CSA Day 2021: Student Spotlights in Business & Communication

Interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.


Tasia standing in front of flowers
Photo courtesy of Tasia Bromell

Tasia Bromell

Project title: “Employing Diversity: Improving Hiring Practices for All”

Please describe your research.

I am conducting my research in the School of Business. It discusses how companies can improve the hiring process for people with physical, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities.

What inspired your topic?

As a person with a physical disability and someone who is interested in talent acquisition in the future, I knew that this project will be essential for me personally but also for HR professionals in general.

How did COVID-19 impact your research process?

COVID-19 didn't affect it much, actually. I just had to work with my thesis advisor through Zoom rather than in-person meetings, but I was able to adapt.

Do you feel that this research or some aspect of what you’ve learned will apply to your future, whether in continuing education or in the working world?

I will definitely use this as a future recruiter or talent acquisition specialist. Furthermore, as someone who is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion in general, I will use this to advocate for a more inclusive workplace in whatever position I chose to work in.


Rachel sitting outside
Photo courtesy of Rachel Hill

Rachel Hill

Project title: “Purchases and the Pandemic: The Influence of COVID-19 on the Spending Patterns of College Students”

Please describe your research.

My research explores the influence of COVID-19 on college students’ spending patterns.

What inspired your topic?

My topic was inspired by being in the pandemic. Because we didn’t know how long the lockdown would last, many people had to stop working and I had to change what I was buying to save money.

How did COVID-19 impact your research process?

Due to COVID-19, I couldn’t have meetings with my advisors in person and could only email, so communication took a little longer. My survey was also sent out by email and I couldn’t spread the word to people to complete it any other way.

Do you feel that this research or some aspect of what you’ve learned will apply to your future, whether in continuing education or in the working world?

I think my research has made me conscious of my buying decisions and will change my behavior for future natural disasters or pandemics. I am also more conscious of saving money in case something were to happen.


Ava standing on the beach
Photo courtesy of Ava Taylor

Ava Taylor

Project title: “Challenges Impacting Small-Scale Producers in North Carolina's Seafood Industry”

Please describe your research.

I conducted my research in the School of Business. Commercial fishing has been a vital part of North Carolina’s economy and history since the first settlers inhabited its shores centuries ago. As a primary food source for our nation, means of employment for many and cultural identity for residents of coastal communities, the importance of the commercial fishing industry cannot be emphasized enough. Challenges such as increased government regulation, mass importation of seafood, lacking public knowledge and understanding and the extreme development of waterfront properties have resulted in tremendously negative impacts. My thesis brings these issues to light and offers recommendations for revitalizing the industry. Recognizing the importance of the seafood industry and the necessity of its survival is crucial to not only commercial fishermen but North Carolina as a whole.

What inspired your topic?

My family has owned and operated a wholesale seafood business, T.A. Taylor and Sons Seafood, in Sea Level, North Carolina, for over 80 years. As the fourth generation representative of my family's business, advocating for commercial fishing interests is a personal responsibility I am fortunate to carry. The hardworking men and women of the seafood industry deserve to have their voices heard, and they are the biggest inspiration behind my work.

How did COVID-19 impact your research process?

COVID-19 had little to no impact on my research.

Do you feel that this research or some aspect of what you’ve learned will apply to your future, whether in continuing education or in the working world?

I definitely will carry what I learned in my research with me into the future. I plan to continue to promote the commercial fishing industry, even if it is not the career path I decide to take.


Anna standing on the balcony of Johnson Hall
Photo courtesy of Anna Wisniewski

Anna Wisniewski

Project title: Mixed Message Media

Please describe your research.

As a communication major, social media is quite a popular topic in my classes and in my life. I chose to make a short documentary, Mixed Message Media, exploring both the positive and negative influences of social media use in college-age adults. In analyzing the results of questions from a campus-wide survey, unstructured video interviews and from recent scholarly studies, several themes emerged including connection vs. isolation, public vs. private and truth vs. untruth. As media users become increasingly involved in social networking sites, it is important to analyze these mixed messages and the potential impact on the quality of everyday life.

What inspired your topic?

Quite a few things inspired my topic. Hearing the perspectives of friends who've recently deleted social media altogether, thinking about how prevalent this form of media is in our lives and seeing the impact it's had on staying connected with others in my own life were all reasons that led me to pursue this research topic.

How did COVID-19 impact your research process?

Though COVID-19 definitely impacted my research, the role it played was very small. I was able to conduct all of the research that I needed without any problems. After performing the unstructured interviews, I did notice that the pandemic has inspired people to use social media more frequently to stay connected to those they do not see as often, but the increase in time of usage has also led to more negative effects.

Do you feel that this research or some aspect of what you’ve learned will apply to your future, whether in continuing education or in the working world?

As a communication major with aspirations of working in the communication field, the research that I have done and the results that I have analyzed from this study will definitely be implemented not only in my future career but also in how I use social media in my personal life. This study has helped me to become more aware of the negative aspects of social media and has also opened my eyes to see how beneficial it can be in aiding me to stay connected with my peers, especially looking ahead to graduation next May.


Interviews compiled by Freya Dahlgren, Staff Writer, and Rachel Van Horne, News Editor

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