University of Vermont

School of Business Administration

Student Conference Showcases Research

Charles Kimbell

This year’s Student Research Conference held on April 16 at the Davis Center, once again showcased the best of UVM's undergraduate and graduate research. Several School of Business students were selected, and the following snapshots provide a glimpse at the variety on offer at the event. Read on for research examples, accomplished with the guidance of faculty advisers from across the disciplines.


Charles Kimbell, Senior.

Project title: Avoided Cost Energy Rates, Anaerobic Digestion

Adviser: Michael Tomas III

Why this topic? What was your motivation?

I am interested in this topic for two reasons.  First, I think AD is a good alternative source of revenue for small farms, which are an integral part of our Vermont culture.  Second, I am running a compost hauling business, and AD can be applied to food waste as well as cow manure.

What was your key discovery?   

There were no real "aha" moments.  Our intent was to provide a useful set of information for people looking to implement AD projects under a different pricing circumstances.

Why does this research matter?

The broader implications of this project are that there may be an alternative or better way to structure energy rates that farm's receive from AD.

What's next for the project?

I think this topic will benefit from technological innovations that will allow small farms to implement this technology.


Allesandro Carissimo, Senior.

Project title: The Impact of Final Four Appearance has on the Number of Applications and Average SAT Scores at a University

Adviser: Michael Tomas III

Why this topic? What was your motivation? 

I have been involved in university athletics, and have always felt that the value of having an elite men’s basketball program is not always seen by a university. I felt this study could prove that a strong men’s basketball does create a lot of value for the university beyond the direct revenues brought in.

What was your key discovery? 

My key discovery was that there appears to be strong evidence that a Final Four appearance does increase applications and average SAT/ACT scores to a university.

Best moment? 

Creating different variables to separate the universities into groups, seeing which schools are most effected by the Final Four appearance.  

What are the broader implications of the project?

The project implies that there is a lot of unseen value in a strong major sports program. These programs could lead to more applicants, resulting in the acceptance of better freshman students on average, creating on average more successful alumni who can donate more money to the university.

What's next for the project?

Next, we will conduct a statistical analysis to see if the differences found in the data are materially significant.


Other School of Business participants were:

Tianze (Albert) Chang: The relationship between the timeliness of completion, supervisor’s task completion expectations and perceived accuracy, task completion intentions and attitudes towards supervisor in a dependent work sequence.

Advisers: Rocki-Lee DeWitt and Barbara Arel

Haley Cantone: Celebrity Bonds, Success of Failure?

Adviser: Michael Tomas III

Kevin Whitehead: The Impact of European Football Player Transfers on Share Price

Adviser: Michael Tomas III