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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience at Carthage offers students in all majors the opportunity to engage in collaborative full-time research with professors. Students work closely with faculty mentors on a new or developing line of research.

2019 Economics SURE Participants

Zoe Hobbs ’21
 Comparing and Mapping Rooftop Solar Incentives Across the U.S.
Mentor: Prof. Erik Johnson
Zoe gathered data on state-wide and local financial incentives offered for the construction of solar panels for both residential and commercial cases. Once the data was collected, it was organized into comparable terms ($/watt). Then, using the data, she created an interactive map to display the differences in total incentives across states and also differences in solar density (the solar capacity in an area normalized to the population). These maps helped us begin to look at the relationship between incentives and capacity to see if they actually worked, and what kinds of incentives work better than others.

Riley Peterson ’21
The Effect of Federal Government Shutdowns on Health
Mentor: Prof. Cassie Lau
Riley’s project began as an examination of the effect of the government shutdown on health, primarily looking at increased visits to emergency rooms and loss of funding for programs like WIC and food stamps. This avenue of research was not fruitful for a number of reasons, so Riley began examining the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. healthcare system. She will continue this work for her senior thesis, and will compare the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. system with other countries’ healthcare systems.

Senior Thesis

Every student who graduates from Carthage with a major in economics must complete a substantial research work or project. Students work on this senior thesis with a directing professor, and it counts as an economics course (ECN 4400: Senior Seminar and History of Economic Thought).

Here’s a look at past projects by Carthage economics majors:

  • An Examination of the Economic Impact of Defined Thresholds in Public Policy — Dan Chambers
  • The Economics of Food Aid and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa — Katie Niemeyer
  • An Analysis of Intergenerational Economic Mobility — TJ Hedin
  • The Determinants of Software Piracy — Mike Fitzgerald
  • Private For-Profit Influence on Student Loan Defaults and Graduation —Jillian Burnickas
  • A Study of Exchange Rate Regimes: Managed vs. Free Floating — James Blakeway
  • Economic Rationality or Irrationality:  The Case of the National Football League — Nathan Giebel
  • On the Determinants of Emigration:  The Effects of Wealth on Push Factors — Sebastian Jacinto
  • The Effect of Wealth on Health in the United States — Ryan Lindsay
  • The Market Value Effect of Sponsoring the FIFA World Cup — Matt Logue
  • Determinants of Effective Access to Education by Women in Sub-Saharan Africa — Mary Mutindi Mutua
  • The Impact of Interstate and Intrastate Conflict on Human Capital and Economic Growth — Katie Schlinder
  • No Teacher Left Behind:  An Analysis of Teacher Turnover in the U.S. — Allison von Borstel
  • The Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment:  A Firm-Level Study Using a New Dataset — Tony Walek
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    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

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    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

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    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

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    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …