Carlson School Announces Thesis Award Winners

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Thesis Winners

A Carlson School honors degree culminates with an honors thesis project, a yearlong investment of time and effort by the student. This year, there are 19 students expected to graduate with honors, including 13 summa cum laude projects.
An annual Honors Thesis Recognition and Poster Presentation Event recognizes the best of the best of Carlson School student thesis projects. This year’s event took place April 26 in the Atrium.
Carlson Global Institute Thesis Award
“Setting the Daddy Track: An Evaluation of Paternity Leave Policy Development” by Anna Mirkin (left) received the Carlson Global Institute Thesis Award. Mirkin’s project was supervised by Associate Professor and Honors Faculty Representative Colleen Manchester. 
Mirkin’s thesis applies a creative angle to the topic of family leave policies by unpacking the process by which such policies are passed into law. She sought to understand variation in the generosity of family leave for fathers across OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries using characteristics of the legislative body, public opinion, and national characteristics.
As Mirkin was abroad this spring semester, she completed her thesis with a lack of course and cohort support that her peers experienced. This was noted in the award nomination letter, written by Manchester. “She worked diligently over winter break to finalize the data collection and then has worked on her own to make progress on her analysis and writing,” Manchester said. “Her ability to complete a high-quality draft with minimal support is truly exceptional.”
Dean’s Thesis Award Winner
“The Investor Wears Prada” by Sofia Terzic received the Dean’s Thesis Award. She was supervised by Ecolab-Pierson M. Grieve Chair in International Marketing Michael Houston.
Terzic measured the effectiveness of promoting a luxury clothing item as an investment. She examined whether promoting a luxury clothing item as maintaining significant value over several years would be more effective compared to the more traditional approach emphasizing how the item makes someone look and feel.
“Sofia did a masterful job of reviewing the literature on luxury goods,” said nominator Houston. “Even as a marketing faculty member with a focus on consumer behavior, I learned quite a bit more about luxury goods marketing from her review. It is probably the finest literature review from an undergraduate that I’ve seen.”
Both award winners will be recognized in the Carlson School commencement booklet. Additional nominees include Hailee Gifford, Will Kraft, Elias Lee, Raffy Maristela, and Konnor Slaats.