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Economics Major Receives Prestigious Research Award
Described as "incredibly bright and motivated" by one of her professors, Hannah Providence ’22 has been selected as the second recipient of the Bucknall Family Undergraduate Research Award.
December 11, 2020
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
When Hannah Providence ’22 was in high school, she took an AP microeconomics course. Before long she was hooked. She enjoyed the challenge of economic formulas and found the theories to be relevant and interesting.
Now an economics major at the University of New Haven, she is passionate about business operations, change management, and the public sector. She is also interested in nonprofits and higher education. Her research, which has focused on improving the state of Connecticut’s economy, has led to her being named the second recipient of the University’s Bucknall Undergraduate Student Research Award.
“To me, this award is confirmation that I am doing something right as a student and making a positive impact on my university and my state,” said Providence, who is part of the Pompea College of Business’s Fast Track program. “When I found out, I immediately ran downstairs to tell my mother and father and called my brothers to share the good news. My family was overjoyed!”
'I have learned a lot about…Connecticut’s economy'
During the last year, Providence and four of her classmates took part in an in-depth research project in partnership with the Liberty Initiative. Their research examined the legalization of marijuana in Connecticut. They explored the history of legalization and decriminalization of marijuana and other drugs in the United States and other countries, as well as the impact of these measures on the economy and public health. With guidance from their faculty mentors, they created a detailed visual presentation and wrote a 34-page paper on their research.
"I ... hope that anyone who is in a position to make changes considers the recommendations for improvements my research has revealed that encourage the state to innovate and thrive."Hannah Providence '22
Providence’s work has also focused on the impact of the coronavirus global pandemic. Working with economists and business professionals, she assessed the performance of the state’s economy throughout the pandemic, analyzing the experts’ responses. Her work has been published in the University’s Economic Activity Report, an in-depth analysis and examination of the Greater New Haven economy and the factors that impact it.
In addition, Providence has performed a key performance indicator analysis on personal consumption expenditure data in Connecticut, assessing the recently released 2019 data and predicting what trends can be expected.
“I have learned a lot about the pros and cons of Connecticut’s economy,” she said. “I have really begun to understand where Connecticut thrives, but more importantly, where it can improve economically. I hope that anyone who reads my research can identify those aspects of strengths and weaknesses. I also hope that anyone who is in a position to make changes considers the recommendations for improvements my research has revealed that encourage the state to innovate and thrive.”
'She is incredibly bright, motivated, and organized'
Professor Sacco, who nominated Providence for the award, says she is a wonderful student.
“Hannah possesses all of the qualities I can think of that will lead to success in any future career that she pursues,” he said. “She is incredibly bright, motivated, and organized. I have spent 35 years in investment banking and consulting, and I don’t think I was ever part of any organization that wouldn’t have benefitted from having someone like Hannah be part of it.”
The award was created by longstanding University benefactor Bill Bucknall ’63, ’65, ’08 Hon., a member of the University’s Board of Governors – and former chair – and co-chair of the University’s Charger Challenge Centennial campaign, and his daughters, Elise Bucknall and Kristin Loranger, to honor students for their outstanding work outside the classroom. Providence will receive a $10,000 award.
“I want to thank the Bucknall family for funding such a generous and prestigious award,” she said. “The financial hardships of my family could hold us back from some opportunities, but I am just incredibly grateful to be able to fund my education comfortably and prepare for the next steps in my career. I am so proud of what my fellow students and I have been able to accomplish, and I cannot wait to see what the future brings.”