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Business Students at Upcoming Research Symposium

Over the past few semesters, Northern Arizona University (NAU) senior Tereas Bermensolo-Cutler has been working on not one, but two research projects – projects she has been preparing for presentation at this month’s NAU Undergraduate Symposium.

Bermensolo-Cutler is analyzing the organizational structure of a global-financial services firm (Lehman Brothers) to see if its makeup played a role in bankrupting the company. In addition, she will be taking part in a group presentation. Last fall, the students used regression analysis, a method from their economics class, to predict the NFL Green Bay Packers as the 2011 Super Bowl Champions.

The Undergraduate Symposium, which will be held at NAU from April 28 to April 30, is a series of events open to the public that will showcase research done by undergraduates throughout NAU.

“The Undergraduate Symposium offers the community a chance to see what sort of research students are doing,” said Eric D. Yordy, associate dean of The W.A. Franke College of Business. “In the past, we have had economics students looking at the recession and its impacts on various sectors, business law students analyzing Supreme Court opinions and their potential impacts on businesses, hospitality students analyzing marketing schemes of resorts and destinations in light of the economy to determine if they are effective. Students love being able to talk to the community about their projects, the rationale for the selection of the project, the process of doing the study or research and the implications.” Many of the students presenting at the symposium, including those from The W.A. Franke

College of Business, often work with businesses within the community as well. “The Undergraduate Symposium is a wonderful showcase for student research and creativity, but the relationship between NAU and the business community goes far beyond the symposium. They have mutually beneficial relationships on many different levels,” said Tom Bauer, director of NAU public affairs. “Students serve as a major workforce for many local businesses, providing competent help for businesses and much-needed paychecks for the students.”

Some of those business relationships between NAU and Flagstaff include the City of Flag- staff, Sodexo and Drury Hotels of NAU’s High Country Conference Center.

“The conference center is expected to eventually pump $7 million annually into the local economy,” said Bauer. “It offers employment opportunities for full-time workers as well as part-time student help. Conference-goers also stay at other local hotels. The center is exceed- ing expectations for success.”

Another newly formed business partnership according to Bauer is the 1899 Bar & Grill. A high-end restaurant located on NAU’s campus, it will cater to the community by using local ingredients for its dishes and providing employment opportunities.

“As part of NAU’s core mission, students who graduate are prepared to immediately enter the business world. They are good employees and future leaders in the community,” said Bauer.

And that mission is what the students presenting at this year’s symposium hope to demonstrate. FBN


Travis Brentar, Tereas Bemensolo-Cutler, Matt Myers, Adam Plocki, Calvin Celentano)

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