Sunday, October 3, 2010

The very first...(research assistant)

I got a chance to talk to one of my old research assistants yesterday (Nikki).  Thinking back, she was by far the strongest student I ever came across while at CalU.  She should have been at an  ivy C of C.    What made her special was that as a sophomore, she not only assisted with the research below but she made significant contributions to it.  I do not recall at all how I met her (I guess I could ask her if she remembers), but she was the first student I was able to fund (thank you to the Canadian Embassy) and became the 'model' for which all of my subsequent research assistantships are based upon.  I still to this day make it a point to fund undergrad research assistants as much as I can as a result of my experience with her.  My chat with her yesterday only reinforced to my why this continues to be so important.

So to you Nikki, I forward the following paper to the readership.  We collected the data for this in February 2006, spent hours coding it in March and April and I wrote this article the summer I came to C of C and it became the first pub to have my 'new' address on it.

On April 5th, 2005 the US Departments of State and Homeland Security announced
the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) which will require Americans traveling to Canada to present a passport for re-entry into the USA. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that this legislation (for the years 2005-2008) will result in a loss of nearly 7.7 million trips and cost the Canadian tourism industry approximately $1.6 billion in lost revenues. The purpose of this study was to investigate how this change in legislation will affect southwestern Pennsylvania residents’ perceptions and image of Canada and their propensity to visit Canada. A series of three focus groups designed to measure these impressions was conducted. The results indicate that successful mitigation strategy could reverse potential image issues as a result of the USA legislation.

Today, Nikki  is preparing to graduate from her MBA program in December and has been working as an accountant for the last two years!  So congratulations Nikki!


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