Graduate student wins prestigious award

By Hayley Burgess
Managing Editor

UNCP all-American pitcher Matt McGovern
Photo contributed by Marlon McPhatter
Marlon McPhatter (left), Dr. George Lowry and Dr. Rick Crandall participate in the 41st Annual MBA Student Paper Competition in Savannah, Ga. McPhatter holds the award for first place for his paper.

Marlon McPhatter, a UNCP graduate student in the MBA program, won first place at the 41st Annual MBA Student Paper Competition at the Southeast Decision Sciences Institute held Feb. 23-25 in Savannah, Ga. 

"For me, the conference was a great opportunity to present my work as practice for future work at the Ph.D. level," McPhatter said. "I had no idea that I would actually win and all of the competing papers were excellent work. I would not have been surprised if either of the final papers presented had won. I think this is awesome for the UNC Pembroke and proves that we have a great MBA program." 

McPhatter's paper "Balancing Work with Life: A Look at Alternate Scheduling in the Long-Term Health Care Industry," won first place in the Student Paper Competition. He was able to present his paper in the conference for a monetary award. 

"Graduate students, like myself, who would like to continue their education at the Ph.D. level are encouraged to write and, hopefully, have their work published at these conferences and in academic journals. Having work published or being able to present at these conferences shows schools that you are able to produce quality academic work, answer questions about your research effectively and present your work for a school looking to accept students into their Ph.D. program," McPhatter said. 

The Southeast Decision Sciences Institute is a conference held every year at a different locations in the southeastern part of the United States and allows those in the field of business, psychology, ethics and others to present research and their work. 

Papers are submitted to the Institute during the year and are accepted and rejected by faculty members at various schools across the nation. 

At these conferences, mostly faculty present their work with other sessions for graduate and undergraduate students. Some of the tracks of research include International Business, Marketing, Management, and Information Technology, and are judged by faculty from numerous schools, including the University of South Carolina, Appalachian State University, Florida State University and Virginia Tech. 

McPhatter also presented two other papers he worked on at the conference with Dr. Jack Spillan, Dr. William Thomas and Dr. Chris Ziemnowicz. 

"Presenting three papers at the conference was a bit nerve racking, but my professors demanded a lot from me, and I'm glad to have been able to deliver," McPhatter said. 

McPhatter said he was glad to be able to represent UNCP at the conference and by winning show that UNCP can compete with other quality institutions in the United States.