UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Managerial Economics Seniors Present Honors Thesis Research

March 23, 2018

Undergrad Honors Thesis Presentations.jpgFrom left, Undergraduate Honors Thesis coordinator Dr. Kristin Kiesel looks on as managerial economics major Andrew Le presents his thesis in the ARE Library. Emily Eby, David Heifitz, and Isabel Ma are also shown giving their presentations.

Senior Emily Eby decided to participate in the ARE194 Undergraduate Honors Thesis program because, for one, research is an essential aspect of the UC Davis Undergraduate Honors Program, which she’s been in since her freshman year, and students are encouraged to complete a senior thesis within their majors. Then, after speaking with Dr. Kristin Kiesel, the program coordinator, Eby discovered that ARE194 fit perfectly with her interests.

“I learned a lot about self-motivation and responsibility,” Eby said of the course. “I gained so much in terms of self-guided research and patience in finding the information that I wanted.”

Open to seniors majoring in Managerial Economics with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, this two-quarter program is designed to give outstanding, committed, and hard-working students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and get involved in academic research.

“This program allows students to explore career directions, acquire transferable skills, and enhance their resumes,” Kiesel said. “It puts students ahead when considering graduate or professional schools and gives them a sense of accomplishment in terms of contributing knowledge and impacting their discipline.”

Students are matched with faculty based on their initially expressed research interests, and Eby’s faculty advisor was Kiesel. Having never worked one-on-one with a professor before, Eby said it was her most valued part of the course.

“Professor Kiesel in particular really helped shape some of my ideas for my own future,” Eby said. “She never failed to assist me immediately with whatever concerns came up in the thesis process, and her patience and knowledge solidified some of my own desires to become a teacher. I am so happy and grateful to have gotten to know her, and I fully recommend others do this program, if for no other reason than to have the same experience I did with a professor!”

Eby said her greatest takeaway of the course was learning how much effort is required to advance research, and how important that progress is in affecting future policy change for the better.

At the end of this two-quarter program, students present their honors thesis research to fellow students, graduate students, and faculty. Eby and fellow Managerial Economics seniors David Heifitz, Andrew Le, and Isabel Ma presented theirs in March 2018.

“This year’s presentations were impressive,” Kiesel said. “The students presented their research questions and results with confidence and competence. It is such a pleasure to see them apply the skills they have acquired throughout our curriculum. In addition to their well-polished presentations, a highlight is the interaction and lively discussion with our faculty. Students not only receive valuable feedback, but are also able to advocate for and defend their work.”

Click here for details of the ARE194 Undergraduate Honors Thesis program and directions on how to apply.

2017-18 Undergraduate Honors Thesis Managerial Economics Students

Student: Emily Eby
Honors Thesis: Why Not Play First? The Effect of Early Recess on Student’s Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in School Cafeterias
Faculty Advisor: Kristin Kiesel

Student: David Heifitz
Honors Thesis: A Behavioral Approach to Analyzing the Turbulence in the Chinese Stock Market
Faculty Advisor: Jens Hilscher

Student: Andrew Le
Honors Thesis: Indicators for Student Under-Performance in Managerial Economics
Faculty Advisor: Jeffrey Williams

Student: Isabel Ma
Honors Thesis: Measuring Innovation in China: A Closer Look at the Effects of the National Higher Education Entrance Exam
Faculty Advisor: Michael Carter


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