Message from the Director:
The Business and Economics Polling Initiative, also known as BEPI, is well known not only for the significant national exposure that the Initiative creates for Florida Atlantic University but also for the opportunities that it provides to our students. The mission of the Initiative is to directly support the goals of FAU’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP), “Distinction through Discovery.” As founder and director of the Initiative, my goal is to help students develop skills that extend beyond the classroom.
Even though the Initiative is only three years old, its impact on our undergraduate and graduate students is evident.
BEPI provides students the opportunity for hands-on learning in every aspect of the survey research process, from collecting data to presenting their research findings at local, regional and national conferences. For example, in 2015, five research projects from BEPI were presented at FAU’s annual undergraduate research symposium. The BEPI projects were well received, with one team winning first place in the oral presentation competition and another team taking second place in the poster competition.
In 2016, for the first time BEPI took undergraduate students to regional and national conferences to showcase their undergraduate research. Students participated in the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of Tampa. The conference hosted 684 participants from over 30 institutions in the state of Florida, including 14 students from FAU, six of them from BEPI. In addition, students participated in the Undergraduate Research Competition at the Association of Private Enterprise Education Conference in Las Vegas.
BEPI students also performed well presenting their research findings on the FAU campus, as one team grabbed second place in oral presentation competition at the FAU Undergraduate Symposium and a team of graduate students won first prize in the category of Business, Marketing and Public Administration at the FAU Graduate Professional Day.
Our students also develop skills that attract interest from top graduate schools and employers. One example of this occurred recently when I spoke with the director human resources from a Fortune 500 company, who after offering positions to a couple of BEPI students was so pleased they reached out to me seeking more potential candidates. In addition, several students from BEPI have been accepted into graduate programs at top-ranked universities such as Duke University and the University of Florida.
Finally, BEPI gives students the chance to overcome personal challenges. It’s been very gratifying to watch students conquer their fear of public speaking, become more assertive and bloom as leaders.
I’m pleased to say that BEPI provides an environment for students to become better versions of themselves at the professional and personal level.
Monica Escaleras, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Economics