Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Pursuing academic passions: Four StFX students receive Schwartz Business School Research Internship Award 

July 19th, 2021
Pictured, l-r, 2021 recipients of the Schwartz Business School Research Internship Award Kate D’Albertanson and Nicholas Suriwka. Absent from the photo are Nasha Cunningham and Courtney McKay.

StFX students Nasha Cunningham, Kate D’Albertanson, Courtney McKay and Nicholas Suriwka are spending their summer pursuing academic passions and working on independent research as the 2021 recipients of the Schwartz Business School Research Internship Award.

Each award is valued at $7,000 and funds 16 weeks employment. 

Kate D'Albertanson of Kelowna, BC, who is going into her fourth year of an honours BBA with a major in management and a minor in psychology, is researching the adapted leadership styles that managers within the IT sector have implemented to better accommodate the needs of neurodiverse employees. She is supervised by Dr. Opal Leung. 

“My research path begins with conducting interviews with firms who have had success implementing neurodiverse hiring into their workplaces to learn about which strategies they found to be the most beneficial. From there, I will be compiling their strategies and making this information publicly available to serve as a guide to those who wish to implement neurodiverse hiring as well,” she says. 

“The opportunity to have my thesis research be funded meant that I could take on more academic commitments in my fourth and final year at St. Francis Xavier University. With the ability to conduct my research throughout the summer months, I was able to accept the position as president of the Schwartz Business Society for the 2021-2022 academic year. Additionally, this funding has enabled me to devote my time to something that I am truly passionate about, while I strive to make a difference in the academic community. Working alongside Dr. Leung and Dr. Long has given me incredible insights into the world of academic research and has further enhanced my experience as a student of StFX.”

Nicholas Suriwka of Toronto, ON, a third year business student majoring in international business, is assisting Dr. Yen Nguyen in her ongoing research within the Finance Department. “The research focuses on the sources of financing firms choose to obtain in their growth and the types of financing that lead to a successful IPO of the firm,” he says. “Through data collection, literature review and analysis of the data, we hope to come closer in finding the optimal choice of financing for firms not only in Canada, but in the US and UK demographics.” 

He says the opportunity to perform research alongside his professors is incredible. 

“This award has given me the ability not only to grow my own skills but contribute to the ongoing research in the Finance Department. Throughout my research, I have not only gotten the opportunity to enhance my skills in reading comprehension, Excel, and SAS but I have been able to develop many skills that will help me in my endeavors after StFX. This award means a lot to me as I was only a second year business student with no major when I applied. Getting chosen for this award came as a shock as I was applying to perform research in a department that I was not majoring in or writing a thesis in. This opportunity has shown me that you don't need to major or choose one department to study within the Schwartz School of Business. There are many ways in which you can explore the departments and take advantage of what the Schwartz School of Business has to offer. I am grateful for this opportunity and for the chance to work with the amazing professors here at StFX.”

Nasha Cunningham, supervised by Dr. Monica Lent, is working on a research project entitled, “The Impact of Time Zones on International Students Studying Remotely.”

Courtney McKay, supervised by Dr. Shelley Price, is focusing research on “Imagining A Better Future for the Relationship Between the Extraction Industry and Indigenous Women and Girls.”

This research is, in part, made possible by the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.





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