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Economic Education Events

17th Annual Economics Scholars Program Conference for Undergraduate Research


The Economics Scholars Program (ESP) is a collaborative effort between Austin College and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to foster the involvement of undergraduate economics students in all facets of research.


Parking and general information

  • A government-issued photo ID will be required to enter the Dallas Fed building.
  • Allow 20–30 minutes to park and check in.
  • Limited parking is available at the Dallas Fed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Offsite parking near the Dallas Fed is also available. Additional parking in and around the downtown area can be accessed online.
9:15-9:45 a.m. Check in
9:45-10:00 a.m. Opening remarks, auditorium, peer review board recognition
  • Tamara Redic-Cottrell, Outreach Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  Session 1A Session 1B
  Southwestern Room Navarro Room
  Session chair:
Krish Patel, Austin College
Session chair:
Siddhartha Mishra, Austin Community College
10:00 a.m. “Comparisons of WACC and Hurricane-Risk: A Comprehensive Study” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Wesley Champion, University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Discussant: Margaret Beisenbek, Bentley University
“The Influence of COVID-19 and Recession on Induced Seismicity in Texas” | Abstract
  • Presenters: Nazmun Samiya, Constantinos Skevofilax, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Discussant: Jinxin Tian, Boston University
10:30 a.m. “Is the Environment Injust?: An Econometric Analysis of the Relationship Between Income and Air Quality” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Beth Felkner, University of Oklahoma
  • Discussant: Diep Ho, Texas Christian University
“A Study of the Economic Viability and the Potential Macroeconomic Effects of a Domestic Biodiesel Industry in Dakar, Senegal“ | Abstract
  • Presenter: Khalil Gueye, Wake Forest University
  • Discussant: Pritika Sthotakura, Austin College
  Session 2A Session 2B
  Southwestern Room Navarro Room
  Session chair:
Arianna Villarreal, Dallas College
Session chair:
Nyssa Galatas, The University of Texas at Dallas
11:00 a.m. “Impact of Student Financial Aid, Labor Costs, and Government Appropriations on College Tuition from 2018-19 to 2020-21” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Jinxin Tian, Boston University
  • Discussant: Ebenezer Thompson, Pitzer College
“Women’s Employment on GDP“ | Abstract
  • Presenter: Alexander Martinez, University of Oklahoma
  • Discussant: Sidh Pandit, The University of Texas at Austin
11:30 a.m. “Labor Outcomes for International Students: Citizenship Wage Gap in US Higher Education Institutions” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Ali Abdullah, University of Oklahoma
  • Discussant: Marleni Ruiz-Gorostieta, Austin College
“The Phillips Curve in Japan: A Regional Perspective” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Taiyo Ueda, Texas Christian University
  • Discussant: Asier Quiroga, Austin College
Noon Lunch
Keynote presentation
  • Ashley Tharayil Ph.D., Chair of Economics and Business Administration, Austin College
Let's Talk Internships
  • Dameka Stringer, Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant, Internship Program Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  Session 3A Session 3B
  Southwestern Room Navarro Room
  Session chair:
Myles Lopez-Cepero, Austin Community College
Session chair:
Luis Mata, University of North Texas at Dallas
1:30 p.m. “PCA Analysis: A Tool to Help Explain the “Inconvenience Yield” in the Context of the Negative Swap Spread?” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Margaret Beisenbek, Bentley University
  • Discussant: Saul Covarrubias, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
“Minimum Wages and Economic Outcomes for Low Income Americans” | Abstract
  • Presenters: Isabel Vargas, Kristina Krichmaryov, Yash Navadiya, Pace University
  • Discussant: Sakina Jaffrey, The University of Texas at Austin
2:00 p.m. “Relationship Between Public Debt and the Strength of the Dollar” | Abstract
  • Presenters: Marvin Henry, Jacqueline Wong, Pace University
  • Discussant: Jackson Owen, University of Alabama
“Examining The Effect of Education and Income as Socio-Economic Indictors of Life Expectancy” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Quinton Ely, University of North Carolina
  • Discussant: Jarad Ponce, University of Mary Washington
2:30 p.m. Break/poster session | Abstracts
  • Hector Lopez
  • Victor Vasnetsov, Catherine Vasnetsov
  Session 4A Session 4B
  Southwestern Room Navarro Room
  Session chair:
Zeynep Bilginan, De Anza College
Session chair:
Mehar Sharma, The University of Texas at Austin
3:00 p.m. “An Automated Dual-Module Pipeline for Stock Prediction: Integrating N-Perception Period Power Strategy and NLP-Driven Sentiment Analysis for Enhanced Forecasting Accuracy and Investor Insight” | Abstract
  • Presenters: Archit Thanikella, Siddhant Singh, Collin College
  • Discussant: Ali Abdullah, University of Oklahoma
“How Has Income Impacted Opioid Overdoses?” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Peter Lermo, University of Mary Washington
  • Discussant: Tanya Gonzalez, Austin College
3:30 p.m. “Maximizing NFL Rookie contracts following the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement ” | Abstract
  • Presenter: McKenna Moore, Pace University
  • Discussant: Fabiana Gomez, Austin College
“The Sidewalk Effect: The Effect of Sidewalks on Home Prices in Fredericksburg, Va.” | Abstract
  • Presenter: Jarad Ponce, University of Mary Washington
  • Discussant: Katelyn Hutchins, University of Oklahoma
4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks, Auditorium


