University of Vermont

School of Business Administration

Two Business School Students Participate in Student Research Conference

Brittany Smith at the poster presentations

Two School of Business Administration seniors participated in this year’s Student Research Conference (SRC) at the Davis Center on Thursday, April 19.  The SRC showcases the research and scholarly activity of undergraduate, graduate and medical students across campus.

Brittany Smith, a senior concentrating in accounting, and Kristin Heller, a senior concentrating in human resource management, both participated in the poster presentation part of the SRC. 

Smith’s research focused on determining which factors influence taxpayer compliance when reporting gambling income. The study found that the complexity of the tax form and adequate tax knowledge in reporting gambling income has a significant impact on taxpayer reporting.  This finding provides an important contribution to tax compliance literature by suggesting that simplifying the process of reporting gambling winnings and losses and increasing taxpayer knowledge of tax laws may encourage greater taxpayer compliance in reporting gambling winnings and losses.

“Overall I learned a great deal from the overall thesis procedure,” said Brittany Smith.  “The most satisfying part was when I was able to collect data by administering surveys to students during the fall semester.”

Heller’s research focused on testing the signals that job seekers receive from a recruiting organization’s community involvement and pro-environmental practices.  Research on employee recruitment suggests that because job seekers often have limited information about hiring organizations they use whatever information they possess as signals about the organization’s characteristics.  Heller investigated a variety of potential signals, testing hypotheses about how the type of corporate social performance (CSP) activity and the degree of employee involvement in it affects the strength of various signals.

“Through my work on my thesis, I learned a great deal about long term research and all of the steps that go into it,” said Kristin Heller.  “I think the most important lesson that I learned from my research is that these types of experiments can evolve and change over time and the results may not be exactly what you expected.”

In all, 64 academic programs were represented at the SRC from all 10 of UVM’s colleges and schools. Continuing Education students also participated.