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APSU's College of Business engages students with integrated research projects

By: Elaina Russell July 21, 2023

Madeline Etherton and Dr. Dennis Pearson.
Madeline Etherton and Dr. Dennis Pearson discuss their research. 

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.– The College of Business at Austin Peay is seeing an increased interest in student research opportunities, resulting in intentional investments to integrate research into the student experience.

Madeline Etherton, a junior business major, recently collaborated with Dr. Dennis Pearson, associate professor of economics, for a multi-year immersive experience in academic research. Their collaboration led to the presentation of a working paper at the Society of Business, Industry, and Economics (SOBIE) conference in Destin, Florida, culminating in an academic publication. Etherton shared her experience and insights to encourage other students interested in pursuing academic research.

How did you become involved in academic research?

During my macroeconomics class with Dr. Pearson, I expressed my desire to be more involved in the College of Business and other educational experiences. Dr. Pearson asked me if I would be interested in research, and I was immediately intrigued by some of his work.

What was the most beneficial aspect of participating in research with a faculty member?

The most valuable part of the experience was the professional development and personal growth that I gained. Presenting the study at the Society of Business, Industry and Economics conference was a highlight and helped me become more confident in public speaking. It also prepared me for a higher educational and professional environment that I now apply in my current job.

What did you learn from the process, and what skills did you gain?

I gained confidence and realized I could do more than just entry-level tasks in college. I also developed my public speaking skills and became calmer when speaking in front of an audience.

What APSU resources did you utilize to expand your research?

I primarily used the APSU library for research sources and consulted with my professors for advice and mentorship.

What advice would you give to others interested in participating in research opportunities like this?

I would highly recommend going for it, even if it seems daunting. Participating in the study with Dr. Pearson and presenting at the SOBIE conference helped me become more involved in the College of Business. I recommend making yourself known in class, asking for opportunities and not being afraid to approach professors for advice or mentorship.

Investing in students’ futures

“By engaging in research, such as Madeline and I did, students foster their sense of creativity, instilling an entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic, all of which are invaluable traits in the business community,” Pearson said. “It ultimately enhances their academic achievements and serves as a step towards becoming future leaders and change-makers in the corporate landscape.”

Etherton’s experience is part of an intentional investment made by the College of Business to fulfill its mission – helping students explore their passions to prepare them to compete in a global economy. Last year, 19 students presented at academic conferences, and that number will continue to increase as the college integrates research as a core component of the student experience.

For more information about student research, contact Elaina Russell at russelle@apsue.edu.

Madeline Etherton and Dr. Dennis Pearson.
Madeline Etherton and Dr. Dennis Pearson.