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Undergraduate Research Fellows

Academic Year 2020-2021

Our undergraduate research fellows produce real, publishable research in topics related to ACRE’s mission such as occupational licensing, taxes, government spending, and more. These highly-competitive paid positions give students the opportunity to focus on research, get valuable feedback from ACRE staff and fellow researchers, and offer chances to present their research in academic settings.

 

 

Elsa Mattson

Elsa Mattson is from Conway, Arkansas, She is a senior majoring in Economics, MIS, and Chinese. After graduating she may attend school for an MBA or pursue a career in business. She is currently researching state occupational licensing requirements and the impact such requirements have on choosing a location for a business. Dr. Tom Snyder is her faculty mentor. Mattson has already coauthored a paper entitled “Occupational Licensing Effects on Business Establishments”. You can read the abstract of the paper here.

 

 

 

Tanner Corley

 

Tanner Corley is from Bismarck, Arkansas. He is a senior with a double major in History and Political Science. After graduating he plans to attend graduate school studying history. His current research concerns the licensing of barbers in Arkansas and the effects that the state licensing board has had on the development of the profession. Dr. Wendy Lucas is his mentor. You can read a blog post Tanner authored on his research subject here.

 

 

Kennedy Neely

Kennedy Neely is a senior majoring in Political Science, International Studies, and Anthropology, with a minor in History. Her fellows research focuses on undocumented immigrants and occupational licensing. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and hopes to work in immigration law. Her hometown is Weiner, AR, but Kennedy attended high school at the Arkansas School for Math, Sciences, and the Arts in Hot Springs, AR. A blog post on the ACRE Review by Kennedy can be read here.

 

 

 

David Lee

David Lee is a History Major, with a double minor in Communication and Political Science, currently in his senior year. The subject of his fellows research is directly looking over how prepared Arkansas School districts were for the COVID-19 Pandemic in terms of transitioning to Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI). David hopes to understand whether charter school districts in Arkansas navigated the pandemic better or worse than traditional school districts. After graduating, he plans on attending law school to become an attorney. His hometown is Maumelle, Arkansas.

 

 

Academic Year 2019-2020

 

Erica Smith

Erica Smith graduated from UCA in May 2020 with a major in Economics. She is from Vilonia, AR. After graduation she hopes to find a career in the global supply chain. During her time as a research fellow, Smith coauthored a forthcoming paper examining whether the state’s targeted economic development incentives have been used for political gain.

Ryan Jackson

Ryan Jackson graduated from UCA in May 2020 with a major in Economics. After graduation, he plans to move to Northwest Arkansas and pursue a career in business. He is from Pea Ridge, AR. You can read a blog post Jackson authored for the ACRE Review here.

Macy Scheck

Macy Scheck is from Grand Junction, Colorado. He graduated from UCA in May 2020 with a major in economics and a minor in German. His current research examined the effect of severance taxes on natural gas production and investment. You can read a blog post on the ACRE Review about his research here.

Zak Massey

Zak Massey graduated from UCA in May 2020 and is currently pursuing an MS in Economics from the University of Arkansas. He is from Perryville, AR. During his time as a research fellow, Massey coauthored a research paper with ACRE Director David Mitchell entitled “Expanding the Use of Nurse Practitioners and Young Adult Mental Health.”

Tanner Corley

Tanner Corley is from Bismarck, Arkansas. He is a senior with a double major in History and Political Science. After graduating he plans to attend graduate school studying history. Corley coauthored a research paper entitled “For Public Health or Private Gain?” about the history of barber licensing in Arkansas.

Elsa Mattson

Elsa Mattson is from Conway, Arkansas, She is a senior majoring in Economics, MIS, and Chinese. After graduating she may attend school for an MBA or pursue a career in business. Mattson wrote an op-ed published in The Morning Call about licensing restrictions for former inmates, which can be read here.

 

 


 Academic Year 2018-2019

 

Morgan Burke

Morgan Burke is from Sheridan, Arkansas. She is a senior majoring in biology and minoring in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. After graduating, she hopes to attend a masters program in education. This is her second year as a research fellow for ACRE. In her first year, she researched school choice in Arkansas. Currently, she is focused on examining the relationship between administration spending and student outcomes in Arkansas.

Dango Kumwenda

Dango is from Malawi. He graduated from UCA in 2017 with a BBA degree in economics. He is currently pursuing an MBA degree at UCA. His current research is focused on the effects of minimum wage.

Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore is from Greenwood, Arkansas. He is a senior majoring in economics and minoring in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. His research examines the effects of occupational licensing laws on economic recovery.

 

 


Academic Year 2017-2018

 

Dylan Jones

Dylan Jones is from Greers Ferry, Arkansas. He is a senior majoring in Mathematics with a concentration in Data Science and minoring in Economics. His research focuses on government incentives and whether or not Arkansas’s job creation tax credits increase job opportunities throughout the state.

Morgan Burke

Morgan Burke is from Sheridan, Arkansas. She is a junior majoring in biology and minoring in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. After graduating, she hopes to attend a masters program in education. She is researching school choice in Arkansas.

Christopher Talley

Christopher Talley is from Huntsville, Arkansas. He is majoring in Geography and minoring in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. Chris will graduate in the spring of 2018. His research is a case study of Kickstarter as a comparison to other traditional forms of funding. The data he receives will be compared on a national and state level, as a potential alternative to funding methods such as bank loans or credit cards.

Aaron Newell

Aaron Newell is a senior from Vilonia, Arkansas. He is a double major in Economics and Public Administration. After graduation, he intends to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration or Health Administration to pursue a career in Healthcare Management. Aaron’s current research is focused on K-12 school choice in Arkansas, including the effects of charter schools on student performance and delinquency. His research paper “The Effects of Charter Schools on Disciplinary Infractions in Traditional Public Schools: Evidence from Arkansas” was published in the November 2019 edition of the Quarterly Review of Business Disciplines.

Op-ed: How Charter Schools Improve Student Outcomes printed April 30, 2018 in the Log Cabin Democrat.