On October 21st, a group of eight UMW Economics majors along with their faculty mentor Dr. Amrita Dhar, Associate Professor of Economics, attended the 16th Annual Economics Scholars Program Conference for Undergraduate Research at the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, one of the largest undergraduate conferences nation-wide with a strict criteria for selection of research papers. Dillon Durocher, Tara Fitzgerald, Paige Harrington, Matthew McGlynn, Jason Mueller, Dana Smith, Peter Smith, and Shane Stutton presented their research work and served as discussants and peer reviewers for other research papers. For all students this was their first time presenting research to peers outside of UMW.
Senior Dillon Durocher commented “The conference was a good introduction to the world of professional research in a friendly and low pressure environment.” In addition to presenting and getting feedback, the conference also allowed students to interact and network with undergraduates at universities all across the southern United States. Senior Paige Harrington reported “I really enjoyed the conference! It was so nice to meet people who were also passionate about economics.” Senior Jason Mueller agreed: “The Dallas conference was a great way to connect with peers in economics to see what they care about and why.” Due to the wide array of schools present and the vastness of the field of economics, the topics presented at the conference covered a large assortment of topics, expanding the knowledge of the students. “The Dallas conference was a great experience as an undergraduate to expand my research interests and gain new insights from other economics majors,” said senior Tara Fitzgerald. Overall, the students loved attending the conference and learned valuable research and networking skills they will use both at Mary Washington and after they graduate. These students are enrolled in Econ 490E: Independent Research class with Dr. Dhar, and were supported with an Undergraduate Research Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences.