College of Charleston EXPO 2024

A significant part of the extraordinary that happens at the College of Charleston is the experiential learning our students encounter. Research, scholarship, creative inquiry and community service – many times alongside faculty – help students gain knowledge and learn skills that are important to employers and in graduate school.

The School of Business is excited to highlight exceptional business students who recently took part in EXPO 2024 and achieved top honors. With over 250 student projects showcased, nearly 20 were presented by business students.

Congratulations to this year’s EXPO School of Business award recipients:

School of Business Dean’s Choice Alumni Association Award

College of Charleston EXPO 2024

Litvin and Matthews

Nick Matthews (Hospitality and tourism management major)

Project: “Racial Minorities Usage of South Carolina Beaches, and the Barriers to Such Usage”

Faculty Mentors: Daniel Guttentag, Ph.D. and Steve Litvin, DBA

More about Matthew’s research

The purpose of this study is to reveal perceived barriers to beach usage among racial minorities in South Carolina. This study is also providing insight into whether different racial groups use the beach in different ways, including whether racial minorities are underrepresented on South Carolina’s beaches. The study involved two methods, firstly having employed the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC). Developed by the RAND Corporation, SOPARC has primarily been used in parks to assess information about users in recreational spaces. The method involved visually recording not only the number of individuals at popular beaches throughout the state, including Hilton Head Island, Folly Beach, Island of Palms, Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach, but also key characteristics such as demographics, visible minority status, and activities engaged in (such as sunbathing, swimming, etc.) during various times of day. The second phase of this study involved distributing electronic surveys through a research panel provided by Qualtrics, which targeted racial minorities to ensure an adequate representation of such groups. Approximately 500 surveys were collected, employing stratified sampling to ensure a substantial number of responses from African American and Latin American Individuals. The objective of the surveys was to explore the barriers to beach visitation that are perceived by South Carolina residents, such as unease of access, cost, attitudes, fears, swimming ability, or the feeling of unwelcomeness.

Best Poster Awards

First Place

Pettit and Anderson

Pettit and Anderson

Kiley Pettit (Marketing and communication double major in the Honors College)

Project: “Social Media Marketing Manager Burnout”

Faculty Mentor: Kelley Cours Anderson, Ph.D.

More about Kiley’s research

The rise of social media usage has led to increased burnout among social media marketers, prompting a growing interest in digital and social media wellness ideas. Defined as “the optimum state of well-being a consumer pursues while intentionally managing social media consumption accessible on mobile devices and other digital technology through the awareness of how such consumption affects one’s mental health and priorities,” social media wellness is an up-and-coming concept emerging as a response to these challenges (Mertz et al., 2022). The phenomenon leans into ways of managing social media consumption and its effects on one’s lifestyle, especially those of social media managers. However, the 24/7 persistent connection for social media managers specifically reduces success and hinders their ability to practice methods such as digital disconnection in fear of compensating for productivity. Recognition of social media burnout and proper disconnection strategies for social media managers is scarce in communication and marketing industry research. Therefore, in this study‚ through qualitative interviews, secondary literature research, and analysis via the holistic phronetic iterative approach‚ I define social media manager burnout, explore burnout, and evaluate methods managers can implement to effectively conquer burnout without compromising their job performance. Ultimately, this research will provide an imperative open door for increased discussion as social media managers are at risk of burnout. Therefore, this study will explore the practices social media marketing managers employ to reduce their social media burnout and find balance, or social media wellness.

Second Place

Riley Haas

Riley Haas (Economics and mathematics major in the Honors College)

Project: “The Economic Impacts of Nuisance Flooding”

Faculty Mentor: Chris Mothorpe, Ph.D.

More about Riley’s research

Charleston, South Carolina has experienced 89 flood days in 2020 compared to only 2 flood days a century ago. Projected SLR and global warming are likely to increase the number of flood days in the future and exacerbate the impacts of nuisance flooding, which includes disrupting transportation, damaging infrastructure, and straining local government budgets. As local governments increase public expenditures towards sea walls, pump stations, and elevated bridges, it is important to estimate the effectiveness of such policies and how those costs compare to the estimated benefits in the prices of residents’ homes. Exploring this issue, this research paper examines the economic impact of nuisance flooding in Charleston, South Carolina, analyzing its consequences on residents’ commuting times and how such road closures impact the housing market. Mapping assessment and sales data from the Charleston County Assessor’s Office and reported road closures by the City of Charleston with SLR, tide height, and rainfall data, the analysis establishes an original dataset that illustrates the economic impacts of nuisance flooding on Charleston residents, considering the increase in commuting times and how such flood events are priced into homes in the region.

Third Place

Serena Pipes

Serena Pipes (marketing major, economics minor in the Honors College)

Project: “The Value of Quitting”

Faculty Mentor: Calvin Blackwell, Ph.D.

More about Serena’s research

Tobacco use continues to pose a significant public health challenge in the United States, contributing to many adverse health outcomes. This study explores the efficacy of diverse financial incentives, incorporating gains and losses, to promote smoking cessation. Initially, participants were asked to indicate how much they would be willing to pay to eliminate nicotine cravings and usage, thereby informing the monetary value used in the reward-specific questions. To compare participants’ perceptions of different reward structures, we conducted a survey where individuals were randomly assigned to one of three programs with varying reward structures: fixed, escalating, or de-escalating rewards. The analysis of our 505 survey responses revealed that participants in escalating or de-escalating groups perceived the hypothetical monetary gains and losses as less motivating than participants of the fixed group. However, all three groups indicated a uniform preference for their program when compared to an all-or-nothing reward structure.

Moreover, participants’ self-reported willingness to pay at the beginning of the survey was the most significant predictor influencing their perceptions of motivation, efficacy, and overall appeal of the program. This self-reported willingness to pay was found to be heavily influenced by demographic variables, including gender, education level, income, race, and age. From a behavioral economics standpoint, this research underscores the importance of structural design, demographics, and individual motivation in enhancing the efficacy of financial incentives for smoking cessation, further contributing to the ongoing fight against tobacco addiction.

Top Graduate Paper Award

Daniel Sanguino Franco (MBA candidate)

Project: “Sustainability at the Heart: The College of Charleston’s Green Office Program”

Faculty Mentor: Nicole Killen, M.S.

More about Daniel’s research

Explore the transformative journey of the Green Office Program, an innovative initiative launched by the Center for Sustainable Development at the College of Charleston. Since its inception in 2020, this program has spearheaded a movement towards sustainability within our campus offices, fostering a culture of environmental responsibility and inclusivity.