Students present research at SNHU


Courtesy\ Professor Dina Frutos-Bencze

Left to right: Molly Kilbride ’18, Karah Kaffel ’17, Zoya Andary ’19, Professor Frutos- Bencze, Colton Lafata ’18, and Brenden Cain ’18.

Dan Flatley, Crier Staff

Five Saint Anselm students presented research done during their class titled Business in Developing and Emerging Markets at the Southern New Hampshire University: University College Undergraduate Research Conference.  These five students were senior Karah K. Kaffel; juniors Brenden A. Cain, Colton Lafata, and Molly S. Kilbride; and sophomore Zoya Andary.   The professor of this class is Professor Dina Frutos-Bencze.

The students selected their own topics during the class and they conducted all of their research under the mentorship of Professor Frutos-Bencze.  The five students created one poster board each for their topic.  It was required that the topics were related to business issues in developing and emerging markets as the name of the class states.

According to Professor Frutos-Bencze, “The conference was a one day event on Wednesday, April 5, that included several concurrent sessions and roundtables and a poster session. There was a wide variety of research projects showcased and categorized by topic.  The “Poster Session” was from 3:00 p.m.– 4:30 p.m. and judges that consisted of mainly SNHU professor walked around asking poster presenters about their research with a rubric.”

Kaffel’s research project was titled, “Deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia and its Effect on their Economies.”  Cain’s research project was titled, “The Significance of Financial Literacy on Emerging Market Development: The Case of India.”  Lafata’s research project was titled, “The Impact of Tourism in the Caribbean: The Case of Aruba.”  Kilbride’s research project was titled, “Potential Effects of Trump Era Trade Policy on Vietnam and Peru.”  Andary’s research project was titled, “Determinants of Business Groups in Emerging Markets: The Case of East Africa.”

Asked for a brief summary of his findings, Brenden Cain stated, “So, as you know, financial literacy is the education and understanding of financial concepts related to personal money management, which are the building blocks to making sound financial decisions to create an individual’s financial well-being. This study explores the connections between financial literacy and a country’s development. Then additionally, the aim is to provide insights on how India could improve and increase the financial literacy levels in the country.”

Also asked for a brief summary of her findings, Zoya Andary stated, “My research was about the future of business groups in East Africa. In brief, my research talked about how and why business groups solve economic problems, and how these emerging markets affect their performance. My study focuses on Kenya and Uganda, and draws on existing literature on family businesses, economies of development, and economic strategy. Overall, the performance effects of these groups are large and generally positive.”

Kaffel’s summary of her project, “I found that deforestation while awful for the environment is great for the economies of developing countries. Developing countries can profit from timber sales and land sales. The main problem causing deforestation in my findings was that the governments do not communicate with each other. Brazil for example has regional as well as a national government and the national government does not always want the same thing as regional governments and vice versa.”

The students and professor were all very pleased with the conference.  Professor Frutos-Bencze expressed her thoughts, “The skills acquired doing research are very relevant for any student in this day and age. They can take these skills and the knowledge they acquired about the research process with them wherever they go.”

Cain agreed, saying, “I thought it was a good event. It felt nice to represent Saint A’s at an event on a different campus. It was definitely good for all of us to run through the research we have done in front of new people and really show what we know about our specific topic. I’d say that we put out a respectable showing for Saint A’s.”

Finally, Kaffel said, “I thought the SNHU conference was great. There were many more people than I had anticipated, but I was well prepared and my poster looked great so all in all I was very happy with how the SNHU conference went.”

Brenden Cain won an award after the event for the best poster board and he, along with Zoya Andary, were both invited to have their work published in the SNHU undergraduate research journal 2017.  According to Professor Frutos-Bencze, “Only projects with high judges’ scores are published in this journal.”