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Communications and Marketing

Students present original research at national conferences

In just a two-month span, economics majors Casey Hartfiel ’17 and Marcel Tatum ’17 hit the road to present their original research at two national conferences, an opportunity that both say will help them immeasurably after graduation.

Hartfiel, a double major in economics and international relations, focused her research on the gender gap in art museums around the world to find out if discrimination exists. Tatum, a double major in economics and politics, researched changes in politicians’ behavior immediately after a crisis, specifically the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Both are students of Associate Professor of Economics and Business Amanda J. Felkey, who mentored them on how to conduct research and helped coordinate the opportunity for the two to present their research at the Eastern Economic Association in New York City, February 23–26, and at the Western Social Science Association conference in San Francisco, April 12–15.   

Casey Hartfiel ’17Casey Hartfiel ’17Through her research of the art industry, Hartfiel found history of the gender gap dating back to the Renaissance. “Looking at more recent popular exhibitions, I found that across the world from 2013 to 2015 men hosted over eighty percent of independent exhibitions,” she said. 

Marcel Tatum ’17Marcel Tatum ’17Tatum began his research on political behavior after a crisis following a conversation he had with Felkey about behavioral economics. “I became really curious about how politicians make decisions,” he said.

During their presentation before economics undergraduates and professors in New York City, Hartfiel and Tatum gained valuable experience.

“My favorite part about the conference was receiving suggestions about how to expand and enhance my analysis,” Hartfiel said. “I now understand how to effectively collect data and research to execute a study. I also learned how to take findings and clearly communicate the results.”

Looking forward, Tatum believes his experience at the February conference and the upcoming presentation in April “will help me set myself apart in graduate school applications.”