30.06.2020 23:52

Bryant University Virtual Summer Research and Innovation Village fills need for student experiential opportunities


SMITHFIELD, R.I., June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- During this unprecedented time when many summer jobs, internships, and academic programs have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dedicated Bryant faculty have teamed up to develop the Virtual Summer Research Village, a program designed to provide immersive experiential opportunities that are a hallmark of a Bryant education.

Bryant University Professor Peter Nigro (pictured) is one of 30 faculty members who volunteered to mentor students for the Summer Research and Innovation Village.

Bryant University news story here>>>

The Virtual Summer Research Village is helping more than 80 students develop research skills and a portfolio, which demonstrates expertise that can be applied to their careers and academic interests. The program is open to all students, including those in the class of 2020. Research topics include crisis communications, inequality, constitutional law, global studies, economic data and analysis literacy, ethics, machine learning, predictive analytics, and more.

All 30 of the faculty members involved as organizers and mentors serve voluntarily to make this program possible. Full list below. 

"I continue to be impressed and proud of the way faculty and students are adapting and innovating to enhance the educational experience during this challenging time," says Provost and Chief Academic Officer Glenn Sulmasy, JD, LL.M, "In addition to providing an alternative to summer internships, the program is also promoting academic excellence and fostering Bryant's culture of innovation and research."

"Every crisis presents opportunities to discover new ways of solving problems," adds Economics Professor and program co-chair Edi Tebaldi, Ph.D., who also leads Bryant's Honors Program. "This is an opportunity to harness the intellectual power of Bryant students and faculty. We can expand the possibilities for talented students, creating meaningful learning experiences, new career possibilities, and options for graduate study."

Tebaldi is joined in developing the program by co-chairs Peter Nigro, Ph.D., Professor of Finance, and Michael Roberto, D.B.A., Trustee Professor of Management.

Roberto, who is mentoring students on research projects related to a management case study and corporate decision-making, says he "treasures the opportunity to work one-on-one this summer with several bright, curious students on issues that are of importance and interest to each of us. The collaboration benefits both mentor and mentee tremendously."

"The world of finance is changing rapidly, and the financial technology (fintech) sector is at the center of the storm," said Nigro, who is leading a workshop on the topic. "The summer village is a place where we get together and discuss these innovations in finance—learning from one another and alumni industry experts."

To be accepted to the program, students submitted research proposals for projects in their area of interest – some within their major and others outside of the scope of classwork during the academic year. Each student works with a faculty mentor and collaborates with peers, dedicating a minimum of 10 hour a week on tasks related to program. They receive support through virtual meetings with mentors, webinars on specific topics, and research skills.

Students will also attend group meetings as well as presentations by alumni guest speakers, including Joseph J. Cabral '09, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, and Hana Nguyen '12, Ph.D. Candidate, Georgia State University.

The final project deliverable is a summer portfolio: a sample of work, a personal reflection about learning/lessons, a written report, or something else the advisor recommends. In the process, students will gain enhanced skills, potential product development and publication opportunities, and certificate of participation that demonstrates a commitment to excellence.

The program concludes with a ceremony (guest speaker to be announced) on August 6.

Faculty mentors:

  • Asli Ascioglu, Ph.D., Professor of Finance
  • Laura Beaudin, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
  • Dennis Bline, Ph.D., Professor of Accounting
  • Stefanie Boyer, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing
  • Jennifer Horan, Ph.D., Lecturer, English and Cultural Studies
  • Diya Das, Ph.D., Professor of Management
  • Erim Ergene, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Managment
  • William Graves III, Ph.D., Associate Professor English and Cultural Studies
  • A Can Inci, Ph.D., Professor of Finance
  • Crystal Jiang, Ph.D., Professor of Management
  • Kacy Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing
  • Eileen Kwesiga, Ph.D., Professor of Management
  • Suhong Li, Ph.D., Professor (Chair) of Information Systems and Analytics
  • Robert Massoud, MBA, Lecturer of Management
  • Judy McDonnell, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology
  • Chris R. Morse, Ph.D., Professor of Communication
  • Son Nguyen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mathematics
  • Peter Nigro, Ph.D., Sarkisian Chair, Professor of Finance (Co-chair)
  • Kathryn Ostermeier, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management
  • Chris Ratcliffe, Lecturer of Management
  • Michael Roberto, D.B.A., Trustee Professor of Management (Co-chair)
  • Saeed Roohani, Ph.D., Professor of Accounting
  • Yasamin Salmani, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management
  • Jacqueline Saslawski, JD, Visiting Professor of Management
  • Edinaldo Tebaldi, Ph.D., Professor of Economics (Co-chair)
  • John Visich, Ph.D., Professor of Management
  • Julie Volkman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication
  • Mark Vozella, M.S., Lecturer of Management
  • Ron Washburn, JD, Lecturer of Politics and Law
  • Cathy Zheng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Finance 

About Bryant University 

For 157 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. Located on a contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3800 undergraduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual, and Barron'sVisit

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