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APSU business professors and students publish research in high-ranked academic journal

Dr. Brandon Di Paolo Harrison

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A few years ago, when Dr. Brandon Di Paolo Harrison was working on his doctorate in accounting at Creighton University, he wrote an impressive paper on how a hospital’s financial performance influences its marketing budget. His professor, Dr. Vivek Patil, encouraged him to keep working on it because he was sure an academic journal would publish the paper, but Di Paolo Harrison ended up setting his research aside for a few years.

In 2020, Di Paolo Harrison – now an Austin Peay State University assistant professor of accounting – decided it was time to reexamine his paper. He could have simply expanded the work himself and submitted it for publication, but he decided to use the paper as a tool to get students involved in academic research.

Dr. Susan Cockrell

“Dr. Susan Cockrell (APSU professor of accounting) and I took a research paper from my doctoral program and worked with a graduate and an undergraduate student on the paper, based on the feedback of Dr. Patil,” he said.

APSU business students Benjamin Ferrell and William Edison worked with Cockrell and Di Paolo Harrison over the next few months, expanding the research and writing assigned sections. The work was for a grade, but last fall, the professors and students learned that their paper, “The Influence of Financial Performance on Marketing Expenditures Among U.S. Hospitals Participating in the Medicare Program,” would be published in Health Marketing Quarterly – a B-rated journal according to the Australian Business Deans Council’s Journal Quality List. That means the final paper was accepted at one of the field’s more prestigious publications.

“We submitted it to a pretty good journal, and it was accepted with no issues,” Di Paolo Harrison said. “Several of us in the College of Business work with students in the master’s program or undergraduate research courses. It’s kind of rare to get them published in a superior journal.”

In recent years, the College of Business has made student-research more of a priority, with professors working independently with students on academic papers. More APSU business students are now having their names, along with the names of their professors, appear in scholarly journals.

Students Benjamin Ferrell and William Edison

“In the College of Business we are committed to pushing our students beyond the textbook and helping them explore their passions, so they are better equipped to compete in a global economy,” Dr. Mickey Hepner, dean of the APSU College of Business, said. “By working closely with dedicated students on projects like this, we are giving our students the transformational experiences that will empower them to succeed.”

Drs. Cockrell and Di Paolo Harrison commended the dean and the college for its support of student-involved research.

“This improves our ability to teach our students – research informs teaching,” Di Paolo Harrison said. “I know several colleagues have worked with students and gotten papers published. There are those of us who are able to find the time to invest in that.”

For information on the APSU College of Business, visit www.apsu.edu/business.

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