand the world we live in. This year for me has been about applying different frameworks of thought and imagination to understand or solve problems. I am currently working on a socially-impactful technology venture and this research will be my off-hours exploration of how the beneficial manipulation of existing tax codes by organizations and individuals impact the economy on a macroeconomic level."
Tima Mikdashi is a senior bioengineering student minoring in technology entrepreneurship. She is a member of the Honors College Entrepreneurship and Innovation program and of the Global Fellows program. Mikdashi is interested in the intersection of global health and technology, particularly in understanding how technology can be leveraged to detect, prevent, and help tackle infectious disease outbreaks.
"In my research, I will comparatively analyze different mobile contact tracing applications deployed in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. For each of these applications, my research will evaluate their effectiveness in detecting and reporting exposed and potentially infected individuals, their efficiency in facilitating local coordination and communication, and their capacity to protect individual privacy."
Razan Mikdashi is a sophomore, marketing major, additionally pursuing the pre-medical track. She is involved in multiple on-campus programs that foster cross-disciplinary collaboration. Mikdashi is interested in the intersection of business and medicine, particularly in the impact disruptive businesses have on patient lives.
"In my research, I will analyze the entrance of non-health business' in the health care industry. I want to examine patient outcomes following both the implementation of accessible yet non-traditional health care programs and the creation of marketable apps and devices promoting a healthier lifestyle."
Omolola Ojaomo is a junior majoring in accounting and information systems at the Smith School. She is interested in the intersection of media, entertainment and new technologies. Currently, she works as a resident assistant on campus, and as a student coordinator for the honor ambassadors organization in the Honors College.
"My research will focus on how the music, media and entertainment industries have leveraged technology over the last few decades, such as through TV and music streaming, and the impact these new technologies have had on the average consumer. Specifically, I would like to study whether new media technology can change consumer preferences and habits among various populations. Lastly, I will research subsequent trends in media and technology to learn its expected impact on consumers in the future."
Kristen Villaverde is a sophomore, double majoring in finance and information systems and minoring in law & society. Villaverde is interested in topics that pertain to economic patterns, stock market trends, and overall index performances.
"My research pertains to the factors that played into the economic crashes of 2008 and 2020. I hope to find comparisons within the stock market from both years through different technical indicators and analyses that could have predicted the crash before it happened. By the end of my research, I hope to establish patterns that entailed the crash on a technical and societal base."