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Four ISU economics students will present research at Portland conference

January 24, 2020

Economic conference attendees
From left, Professor Iris Buder, Simon Orgill, Jennifer Ibeabuchi, Liem Lucas, Ritesh Yadav and Professor Karl Geisler.

POCATELLO – Four Idaho State University College of Business economics students will present their research papers at the Western Social Science Association conference in Portland this April.

Economics Professor Karl Geisler arranged for a student panel presentation session in which ISU and Colorado State University students would present their research projects. Students presenting include Liem Lucas, Simon Orgill, Ritesh Yadav and Jennifer Ibeabuchi.

“I think it’s important for students to see that the ideas and concepts they’re learning in the classroom have broader real-world implications,” said Geisler who will attend the conference along with the students and economics Professor, Iris Buder. “The ability to attend a conference such as this lets our students see how economic knowledge is applied in the real world. It also gives students a great chance to network for future jobs and graduate schools.”

The professors said each of the students volunteered to attend the conference and put extra time into developing their research in order to take advantage of the opportunity.

 “This gives our students the opportunity to push themselves,” Geisler said. “They will have to prepare, practice and deliver a professional presentation to an audience of experts in their fields. Having the ability to speak confidently about sound economic conclusions based on data is a valuable skill for our students to hone no matter what career path they take after graduation.”

The professors noted that most of the students have plans to attend graduate school, but aren’t sure of where they want to go or which field of economics is most intriguing to them.

“These conferences are where some of the foremost experts in a field gather to present and discuss their research,” said Lucas, one of the students attending. “Undergraduate students in attendance gain exposure to the substance of this research, which aids in developing their understanding of the insights of the field, as well as the actual research process. Hands-on experience like this is invaluable for students, especially those interested in pursuing education at the graduate level. As such a student, I am beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity.”

The students will be able to take full advantage of the conference in addition to presenting on their research including taking part in sessions on environmental, natural resource economics, heterodox economics, business and finance, and globalization and development.

Buder said she encourages students in her Econometrics class to research topics that intrigue them personally, which is what inspired each of the students’ topics.

 “I ask students to write a research paper that incorporates empirical analysis, as part of this course,” Buder said. “I help them in any way I can. At the beginning of the semester, I meet with students to assess what their fields of interest are or if they have a research question in mind, then we look for data on that topic.”

The students’ research topics include the impact of food assistance programs in the United States by Lucas, the relationship between the use of assisted reproductive technology and infant health outcomes by Ibeabuchi, the impact of corruption on economic growth by Yadav and the impact of obesity on health-related quality of life by Orgill.

Contributions from College of Business alumni and friends have made it possible for students to attend this conference.

"We would like to extend our thanks to the Wells Fargo Grant and the Dean's Excellence Fund from the College of Business, as their generous donation has sponsored this opportunity for the students,” Buder said. “It's wonderful to see the support that has been provided to these students."


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