Undergraduate Learning Opportunities

Midwest Market


The Program for the Study of Midwest Markets and Entrepreneurship has provided opportunities for Iowa State University undergraduate students to work on research projects, for example, at the department's Saturday Morning Breakfast Club. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences highlighted the meetings in their alumni magazine, Link.

Teams go on to present papers and posters at national competitions, professional meetings and conferences and as part of university senior or honors projects. Our students' projects receive awards, recognition and publication in economics academic publications.

Saturday Breakfast Club

Community Bank Case Study Competition

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors presents an annual competition in which undergraduate student teams from colleges around the country set out to partner with community banks and conduct original case studies on bank management and board succession planning.

Nathalia Kimmell, sophomore in economics; and Thu Tran, sophomore in economics.


Montserrat Ponce-Parra (’20 economics and mathematics), Julian Duran (’20 economics and Statistics), Lucy Dougherty (’20 economics and political science), Skyler Schneekloth (’19 history and political science; ’20 economics and statistics), and Nicholas Klein wrote a paper on community bank strategic responses to the threat of peer-to-peer lending for the Community Bank Case Study Competition.



Callen Duffy (‘19 agricultural business, finance and economics), Jack Bebel (’17 finance), James Howell (’17 economics and political science), Mengyu (Allen) Wang (’18 economics and aerospace engineering) and Tim Dwyer (’17 mechanical engineering) took second place in the Community Bank Case Study Competition. Their paper, Ames National Corporation: A Culture of Success,” was published by the their Journal of Community Bank Case Studies. Video

Midwest Economics Meetings

The Midwest Economics Association provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to present papers for special undergraduate sessions at its annual meetings. A monetary award is given for the best undergraduate student paper presentation.

meetings. Dylan attended graduate school at the University of Iowa.

Gerald Healy, III (‘18 economics) and Jing Ru Tan (‘17 economics) had their paper, “Measuring Market Power in Professional Baseball, Basketball, Football and Hockey,” published by The American Economist. The paper measures price-cost margins for the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL over time and compares the results to estimates for European soccer teams. They presented their paper at the Midwest Economics Association meetings.

Jack Fischer (’18 liberal studies) completed a paper with Nathan Rodriguez (‘15 economics and mathematics), “The Relative Importance of Macroeconomic Shocks, Regional Shocks and Idiosyncratic Risk on Large and Small Banks.”  Jack presented the paper at the Midwest Economics Undergraduate Research Competition. Nathan attended graduate school in mathematical finance at Texas A&M University.

Jasmine Francois (‘16 business economics) and Melvin Masinde (‘17 economics and community and regional planning) received Program support to complete a research project predicting county retail sales. Melvin presented their paper, “Retail Firm Sales, Entry and Exit in Urban and Rural Markets, 1991–2011”  at the Midwest Economics Association Undergraduate Paper Competition. The paper was published by The Review of Regional Studies. Melvin completed a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning.

Anthony Sax (‘16 economics and supply chain management) and Mary K. Koithan (’15 economics) wrote an essay, “Do Differences in Marginal Tax Rates at State Borders Affect Residential and Job Location?” Anthony presented it at the Midwest Economics Association Undergraduate Paper Competition. He attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina.

Reese Drenth, (‘19 agricultural business and economics), John Green (’19 agricultural business and economics) and Callen Duffy (‘19 agricultural business, finance and economics) worked on a study that examined how entering the military after high school affected later schooling, earnings and substance abuse.

Midwest Economics Association
Honors Posters

Honors Poster Presentations

 All students graduating in the Honors Program present their capstone projects at an Honors Poster Presentation event, held each semester. Most students present during their senior year, but may present earlier if their Honors Project has been completed.


Madison Mueller, Agricultural Business

"Iowa Farm Tenure Survey, 1997-2017"

Advisor: Amy Brandau

Project Advisor: Wendong Zhang


Lucy Schneekloth, Business Economics

"Atypical Asset Accumulation"

Advisors: Shannon Grundmeier, Amy Brandau

Project Advisor: Peter Orazem


Nathan Herold, Supply Chain Management

"Developing a Student Housing Cooperative in Ames"
Project Advisor: Keri Jacobs


Dawson Barriuso

"The Interaction of U.S. Imports and Exports with
Domestic and International Butter Markets"
Advisor: Terry Alexander

Project Advisor: Dermot Hayes


Jonathan Becker

"An Emerging Online Education: iTunes University
and Khan Academy, Significance and Future"
Project Advisor: Shoba Premkumar


Rachel Brandt

"Testing for Strategic Breaks in City Populations"
Advisor: Terry Alexander

Project Advisors: Otavio Bartalotti, Peter Orazem


Brian Garrido

"Pricing Behavior of Liberal Arts Colleges"
Advisor: Terry Alexander

Project Advisors: Peter Orazem, Darin Wohlgemuth


Alyssa Henderson

"Evaluating Stereotypes of University Greek Life"
Advisors: Amani Elobeid, Kristin Towers,

Project Advisor: Patrick Armstrong



 Taylor Finn

 "What Are The Best Universities in the Nation, and Why?"
Advisors: Terry Alexander and Ruxandra Looft 

Project advisor: Peter Orazem.


Olivia Reicks

"Market Link: Understanding Small Malawi Farmers' Profits." 
Advisors: Shannon Grundmeier and Terry Alexander
Project advisor: Bobby Martens