Two Louisiana Tech University College of Business students recently participated in the 15th annual undergraduate research conference for the Economic Scholars Program (ESP) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Senior economics major Patrick Miller, of Mandeville, served as a judge, while senior economics major Paycen Brouillette, of St. Francisville, was a judge and presented his original research titled “The Effect of Real Broad Effective Exchange Rates and Inflation on Middle Eastern Conflict.”
“Opportunities like the Economic Scholars Program provide students with a unique and uncommon avenue to display their academic passions through research and statistical analysis,” said Brouillette. “The chance to present research you have worked countless hours on to such a prestigious audience like the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is a tremendous honor, and a strong motivator to continue pursuing innovative research.”
Students developed their research as part of the ECON 451 “Research Methods for Economics” course taught by Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Patrick Scott. Miller and Brouillette are also members of the team that produces the Regional Economic Analysis of Louisiana (REAL) Report, a quarterly publication designed to provide insight into recent economic developments in Louisiana.
“As a judge, the Dallas Federal Reserve System trained candidates to score papers based on quality of research,” said Miller, who noted opportunities like this are invaluable for young professionals to learn how to evaluate an academic paper in preparation to present their own original research. “My favorite part of being a judge was reviewing the papers my peers from around the country submitted. I was able to explore new and developing economic topics through the perspective of young economist.”
The conference offers students the opportunity to share and gain feedback on high-quality undergraduate research. It is also designed to inspire other students to undertake their own projects. Since 2007, student scholars and faculty from institutions across the U.S. and Canada have come together to share undergraduate student-initiated or student-faculty coauthored works, ideas about the role of undergraduate research in the curriculum, and the challenges and concerns of undergraduates who conduct research.
“It was a bit nerve-racking at first to present my research to some of the brightest minds in undergraduate economic research,” said Brouillette. “The most impactful part of presenting was explaining to the audience the nuanced connections between the broad body of previous literature and the findings of my research in an approachable way. Being able to truly portray the heart of my research and its impact on future studies was an extremely rewarding experience.”
Both Miller and Brouillette plan to purse master’s degrees in economics following their graduations from Louisiana Tech, a route that will allow them to grow, as Brouillette said, “their passion for finding logical and approachable solutions to complex issues.”
For more information on the Economics Scholars Program, visit dallasfed.org/educate.