News Release

Graduate students win research award at global conference, publish paper

Contact: Elise Doster


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Mike Budden, Kayla Allen, Victoria Kinchen

Caption …

WINNING PAPER -- Marketing and finance professor Mike Budden, left, converses with graduate students Kayla Allen of Franklinton and Victoria Kinchen of Hammond about their winning and internationally published paper, "Financial Management Practices of College Students."

     HAMMOND When Victoria Kinchen of Hammond and Kayla Allen of Franklinton signed-up for Southeastern Louisiana University’s Marketing 650 class, a graduate-level business research course, they never imagined it would earn them a prestigious award or send them to an international conference.

     Michael Budden, professor of marketing, upped the ante for his students by creating a competition for papers submitted to the Global Business and Finance Research Conference held in San Jose, Costa Rica in May.

     Budden promised that the top three student groups would be sent to Costa Rica for the conference and that all student papers would be submitted to a journal for possible publication.

     “In the past, the main project for the class was to spend the semester writing papers, and in the end, all the students would receive was a grade,” said Budden. “We wanted to push the students to a new level and hopefully get them published in an academic journal.”

     With the first mention of Costa Rica, students got busy perfecting their topics and research. After bouncing around various ideas, Kinchen and Allen decided to research the learning processes and financial management skills of university students.

     They were selected by Budden -- along with Janet Foster Anthony of Ponchatoula, Holly Syrdal of Mandeville and Ashley Wozniak of Tickfaw -- to attend the conference where, to their delight, their paper was selected for a conference’s Outstanding Research Award. It will be published in the Global Journal of Business and Finance in the near future.

     Budden said Southeastern was the only university represented at the conference by students as well as faculty, and that the paper by Kinchen and Allen was chosen from among 300 submissions by faculty from institutions such as Harvard, Bowling Green – and Southeastern.

     Budden said he was not surprised by his students’ success.

     “We have some incredible students in our college,” he said. “They are a motivated group that put forth a major effort. I was really impressed by the whole process. We had a lot of faculty and department heads step forward and support us and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.”

     College of Business Dean Randy Settoon and the Student Government Association provided grants totaling $7,500 for travel expenses and paper submissions. 

     “Going to the conference and meeting professors from other universities confirmed for me that Southeastern is a great university,” said Kinchen. “The respect that was given to us and the our faculty made me proud to call Southeastern home.”

     “Everyone was really excited to see us there and it was very nice to be acknowledged,” said Allen.

     Through their research, “We found that younger generations learn how to manage their money primarily from their parents,” said Kinchen. “This method has proven unsuccessful for learning basic skills such as balancing a checkbook and using credit cards.”

     Allen said most students who thought they were managing their finances well actually were not and that credit scores and interest rates can be seriously damaged without proper knowledge.

     “We recommend that high schools and universities work on initiatives to teach formal finance classes as part of the required curriculum so people don’t get stuck with a situation where they are losing a battle with their finances,” said Kinchen.

     Kinchen had high praise for Budden’s encouragement and leadership skills.

     “Dr. Budden was there for us throughout the entire process,” said Kinchen. “I never in a million years would’ve thought to submit a paper to a conference if it were not for him. He really opened the door for us and I am so thankful to him.”

     Kinchen is interested in a career in human resources, while Allen hopes to pursue a doctorate.

     While they were not selected to attend the conference, three other students in the business research class have also had publishing success. A paper by Brian Waterwall of Slidell, Tiffany Giardelli of Covington and Dylan Williams of Tickfaw, “An Investigation into Credit Card Debt Among College Students,” has been accepted for publication by Contemporary Issues in Education Research

     “I think students came into the class not knowing what to expect,” said Budden. “It was a major undertaking to write and submit the papers on time, so they agreed as a class to give the assignment their full attention and devote the time and energy to make it happen. I believe everybody rose to the occasion.

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