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Gabelli School Undergraduates Honors Thesis Program Presentations

Undergraduate | May 14, 2020 |

Every year, talented Gabelli School students—no matter what they major in— complete the prestigious Honors Thesis Program at the Gabelli School of Business. The thesis program blends two cohorts: the Traditional Honors Thesis including students who are invited in their junior year and compete for admission, and the Global Business Honors Program, for whom the thesis is a culmination of their four years of honors work.

What does the Honors Thesis Program entail for these students? With a professor’s help, students investigate a business topic of their choice and develop that investigation into a publication-quality research paper.

With this cohort including our brightest students, over the course of two years they work on important, cutting edge topics with rigorous research methods. This year, that process was radically altered in March. Students and their advisors were more than up to the challenge, and despite the pandemic, produced the high quality research that the Gabelli School expects of its thesis students. In fact, some of these projects may go on to appear in the same journals in which professors publish!

Chris Andreou, GABELLI ’20, stated, “In the beginning, this whole project seemed overwhelming; there were so many moving parts. Professor Conrad and my co-author John really helped to dissect the paper piece by piece and recognize what was important to arrive at the conclusion. Overall, I think this experience helped me understand what goes into serious academic research and what skills are necessary to produce it.”

This program is made possible through the enthusiastic support of Dean Rapiaccioli, Dean Aksoy, Dean Dunn, who champion the University’s commitment to student-driven research, and program director, Professor Luke Kachersky.

Here are the thesis presentations that students researched this year:

An Examination into the Legal Feasibility of a Daily Fantasy Sports Investment Fund

  Paper and Presentation

Authors: Christopher Andreou & John Lunz

Advisor: Mark Conrad


The Viability of Passive Investing Through the Use of Financial Filters


Author: Thomas Balcom

Advisors: James Kelly & Luke Kachersky


The Merits of Investing in Art


Author: Christina Berardino 

Advisor: Kevin Mirabile 


Theory and Practice: The Regulatory Sandbox


Author: David Chu

Advisor: Brent Horton 


From Finance to the Food Industry: The Prospects for Consumer-Facing Blockchain Systems 

Paper and Presentation 

Author: Rachel Keough 

Advisor: Luke Kachersky 


Environmental Sustainability: Consumer Perception vs Reality

Paper and Presentation 

Author: Isabelle Lee 

Advisor: Jennifer O’Neil 


Making Conscious Investment Decisions: Criteria for an Effective Sexual Harassment Policy

Paper and Presentation 

Author: Allison Michaud 

Advisor: Iris Schneider 


The Economic Impact of the Departure of the NFL’s Chargers and Rams on San Diego and St. Louis


Author: Alfred Montanino 

Advisor: John Fortunato 


Equity Research Reports and Reason-Based Choice


Author: Jacques Paye 

Advisor: Lin Tong 


Generational Preferences in Leadership Qualities in Financial Institutions and Millennial Self-Perception


Author: Laura Rathjen 


OK Boomer: A Study of Corporate Attitudes Toward Sustainability in Relation to Organizational Baby Boomer Population


Author: Jack Salkowsky 

Advisor: Eun-Hee Kim 


Relationship Between Patient Satisfaction and Care Metrics


Author: Steven Simon 

Advisor: Falguni Sen 


Active Funds vs. Passive Funds: Remaining Opportunities for Active Managers to Deliver Persistent Alpha


Author: Aravind Sureshbabu 

Advisor: Jim McCann


Sustainability Rankings and Bond Ratings: Does ESG Improve a Company’s Financial Health?


Author: Kaylee Wong 

Advisor: Barbara Porco 


An Analysis of the Billboard Hot 100 Through the Lens of Artist Gender


Author: Tigerlily Cooley 

Advisor: Amy Aronson 


Pharma Bros Reformed: Morality for Pricing Pharmaceuticals

Author: Hara Chung

Advisor Miguel Alzola 

Associate Professor of Law and Ethics, Miguel Alzola, concluded, “Having written three theses (undergraduate, MA, and PhD) and having helped a dozen students write theirs, I would say that thesis is primarily about the cultivation of good intellectual habits. And it is an excellent opportunity for students to dive deeply into a theme or problem they find interesting under the mentorship of scholars who have the knowledge and the experience to guide them. At a time of big challenges, we are training students to rise to the occasion. I am delighted to be part of the process.”

A few students also received distinguished awards for their work. The E. Gerald Corrigan Undergraduate Research Awards are given for thesis excellence in the Global Business Honors Program. The Patricia Ramsey Honors Thesis Awards are presented in memory of Pat Ramsey, a beloved management professor and a true champion of student research. Working side by side with her friend, Associate Professor Marcia Flicker, Pat inspired students to pursue independent research on business topics and develop their findings into publishable papers.

The winners are:

E. Gerald Corrigan Undergraduate Research Award:



The Legality of YouTube’s Content ID System: Copyright Protection and Fair Use in the Digital Age


Author: Kenneth Krizan III 

Advisor: Mark Conrad 



A Cross-Country Analysis of the Correlation between Environmental and Economic Performance


Author: William Burns 

Advisor: Sris Chatterjee 



A Defining Feature: Examining the Budgetary Impact of Tax Policymaking


Author: Meghan Keough 

Advisor: Stan Veliotis


Patricia Ramsey Honors Thesis Award:


Instagram, Tourism, and Gentrification: How a Picture May Lead Someone to Leave their Home

Paper and Presentation 

Author: Siena Mayer-Costa 

Advisor: John Carey 


A Comparative Analysis of Bank Valuation Approaches in Southeast Asia

Paper and Presentation 

Author: Amos Timothy Ong 

Advisor: Christakis Droussiotis 


A Study of Legal Origin and Algorithmic Trading


Author: Wenchao Yao 

Advisor: N.K. Chidambaran 

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