Drake Pooley, left, said he is interested in researching consumer behavior in China, while James Pinkleton is considering studies on mobile data security. / Image by Joe McAdory
Drake Pooley hopes to “be more aware of what the latest trends in the business world are so I can be the most relevant and conscientious student possible.”
James Pinkleton wants to “learn how to do extensive and long- term research and to better educate myself in current MIS issues.”
They will get that chance through the Research Scholars Program.
Pooley, a freshman from Houston, Texas, in Pre-Business Administration, and Pinkleton, a freshman from Huntsville double-majoring in International Business and Information Systems Management, were chosen as inaugural Honors College Undergraduate Research Scholars for the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.
The two-year commitment in the program awards the students $2,000 per academic year, offers collaborative mentorship with faculty members, and tasks the students with specific research projects with hopes of their work resulting in publication. The program is funded through the Honors College Development Fund.
Pooley will be mentored by Daniel Padgett, Associate Professor in Marketing, and said he is considering doing research on consumer behavior in China. Pinkleton said he was leaning toward “tech-related” research and was considering studies on mobile data security with mentor Casey Cegielski, Associate Professor in Supply Chain Management. The students are expected to conduct research for eight to 10 hours per week.
Norman Godwin, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, said the students were “chosen collaboratively by the Honors College and Harbert College based on academic potential and research interests.”
In a letter written to both students, Melissa J. Baumann, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies, said, “Your selection recognizes your high academic achievement and the leadership and involvement that you have displayed in the years leading up to your admittance to Auburn University and the Honors College.”
Baumann added, "In their first year they will also participate in the Honors Leadership Scholars Program (led by Dr. Paul Harris, Associate Director of National Prestigious Scholars) which brings together the university Elite Scholars with the Honors College Undergraduate Research Scholars to explore and develop their academic leadership potential and to build a community of scholars."
The students are excited about the potential dividends.
“I am excited most about getting a practical opportunity to engage in my future career field, especially at such a young age,” said Pooley, who is 17. “I'm excited to develop relationships with not only other people that share the same interests as I do, but also the professors I get to work with as the knowledge I can gain from them by working closely in research with them supersedes anything I could learn in the class. I hope to develop better critical thinking skills and a more diverse look into the business world, but the ultimate goal is to be able to make any contribution to further developing my line of work.”
Pinkleton said he looked forward to working with a professor in his field and getting “a better understanding of my major.”
“I feel that this one-on-one time will prepare me for what I am getting into and will be a very valuable relationship,” he added. “I believe this research will make me a better student and professional because it will teach me how to research more than I already know. I believe that this will be a major learning process that I will later be able to apply to my career.”