Major: Economics, Political Science
From: Frisco, TX
Attending the Economic Scholars Program at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas as both a researcher and Austin College student was especially rewarding. Austin College, more specifically Dr. Nuckols’, relationship with the ESP represents a long-standing tradition of quality scholarship and discussion stemming from our campus. Seeing Dr. Nuckols step into the role of conference leadership, welcoming over 30 other campuses to the gathering, made me extremely grateful to represent an institution with such dedicated academics and mentors.
I was chosen by the Peer Review Board, a prestigious body of excellent undergraduate students, to present my research via a talk during the day-long conference. Out of over 90 submissions, my works was one of about 40 to be excepted as a talk. Being amongst such impressive research and company was truly humbling and convicting. This experience, combined with the above described EEA conference, has further concreted in me the desire to spend my life heavily involved in the kinds of discussions occurring at these conferences. I cannot imagine a career in which research, peer critique, and deep, contemplative conversation is not central. I would like nothing more than to spend a life involved in knowledge being generated at conferences such as the ESP.
The ESP conference was especially helpful to my research because I was allowed a longer space to explain my work and have others respond to it. Following my 20 minute talk, I fielded about five genuine and valid questions. As I prepared to leave the lecture hall, I was approached by about seven students from other universities across the country. They gave me excellent resources, expressed interest in the work, and asked me to continue studying in this direction. About six of them gave me their emails, requesting that I send them my preliminary data and paper. I was absolutely humbled and motivated by my peers’ response, as I am very much aware of the reality of academic—it is anything but a gracious and cooperative environment. Knowing what most likely awaits me in graduate school and in future research endeavors, but being confronted by my peers in such a way gave me great hope in our generations’ ability to both contribute meaningful work and break barriers in the academy.
I am confident that my presenting abilities will only grow as I gain more exposure and experience; however, the ESP was especially helpful in forming me into a more thoughtful, concise, and confident researcher and communicator. Because the results presented at this (and the EEA) conference were preliminary in nature, I am anxious to return to these conferences next year with more robust conclusions and another year of scholarship under my belt. The continuation of this research into a Scarbrough research grant and Honors Thesis is an opportunity for me to harness the energy given to me by these conference experiences, and move forward in my research as both a more confident and humbled researcher.
Undergraduate Economics Research Conference 2018
Race And Relief: Examining the Relationship Between Inert Racial Prejudices and Generosity in Post-Disaster Relief Programs
It is well established that natural disasters exasperate the injustices separating society’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Furthermore, the programs administered following a disaster are noted to have racial and gendered results. A primary question emerging in the discussion of public policy and political economy is that of race. Given the evolution of racism away from overt sentiments and towards inert racial prejudices, it is predicted that such is playing a role in distributive policies. It is, therefore, the goal of this project to preliminarily explore sentiments surrounding who is deemed deserving of relief aid and who is not. Through use of a narrative-survey format, this project is able to probe the relationship between the factors that inform individuals (political alignment, personal, race, hometown, etc.) and their perspectives on relief aid. While the results of this project incite further exploration, they are largely inconclusive, as a much larger and more varied sample is needed to extract comprehensive conclusions. However, the results provide insight as to how econometrics procedures and models can be applied to relevant social science investigations. Additionally, the preliminary results produced by this research insights further questioning as to racism’s role in contemporary American society, and is one step towards discovering stable metrics through which such can be measured.