An Out-of-Building Experience: The NAU Undergraduate Symposium 2017

Posted: Friday, June 2nd 2017 at 3:07 AM

April 28, 2017, NAU held its 9th annual Undergraduate Symposium, an event that showcases NAU student research and creative endeavors.

Len Hostetter’s MKT 494: Strategic Marketing class; Dennis Foster’s ECO 481: Public Choice class, and Nita Paden’s MKT434: Marketing for Society class researched topics and presented them in this “out-of-building experience” at the NAU Skydome. The format stretched the students beyond the norm of PowerPoint presentations. They created posters and met with participants one-on-one to offer their topics and discuss their findings.

Hostetter was pleased that the symposium provided participating MKT 494 students with a valuable opportunity to present and explain their marketing plan and recommendations for the Oak Creek Watershed Council to attendees.

This was Foster’s 3rd year guiding the students through the symposium. This semester, he had the students work on their project individually, but then bring their findings together on theme-based posters.

Public Choice theory is about problems with the government providing goods and services relative to the Market. One of the themes was minimum age, one of them was voting issues, another was education.

For example, with voting, the issue was whether or not there's ways to prevent potential voter fraud and what might be done in that regard. For education, a lot of it was how to improve education through more market-based solutions, perhaps privatizing different levels of education. One group focused on different political structures. One student wrote about the Supreme Court, someone else wrote about sunset laws where laws expire automatically – should there be more of that?

Foster feels the value is in the format offered wherein the students have to articulate the outcomes of their research, what it means, and how it benefits us in this extemporaneous setting. They also were able to explore other people's work throughout the venue.

This was the first time Paden and her students participated, but she found value in this out-of-the-norm format as well.

In Marketing for Society, the students take social issues, research them, and create goals and objectives. They develop a marketing plan to address that issue, trying to change the behavior for the good.

Student groups focused on animal adoption, hazing in athletics, sex trafficking, ocean pollution, drinking and driving, and arts in education in public schools.

What could improve the experience? Foster felt, “It would be nicer if we had more participation, but it would also be nicer if we were able to get more people to go to see it. …I'm not sure that a lot of business students or faculty get to go over there, because it is out of the way, on a Friday, just before the end of the semester.”

“My students REALLY liked the symposium. They enjoyed the fact that they were able to present their research more informally and one-on-one with people who came up and were interested in their topic. It was really good for them to experience something different,” concluded Paden.

Categories: undergraduate symposium spring 2017 2017 mkt434 marketing for society len hostetter nita paden dennis foster mkt 494 strategic marketing eco 481 public choice