BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism Announces 2017-2018 Grants


MACON – Mercer University’s BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism recently announced the recipients of its 2017-2018 academic grants supporting student research in economics, finance or other related areas.

The Center, established within the Stetson School of Business and Economics in 2009 by a generous grant from the BB&T Charitable Foundation, awarded undergraduate students up to $2,000 in funding for each of the following research projects:

Sarah Barry, senior economics and math double-major, “Trust Games in Zaruma, Ecuador”
Jerry Ren, senior economics and finance double-major, and
Sachin Khurana, sophomore economics and finance double-major, “Housing Prices and GDP per Capita”
Shivani Sharma, junior finance major and economics minor, “Oil Prices and Economic Performance”
Jordin Post, senior finance and economics double-major, “Exports and Economic Growth”
Yea Lee Kim, junior finance major, “The Relationship between Speculative and Investment Grade Bonds”
Dhara Patel, senior economics major, “The Relationship Between the Tobacco Tax Rate and Crime”
Khatija Sajid, junior economics and finance double-major, “Real Exchange Rate and the Balance of Payments for Developing Countries”
Kyle Bligen, senior politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) major, and
Colton Sowash, sophomore finance and economics double-major, “The Rise of Cryptocurrency in the International Economy”

“The research grants are the program we are the most proud at the BB&T Center,” said Dr. Antonio Saravia, assistant professor of economics and director of the Center. “By facilitating undergraduate students to pursue their research interests, we achieve two goals. First, students get to work on projects that they present at national and international conferences and potentially publish. This has a significant impact on their vitas and increases their visibility. In the past, students who have received these awards have landed important jobs or gained admission to highly reputed graduate programs. Second, the research grants allow us to fulfill our mission, which is to promote a thorough discussion of the economic and moral foundations of capitalism.”

The students will use the funding present their work at the conferences of organizations such as the Association of Private Enterprise Education and the Society of Business, Industry, and Economics.

For more information on the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism, visit

About the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Established in 1984, Mercer University’s Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics is named for Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in corporate history. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted over 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold senior leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer’s business school delivers career-focused business education programs and develops entrepreneurial leaders and responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of all top business schools worldwide. Mercer’s business school has been recognized by the Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as being one of its “Best Business Schools.” In addition, it has been recognized among the “Top 15 Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting.” The School offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening BBA, Full-Time (One-Year) MBA, Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA, Master of Accountancy, M.S. in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA and Evening MBA), Douglas County and Henry County (Evening BBA).