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LeBow Student to Present Research at SIOP Conference

December 16, 2009

One of the eight LeBow students participating this year in STAR, a research program offered by Drexel University’s Pennoni Honors College for academically talented undergraduates, earned an invitation to present the findings of his research at the annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).

Joshua Robbins, a sophomore Business and Engineering major, collaborated with Assistant Professor of Management Jonathan Ziegert, Ph.D., to study how leaders conceptualize leading in a hierarchical and dynamic environment. Robbins will present a poster of their findings in April at the 25th annual SIOP conference in Atlanta.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment,” Ziegert says. “SIOP is a major national conference that has a very competitive peer-review submission process. I personally have never seen a paper presented at SIOP by an undergraduate student, let alone a second-year undergraduate student.”

Ziegert also noted the order of authorship on their study. Robbins is listed first, and Ziegert is listed second, indicating that Robbins completed the majority of the analyses and writing for the research.

“This achievement by [Robbins] not only speaks highly of his abilities, but also more broadly of the quality of the undergraduate students here at LeBow as well as the benefits and utility of the STAR research program,” Ziegert adds.

In the study, Robbins and Ziegert examined interviews of 451 Army leaders from a variety of ranks who discussed their experiences in combat. To analyze these interviews, they utilized the Leximancer data mining software to examine text and identify what the leaders said in terms of thematic elements and how they said it in terms of how these thematic elements grouped together.

“Our findings illustrate that the leaders’ behavior depends on the rank,” they write in the study’s abstract. “Lower-level individuals performed more task-based leadership functions whereas higher-level individuals engage in more relationship-oriented leadership.”

About STAR

An acronym for Students Tackling Advanced Research, STAR enables freshmen to design and execute research projects in their respective field of study by matching students with research faculty. STAR scholars are selected prior to their entrance to Drexel. They are recruited as a cohort and reside together during their freshman year in special housing managed by Pennoni Honors College.

STAR scholars participate in a series of seminars and programs to prepare them for research, and they develop a research plan and write a research proposal. At the end of freshman year, they remain on campus to conduct the research, analyze data, and prepare a presentation of results. At the end of summer, they present the findings of their research at a special poster presentation on Drexel’s campus. Since they are expected to make a full-time commitment to their research projects, the scholars receive University housing throughout the summer and earn a stipend for other living expenses.

The STAR program provides a means for students to get to know faculty, explore a major course of study, learn practical skills for career or graduate school, gain valuable research experience, and advance science.

The following summarizes the areas of research conducted by the seven other LeBow STAR scholars and their faculty mentors.

Isaac Babik, a Finance major, collaborated with Associate Professor of Decision Sciences Hande Benson, Ph.D., to study energy sustainability at the ALMA site in Chile.

Thomas Cosella, an Entrepreneurship major, collaborated with Assistant Professor of Finance Naveen Daniel, Ph.D., to study geography, corporate governance, and the effectiveness of corporate management.

Kristine Falzarano collaborated with Assistant Professor of Accounting Anna Cianci, Ph.D., to study the effects of goals on auditors’ judgments in accounting. Falzarano has since changed majors to Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Ashish Joseph, a Finance major, collaborated with Professor of Management Murugan Anandarajan, Ph.D., to explore e-business and develop a list of companies and their sales since 1992.

Greta Lofgren, a Business Administration major, collaborated with Associate Professor of Marketing Rajneesh Suri, Ph.D., to study infomercial memory.

Robert Madak, a Business Administration major with a concentration in International Business, collaborated with Assistant Professor of Economics Maria Olivero, Ph.D., to study international transmission of business cycles.

Ari Melman, a Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing, collaborated with Associate Professor of Marketing Rajneesh Suri, Ph.D., to study how font styles and size affect advertising.