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Zicklin Undergraduates’ Research Shines at International Conference

November 10, 2021

In September, undergraduates from the Zicklin School of Business had the unique opportunity to share original research at an international conference held online, where they presented findings on such varied topics as the resilience of New York City restaurants, hiring candidates with autism, and cryptocurrency.   

Geetanjali Sugrim (BBA, ’21), an industrial and organizational psychology major, presented research on hiring candidates with autism spectrum disorder.

Zicklin students majoring in computer information systems, international marketing, industrial and organizational psychology, operations management, and finance presented their research at the eighth annual International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR), held September 27-29. They spoke on panels that were linked in real time with undergraduates at universities in Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and South Africa.  

Nusrat Tahera (BBA, ’21) and Mukhsina Nurilloeva (BBA, ’21), computer information systems majors, presented research on using Yelp data to predict the resilience of New York City restaurants during the COVID-19 lockdownFour factors, they found, had the most significant impact on whether eateries would bounce back: the announcement of COVID-19 updates, availability of vegan options, number of years in operation, and price range. 

“Being able to showcase our research findings to an international audience was a great experience and allowed us to get interesting questions that may help further future research studies,” Nusrat says, adding that hearing presentations from other students around the world was “inspiring.” 

“It was an incredible experience,” says Maheya Afnan (BBA, ’21), an international marketing major, who shared research on terms of address in the Bengali language. “This event helped to take my research to the next level and connect it as the base foundation for my further education.” 

Operations management major Anna Gellerman (BBA, ’23) and finance major Benjamin Zheng (BBA, ’23) gave a talk entitled “Bitcoin: The Pioneer of Cryptocurrency with a Limited Dream,” which was inspired by their personal interest in Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency on the market.   

“I believe everyone should become acquainted with cryptocurrency, as it is our future,” Anna says. “But with exposure, we must learn the limitations of virtual coins, as well as how to use them to scale up our assets.”

Three women and one man

Clockwise from upper left: Nusrat Tahera, Maheya Afnan, Benjamin Zheng, Anna Gellerman

In addition to Nusrat, Mukhsina, Maheya, Anna, and Benjamin, other Zicklin students who shared their research at ICUR were Anne McDonnell (BBA, ’21), an industrial and organizational psychology major, who offered her findings on hiring candidates with disabilities; and Geetanjali Sugrim (BBA, ’21; see above photo), also an industrial and organizational psychology major, who presented data on hiring candidates with autism spectrum disorder. 

Students who present at ICUR have the unique opportunity to practice communicating findings from their own original research to an interdisciplinary and international audience at no cost to them,” says Katherine Pence, PhD, the ICUR coordinator for Baruch College and an associate professor of history at the Weissman School. “They gain confidence and enjoy exchanging ideas with undergraduates around the world who are also passionate about research.”