On Dec. 14, seven Roanoke College student researchers presented their findings on topics ranging from the minimum wage to paying collegiate athletes to the stock prices of COVID vaccine producers.
The presentations were part of the ECON Lab @ RC Fall Mini-Conference. ECON Lab is a program that allows students to conduct real-world research of their own choosing in a somewhat relaxed setting. Dr. Alice Kassens, John S. Shannon Professor of Economics at Roanoke, is the advisor.
Students do not have to be economics majors to participate in the program and conduct research. Many of the seven students who presented at the mini-conference aren’t economics majors. Students presented for about half an hour, and then took questions from audience members both in-person and via Zoom.
Attendees included current students, faculty, staff and alumni. Alumni were particularly vocal during the question-and-answer segment, with both questions and positive comments. Many of the questions were about the NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policy, which allows student-athletes to get sponsored or make money from companies that use their name or image. The new rule went into effect this year, and Will Marston ‘23 spent this semester studying how it’s been going so far and who’s been benefiting the most.
Michelle Austin ‘93 seemed particularly appreciative of the students’ efforts.
“Thank you all for your research,” Austin wrote in the Zoom chat. “Just recently I said that I needed to learn more about NIL, and I was wondering how Pfizer and Moderna were doing financially from the vaccine. I learned about both while eating lunch! I appreciate it.”
“Just recently I said that I needed to learn more about NIL, and I was wondering how Pfizer and Moderna were doing financially from the vaccine. I learned about both while eating lunch!”
Michelle Austin '93
Many of the student presenters said their findings were more or less what they expected, but many of them also said they would continue their research next semester.
- Why do NBA teams collapse? – Jake Beardsley ‘22
- Teacher salary and student performance – Quinn Keatley ‘22
- Minimum wage and unemployment in Virginia – Lilly Blair ‘22
- WARN Notices: How has COVID-19 impacted Virginia businesses? – Naomi Painter ‘22
- Name, Image, Likeness: Benefits and Analysis – Will Marston ‘23
- Sentiment of songs in 2008 – Katherine Vaughn ‘24
- COVID vaccine developers and the stock market – Ethan Stevenson ‘23
To find out more about ECON Lab – getting involved, learning more or suggesting a research topic – please visit rceconlab.com.