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Two Business Students Shine in Honors Summer Research Program

August 28, 2008
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Dr. Cava and student
Cassandre Davilmar (right) with Anita Cava.

This summer, two School of Business students were chosen to participate in the Provost’s annual Honors Summer Research Program. Each student was required to work six to eight weeks during the summer and received a $1,500 stipend upon completion of the project. “The main purpose of the program is for the students to hone their research skills and learn about research under the guide of a faculty mentor. The outcome is that the students will learn how to conduct their own research in the future,” said Director of Undergraduate Research and Student Support Services Elisah Lewis. “The Provost’s Office awards 20 grants each summer. This was the first year any were awarded to School of Business students, and we received two. This is very exciting and demonstrates one way that the School’s ongoing commitment to research excellence is being recognized.”

Cassandre Davilmar worked with Anita Cava, associate professor of business law, on research into the honest services fraud statute, which is being used to prosecute unethical behavior in the workplace. “Cassandre not only read, analyzed and understood the statute and recent relevant cases, but also asked questions reflecting superior critical thinking ability,” Cava says. For Davilmar, the benefits stretch far beyond the classroom. “Dr. Cava asked me important questions about life in general that I would have never thought to ask myself. She encouraged me to tackle all of my dreams,” she said.

Dr. Burnett with student 
Hayley Donaldson (left) with Royce Burnett.

The second student, Hayley Donaldson, worked with Royce Burnett, assistant professor of accounting, to investigate the value relevance of the nation’s top 100 non-profit organizations. “One of the things that we want to do to attract young researchers is to be able to provide a framework for them so they understand how to plan, organize, direct and control a research process,” Burnett says. “My objective was to expose Hayley to all different aspects of those four variables.” Donaldson notes that, “this project not only taught me how to approach research in general, but also improved my communication skills.”

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