Undergraduate researchers win big for innovative ideas at research expo

Alabama Power recognizes innovative student research with two $5,000 grants.

Alabama Power Innovation Grant winnerRepresentatives from UAB and Alabama Power present Fabia Hossain a $5,000 innovation grant for her research.Student innovation is driven by out-of-the-box thinking and a passion for pursuing change. Alabama Power recently established an innovation grant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to recognize students who are drivers of change. Two $5,000 grants were awarded to Collat School of Business students Fabia Hossain and Meg Wilson for their research in how businesses can benefit from using innovation, which was presented at the UAB Fall Research Expo.

“It is inspiring to see our students achieve the highest levels of learning through research projects guided by our dedicated faculty mentors,” said Eric P. Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Collat School of Business. “These life-changing academic experiences are hallmarks of our business curriculum. 

“We are proud of Fabia and Meg for winning the Alabama Power Innovation Award and of all our students and faculty mentors who contributed research to the Expo.”

Consumers care about sustainability, and Hossain’s research proves this. Her literature review shows that there should be a positive impact on the value of a company if the company is following what the consumers desire in sustainability. In a college student survey, she found a positive relationship between customer perception and stock prices. Through her research, she was able to find that females are more aware of sustainability efforts when making purchasing choices. 

“Many companies have shifted their marketing focus toward customer-relationship management,” said Hossain, a marketing major in the UAB Collat School of Business. “The current trend of sustainability and customer relationship management can be used to increase the value of a company. Many companies are looking to understand customers to become more innovative in how they operate or produce new products.”

Wilson, a management major, researched the relationship between point-of-sale system capabilities and retail small-business success, particularly how the level of technological proficiency impacts the business. Small business can utilize the development and innovation of point-of-sale software to spark innovation in their own industry.

Meg Wilson receives her $5,000 innovation grant.Meg Wilson receives her $5,000 innovation grant.“As small businesses are a driving force in their communities and the economies at large, it is important to explore how different technological capabilities influence small-business success,” said Wilson, a Birmingham, Alabama, native. “Point-of-sale innovations impact the success of small businesses, so connecting companies with technological solutions is important.”   

Additional winners of the UAB Fall Research Expo include:

  • Oral Presentations: Karly Casey, 1st Place; James Boyett, 2nd Place; and Jasmine Cunningham, 3rd Place
  • Arts & Humanities: Meghan Ballard and Vivi Venegas, 1st place; Anna Presnall, Hannah Yingst, Renuka Srivastava, Claire Stewart, Anthony Roney, Michael Parris, James Oliver, Sadie-Anne Jones and Tarelesha Brown, 2nd Place
  • Biological and Life Sciences: Kendall Curtis, 1st Place; Sarah Sims, 2nd place; Zeelu Patel, Rachel Guenter, Danilea M. Carmona Motas, Yazen Shihab, Jaden Cowan, Jason Whitt, J. Bart Rose, Herbert Chen, Sadanandan Velu and Renata Jaskula-Sztul, 3rd place
  • Business: Joshua Freund, 1st Place; Maura Harrison, 2nd Place; and Kai Schmitz, 3rd place
  • Education: Kaitlyn Farley, Hannah Bartlett and Jada Beckham, 1st place
  • Engineering: Michele Perrotto, Krista Jackson, Kyla Gabriel, Long Nguyen and Tanvi Bhandkamkar, 1st place
  • Health Sciences: Kiara Aaron, 1st place; Whitney Eckenroad, Shannon G. Rice, Caroline O. Steber, Jose R. Fernandez, 2nd place; and Shauna Gilchrist, 3rd place
  • Physical and Applied Sciences: Alyssa Wilke, 1st place
  • Service Learning: Mario Thomas, Jawan Frier, Wreed Williams, Brend Johnson, Ibim Ibelemia, Sissy Shultz, 1st place; Samantha Klipsch, Nicole Jones, Logan Short, Corey Scott, Akeyva Smith and Allyson Brown, 2nd place; and Jacklynn Smith, Rodney Shorter and Anastacio Rios Cruz, 3rd place
  • Social Sciences: Tyler Huang, 1st place; Carly Snidow, 2nd place; and Allyson Ferguson, Casie Morgan and David Schwebel, 3rd place
  • Works in Progress: Mara Davis, Mackenzie L. Davenport, Jiazhong Liu, Douglas R. Hurst and Fady M. Mikhail, 1st place; Darya Hosein and Jen Tuscher, 2nd place; and Marissa Brasher and Jenna Bae, 3rd place