Students and professors present at SRSA conference

Created: April 3, 2018  |  Last Updated: December 19, 2019  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

WASHINGTON, PA (April 3, 2018)—Two Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) economics students and two W&J professors presented their work at a regional conference in March. Kayla Conforti ’18 and Josh St. Clair ’18 traveled to the Southern Regional Science Association (SRSA) annual meeting in Philadelphia with Associate Professors of economics Leslie Dunn, Ph.D., and Robert Dunn, Ph.D.

Kayla and Josh presented their capstone research at the conference in the Undergraduate Poster session, while the Dunns presented their work to the conference audience made up primarily of economists, regional scientists, and geographers. The work was well received by those in attendance.

Kayla’s research focused on how increased transparency in a country impacts governance and economic development. She conducted her research through examining membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an organization that promotes transparency and accountability through collaborative efforts between the government, companies and civil society. She explained her research and methodology to those in attendance at the conference.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to present my thesis in the undergraduate poster session,” said Kayla, a triple major in economics, international studies, and French. “I was able to get some great feedback on my work from those who attended the session, some of which will be very useful as I continue to work on my Honors Project, an in-depth extension of my capstone.”

Josh, an economics major, presented his project on educational attainment. He examined graduation rates of both high school and bachelor degree programs in each state as well as certain economic and demographic variables including income inequality, single-parent homes, and enrollment, among other factors, to determine a correlation between the variables and how they impacted degree attainment.

“I put a lot of time into my thesis research, so to have it recognized and be able to present it at a conference that included so many established professionals was pretty meaningful to me,” he said. “Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I would recommend other economics majors consider putting the effort into their research and trying to present at this conference in the coming years.”

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.