Healthcare digitization. Radical organizational change. Mutual fund governance. These are just a few of the research topics that will give undergraduates a taste of the nitty-gritty details involved in a research career. The Smith Research Fellows track, now in its second full year, allows 27 juniors and seniors to assist Smith faculty and graduate students on a variety of research projects. The program has been enthusiastically embraced by students and faculty alike.
“The Smith School values research and provides students with countless opportunities to participate in it,” says junior Corey Martin. “We are able to apply what we learn in the classroom to real world situations right here at Smith.”
Martin, with Smith PhD candidate Vandana Ramachandran and assistant professor of information systems Siva Viswanathan, is studying the online behavior of the Top 500 e-commerce Web sites and analyzing what makes them successful with consumers. The study looks at firms’ retail and advertising strategies on the Internet and consumers’ search and information seeking patterns in order to better understand the behavior of online agents.
Research Fellows get to pursue a broad and fascinating range of topics. Junior Dara Khan is working with Debra Shapiro, Clarice Smith Professor of Management and Organization, to determine why different regions and groups of people reacted to government efforts during Hurricane Katrina, to explore why different demographics perceived the same leader differently. Junior Lindsey Ander Schwalb is working with assistant professor of marketing Myeong-Gu Seo on emotional intelligence research. The three-part study allows Schwalb to conduct surveys and gather and analyze data.
This hands-on learning is what most students find valuable about the Research Fellows experience. “I’m learning a lot about the research process,” says Schwalb. “Now data analysis and market research are things I’m interested in studying during my career.”
Research Fellows work within academic departments and in the school’s specialized research centers. This year four Research Fellows will work with the Smith School’s Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS)to conduct research projects related to healthcare IT, like safeguarding the privacy of patient information and the global adoption and diffusion of electronic medical records.
Smith Research Fellows is part of the Smith Undergraduate Fellows Program. The Fellows program consists of groups of specialized tracks that cut across our academic majors, so that all Smith School undergraduates can participate in an intimate small-school environment while enjoying the options and opportunities only a large school can provide.
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