GSB Student Research Showcase 2022
Rachel Shetterly ’23 and Abigail Wurzbach ’23 have enjoyed an array of opportunities to be creative in their studies at York College of Pennsylvania.
Leadership and Organizational Dynamics major Rachel Shetterly ’23 (Aberdeen, MD) and Business Administration major Abigail Wurzbach ’23 (Brogue, PA) never intended to participate in the Graham School of Business Student Research Showcase. As part of their final project for Dr. Matthew Shatzkin’s Total Quality Management class at York College of Pennsylvania, they had created a SERVQUAL survey to learn if students’ expectations were being met through the class.
SERVQUAL is a research survey designed to measure quality of service based on participants’ perceptions and expectations.
While working on the final project—putting together a survey, distributing it to students in the class, and analyzing the data—the two students received an email about the Student Research Showcase. On a whim, they decided to submit their final project for consideration.
Finalists focus on data
Six research projects were chosen as finalists. Besides Rachel and Abigail’s project, Kaelan Dowdall '22, who won third place, presented “Digital Forensics Methodology Evaluation & Proposal”; Blake Nelson, Rachael Huebler ‘22, Ian McNaughton ‘24, and Johnny Kennevan ’24 presented “The Challenge for Entrepreneurship”; Lauren Droscoski ’22 presented “An Employer’s Responsibility for Diversity in the Workplace”; John Clegg, ’22, who won second place, presented “Cybersecurity in Investment Banking”; and Jenna Heist ’23 presented “How Are Child Labor Laws Different Across Different Industries?”
The finalists presented their research before a panel of judges that included alumni, Graham School of Business advisory board members, and senior York College administrators. Each group or individual entrant had 20 minutes to present the project and 10 minutes to answer questions from the judges.
Abigail and Rachel focused on the data they compiled from their SERVQUAL survey and how such surveys can be used at York to provide raw data visualizing where professors failed to meet, met, or exceeded student expectations to shape their future approach to teaching as a service. They surveyed 22 students but were able to use only 14 samples in their final project.
“The biggest part was our data collection,” Abigail says. “Being able to go into a classroom, get real-life numbers that exist now, as opposed to general research, really set us apart.”
What was intended only as a final class project for Rachel and Abigail became the winning entry in the showcase.
Room to grow
While the sample size and focus were small due in part to the timing of the project, Rachel and Abigail hope to expand their research next semester and survey more classrooms. They want to gather deeper insight into how students feel about their classroom experiences. This type of project also could be used to weigh parent, employee, and post-graduate perceptions.
“With York College placing such an emphasis on in-person school, small class sizes, and on a one-on-one approach, if they’re going to emphasize that, then meeting expectations in the classroom is the most important thing you can do,” Rachel says.
Both students saw the value of the project not only for York College but for their careers.
“I think the survey we did is so applicable to any industry,” Rachel says. “Surveys can teach us so much about any topic. In Organizational Dynamics, people can go to crazy measures to get something to work. We came up with a project that took a week. It gives me hope that I can see change like that when I go into the workplace through outside-the-box thinking.”
“You don’t have to be an expert in something you’re passionate about,” Abigail says. “It’s still super exciting finding ways to be creative while learning about something new. Have fun, wing it, and learn as you go.”