Kent State College of Business Administration Students Participate in Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

Four College of Business Administration students participated in the 2015 Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity on March 11. Andrew Bergmann, senior economics major, Michaela Judy, freshman business management major, Nicholas Opencar, senior business management major and Carleton Whitmore, sophomore entrepreneurship major participated in the symposium.

Andrew Bergmann presented his research entitled, “Income Inequality and Education: Higher Education’s Effect on Income Inequality.”

Bergmann’s abstract states, “This research is concerned with the effect of education on income inequality in the United States, researched through the review of scholarly literature. I find this to be an important topic due to the current extreme difference in income between the highest and lowest earners in the U.S. Information for this research is pulled from scholarly sources on the subject and brought together to give a full view of education and inequality. While the common view is that education acts as an equalizer, research suggests that the educational system in the United States may play a large factor in perpetuating inequality. It seems that a better quality of education is available to those who are born into wealthier families, allowing individuals from high- income households to achieve a higher level of income in life. Those from low-income families receive less education, often of a lower quality. This research deals with the problem of economic mobility and possible solutions to be found in the education system.”

Bergmann’s mentor was Kathryn Wilson, Ph.D., College of Business Administration economics professor.

Michaela Judy presented her research entitled, “The Effectiveness of Military Combat Gear.”

Judy’s abstract states, “Technology has become so greatly advanced it is hard to accept the fact that military casualty rates continue to increase at an alarming rate. Are U.S. soldiers receiving the best combat protection possible? Soldiers only have ballistic protection on their chest to protect their essential organs. Major arteries and veins are left unprotected. A qualitative case study was conducted using in-depth interviews with several military personnel. Interviews were also conducted with managers from companies that produce ballistic fibers and fabrics for Army Combat Uniforms (ACU). In addition, research documents were reviewed and analyzed. In conclusion, a soldier needs full-body protection when in combat. A ballistic, full-body uniform design, using Dragon Skin, Kevlar and Spectra Shield, has been created utilizing entrepreneurial design skills. Now that military weapons have become more advanced, it is crucial that ACU meet the demanding threats that soldiers face on the battlefield.”

Judy’s mentors were Laura Damiano, Ph.D., College of Business Administration adjunct professor and Elizabeth Sinclair, assistant dean of undergraduate programs and assessment.

Nicholas Opencar presented his research entitled, “A Cost-based Analysis of Misspecification in the Lead Time Demand Distribution for Reorder Point Inventory Models.”

Opencar’s abstract states, “The mathematical form of the lead time demand distribution provides the foundation for determining the customer service level in a reorder point (ROP) inventory model. Inventory related costs resulting from stockouts and holding safety stock are directly related to the customer service level that is maintained. The vast majority of industrial applications of ROP models assume that the lead time demand distribution is normally distributed and hence use a customer service level derived from the normal distribution. This research investigates the cost implications that result from the diminished level of customer service that occurs when the true underlying form of lead time distribution is not normally distributed but is assumed to be normal when establishing a customer service level. A set of analytical models was developed to capture the cost implications that result when the lead time demand distribution is incorrectly specified (e.g., assumed to be normally distributed when in reality is not normally distributed). The sensitivity of the costs associated with the misspecification of the lead time distribution is explored using computer simulation in an experimental design that captures relevant ranges of the input parameters to the ROP inventory models. Based on the analytical and simulation results, guidelines are developed to aid inventory managers in setting customer service levels for ROP inventory models for nonnormal lead time demand distributions. The findings demonstrate that significant costs due to poor customer service are incurred when the lead time demand distribution in ROP inventory models is incorrectly specified.”

Opencar’s mentor was Alfred Guiffrida, Ph.D., associate professor of information systems in the College of Business Administration.

Carleton Whitmore presented his research entitled, “Increasing University Student Retention Through Student Involvement.”

Whitmore’s abstract states, “At many schools, students do not receive much information about how to become involved. Most institutions have organizational fairs once or twice a semester, where different organizations reach out to perspective members. However, students need an easier way to find out how to get involved in their school. Studies show that when students are committed to a university, they are more likely to finish their schooling. Due to the rising cost of higher education, many institutions face student recruitment and retention challenges. According to, the success of an institution’s retention strategy centers on addressing student’s academic and nonacademic concerns. Recently, several organizations were surveyed as to how they communicate with their student bodies. Amazingly, many clubs have a very difficult time attracting members even with the use of social media. In addition, there is no platform for student organizations to share information with other clubs both within and across universities worldwide. The sharing of best practices across clubs and universities will result in strengthening student organizations.”

Whitmore’s mentors were Mark Whitmore, Ph.D., assistant professor of management and information systems at the College of Business Administration, and Kate Harmon, associate director of Blackstone Launchpad.

The symposium, sponsored by The Office of the Provost, Honors College, Research and Sponsored Programs, Undergraduate Studies and University Libraries, provides students an opportunity to showcase and be recognized for scholarly and creative work. Undergraduate students in all majors and at all campuses are able to participate.

For more information on the Undergraduate Research Symposium, visit


Kent State University’s College of Business Administration is one of only 180 colleges or schools of business worldwide to achieve dual accreditation in both business and accounting from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the global accrediting body providing specialized accreditation at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The College of Business Administration is home to 4,502 students, the second largest college of business in Ohio. The college boasts a satellite office at Kent State University’s Career Services Center dedicated to business students, and operates the Global Management Center, the Center for Information Systems and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation all propelling scholarly research, establishing innovative industry partnerships and providing outreach to Northeast Ohio and beyond.            


Michelle Parrish Manning, Director of Marketing Communications,, 330-672-2717

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POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 05:44 PM