How can students participate in the conference?

Peer Review Board

Current undergraduates are invited to apply to be a member of the Peer Review Board. These board members are responsible for evaluating all conference submissions against a rubric to determine which students should be offered a presentation or poster session. Board members attend virtual trainings in March and April and review proposals submitted for the conference in September. Applicants should be currently enrolled or have completed intermediate macroeconomics and microeconomics courses. Exceptions do apply; please check with your professors to ensure you are able to perform the role as described. Students who serve on the Peer Review Board are encouraged to attend the conference and may also participate as presenters, discussants and session chairs.


Current undergraduates who are conducting independent or coauthored research in all fields of economics and finance are encouraged to submit a proposal for consideration. Papers can be empirical, theoretical or analytical in nature. All proposals submitted will be reviewed by the ESP Peer Review Board. If proposals are accepted, student(s) will have the opportunity to present their research in front of their peers during presentation sessions on October 20. Presenters can also participate in the conference as discussants and/or session chairs. Proposal deadline: Monday, September 18, 2023.

Poster session presenters

Current undergraduates who are conducting independent or coauthored research in all fields of economics and finance and encouraged to submit for a proposal for a poster session. Proposals can be research that is either completed or currently being conducted but with results to present. If poster proposals are accepted, student(s) will have the opportunity to present their research during the conference on October 20. Poster presenters may also serve as discussants and/or session chairs. Proposal deadline: Monday, September 18, 2023.

Session chairs

Session Chairs are the hosts of the presenter sessions. They make sure that discussants and presenters are on time and sessions run smoothly. They will introduce the overarching themes of the session, introduce presenters, manage presentation times and discussant responses, and moderate any audience questions if there is remaining time. Session Chair is a great role for underclassman who are just beginning their economic education journey. Application deadline: Monday, September 18, 2023.


Discussants hold two important responsibilities during the conference – helping those in the audience better understand the paper by reading the paper assigned very carefully and taking the time to understand the paper’s contributions, its strengths and weakness and providing comments such as why and what can the author do to improve the paper. The discussants role is designed for undergraduate students who have completed coursework through intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, and a background in econometrics is particularly useful. Application deadline: Monday, September 18, 2023.

Key Dates


  • Monday, March 1: Peer review board applications open
  • Friday, March 24: Peer review board applications close
  • Monday, March 27: Peer review board notification


  • Monday, August 28: Proposals and registration open
  • Monday, September 18: Proposals, discussants and session chair applications close
  • Friday, September 29: Proposal notification
  • Wednesday, October 4: Final paper submission deadline for accepted proposals
  • Friday, October 6: Session chair and discussant notification
  • Monday, October 16: Student and faculty registration deadline
  • Friday, October 20: Conference
For more information

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