a leading center of contemporary art
looked to better position itself with the Ohio State community,
it didnt turn to Madison Avenue for marketing solutions.
It looked to students. Undergraduate honors students to be exact.
was a perfect fit, says Patrick McCusker, associate director
for public affairs at the Wexner Center for the Arts. "One of
our goals at the center is to help students develop lifelong
patterns of arts attendance. On the occasion of our 10th anniversary
we especially wanted to reach this audience. What better way
than to work directly with our target market?"
Under the guidance of marketing professor Roger Blackwell, the
class defined key strategy issues facing the center. "We conducted
audience surveys and focus groups to collect data that was then
presented to Wexner administrators," says honors student Shawntera
Hardy. "As a group that shares a lot of classes together, we
feel pretty comfortable with each other. It helps when you work
as a unit. You can capitalize on the combined strength of the
According to McCusker, the collaboration offered the Wexner
Center an opportunity to zero in on its campus audience. "We
knew we were doing many things right, but the class recommendations
helped us focus our activities and kept us moving in the right
answers to business problems is just one way Fisher undergraduate
students learn. In Professor Rick Murdocks honors accounting
class, creating independent research is the name of the game.
In this unique Fisher course, students are taught how to conduct,
prepare and present original research. "The students are first
exposed to many different types of accounting research. Then
we let curiosity take over. Its not me telling my students
what to study. Its them saying, now that weve seen
whats out there and how its been done, wed
like to tackle this problem and see what original conclusions
we can draw," says Murdock.
to student Matt Howes, completing a thesis and graduating with
distinction, although rewarding, is no easy task. "It takes
an additional year to complete the course. The summer is filled
with developing questionnaires, analyzing statistics and gathering
empirically based data. The research is defended and then critiqued
by faculty advisors who have been instrumental throughout the
key to success for many Fisher students is individual attention
and coaching by faculty. When undergraduate honors student Leslie
Edwards first decided to write her thesis on popular music and
its effects on advertising, she was passionate about her topic
but had no idea where to start. Thats where her mentor and
marketing professor Leslie Fine came in. "She taught me what
research is all about," says Edwards. "She was with me every
step of the way. Together we set up a timetable and schedule,
and then met every other week to keep me on track."
Through Professor Fines expertise, Edwards learned how to administer
a survey, conduct an experimental design and analyze data. "Professor
Fines skills as a researcher really complemented my ideas.
She was truly my inspiration in getting through the process."
The independent research experience has certainly paid off.
Edwards work not only helped her to graduate with honors and
distinction this summer; it earned her a place in Ohio States
Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. Shawntera Hardy was also
accepted into the competitive forum and walked away with first
place for her research on elderly consumer fraud.