Research Colloquium Demonstrates Broad Range of Topics, Interests

By Doug Carroll
GCU News Bureau

A colloquium, as Dr. Kevin McClean reminded a packed North Gym lecture hall on Thursday, is just a fancy word for a discussion. And for a full two hours, there was plenty to discuss at the sixth annual Research Colloquium sponsored by the honors societies of Grand Canyon University.

Six presentations supplied abundant food for thought, with topics ranging from student exercise and nutrition to Angel investing. There were completed doctoral dissertations, projects in progress and simply good ideas.

The event is sponsored by Delta Mu Delta (Business), Alpha Epsilon Gamma (Education), Psi Chi (Psychology), Alpha Sigma Lambda (Professional Studies), Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing), Alpha Chi (University Honors) and Lambda Phi Eta (Communications). It is coordinated by McClean, a marketing professor currently serving as interim dean for the Ken Blanchard College of Business.

Here's a summary of what was heard from the presenters, in order, at arguably the best colloquium yet:


About him: Executive director of curriculum and assessment for GCU's College of Doctoral Studies. Successfully defended his dissertation last month and graduates from Ed.D program in May.

Topic: "The Impact of Social Presence Cues on Postsecondary Student Achievement Online"

Summary: "Cues" used by online instructors, such as the use of a student's name, humor, expression of emotion, and compliments, can affect student satisfaction, if not final grades or retention. Online is a "lean medium" that can be made richer through effective interaction.

Quote: "There's an argument to be made that doing these kinds of things can have an academic benefit. They can help connect with students."


About her: Certified athletic trainer with specialized interests in sports medicine and health/wellness. Program director for GCU's athletic training education program since 1997 and Ph.D. student in psychology.

Topic: "Healthy Lifestyle Stages of Change in GCU Students"

Summary: Eight weeks of research complete, with data analysis yet to begin. Four stages of change in physical activity are identified as contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. Seminoff is working with Jenna Behm-Lawton on the project.

Quote: "Some universities are making nutrition education a requirement for their students. Hopefully, we can make improvements (at GCU)."


About them: Decker teaches accounting, economics and marketing at GCU and is pursuing a doctorate in business administration at the University. Zaharopoulos, a licensed real-estate broker, teaches business courses at Maricopa Community College and also is pursuing a DBA at GCU.

Topic: "Eskew and Faley Revisited: Determinants of Online Student Performance in First College-Level Accounting Courses"

Summary: Re-examination of 1988 research that studied student performance in first-level accounting classes, checking its application to online students. Study will use grades to measure performance. Student sample of 146 is from GCU class (ACC250) in 2012.

Quote: "We are very near the beginning of this work. Students have changed since 1988. We're looking to see how this compares."


About him: In second year as assistant professor in GCU's College of Education, teaching classes in methods and classroom management. Has doctorate in educational leadership and innovation from Arizona State University. 

Topic: "Using Lesson Study With Pre-Service Secondary Mathematics Teachers: Effects on Instruction, Planning and Efficacy to Teach Mathematics"

Summary: Classes for "preservice" teachers often lack the ability to connect theory and practice and are short on collaborative planning.  Goal is to bridge the gap between methods and student teaching, something that is done well in Japan.

Quote: "Typically, new teachers think, 'How am I doing?' But we want them to think, 'How are (the students) doing?'"


About him: Assistant professor of entrepreneurship and economics at GCU, where he has advised the IDEA club and overseen the Canyon Challenge competition. Nearly 20 years as entrepreneur in real estate and project-related finance in Mexico, South America, Africa and U.S.

Topic: "Global Angel Investing"

Summary: Investors increasingly are looking for yield and diversification, and markets are encouraging entrepreneurship. Angel investors fill the gap between friends/family and banking institutions. There are 300-plus Angel groups in the U.S., investing anywhere from $20,000 to $1 million.

Quote: "Culture is not an impediment to trade. Angels are looking for high-growth enterprises that need a little bit of capital. The most likely countries (for Angels) are Brazil, India, Colombia, Mexico and Chile."


About him: Former member of the GCU men's swimming team now doing master's degree work at the University. Research interest is in human resource accounting within the professional sports industry.

Topic: "Estimation of Future Cash Flows for Human Resources in Sports"

Summary: There is a need to correlate profit, performance and athlete pay in the sports industry. A better assessment of the value of "human assets" is needed. Research is planned for this summer, evaluating key areas such as talent distribution within and among teams, revenue generation, image perception, roles within a team, and the role of the community.

Quote: "We need to improve the method of evaluation of individuals in team sports."

Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or [email protected].


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