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UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation recently awarded $8,800 to fund eleven research proposals submitted by faculty and doctoral students.

For the second consecutive year, the Anderson Center accepted applications from the UT campus community in four research categories: doctoral student proposals, doctoral student working papers, faculty proposals, and faculty working papers. A total of eighteen submissions were received.

“The Anderson Center developed this competition as a means of promoting meaningful research in entrepreneurship at the University of Tennessee,” said Lynn Youngs, executive director of ACEI. “Now in its second year, this competition received twice as many submissions as it did in 2014, so we are excited to see the momentum entrepreneurship research is gaining on campus. Our hope is that the work our students and faculty are doing will help entrepreneurs and policymakers make better decisions about opportunities and how best to pursue them.”

In most instances, the funding awarded through this competition will be used to pay for travel to and from research conferences where winners will present their work.

“Presenting at research conferences is one of the primary means of gathering feedback on research in progress,” said Rhonda Reger, director of research at the Anderson Center. “Researchers need that feedback in order to refine their research and strengthen their final product.”

Winners of the doctoral student proposal category are:

  • First place, $800 – Erika Williams, “I Need You But I Don’t Want You: An Examination of How Psychological Ownership Influences Entrepreneurs’ Help-Seeking Behavior”
  • Second place (tie), $500 – David Jiang, “Is There a Socioemotional Paradox in Family Firms? An Experimental Examination of the Theoretical Tensions Between Family Firm Members’ Socioemotional Wealth and Socioemotional Selectivity”
  • Second place (tie), $500 – Xinran Wang, “Do Shareholders Respond to Information Security Breaches: An Attributional Model”
  • Third place (tie), $200 – Nastraran Simarasl, “Highly-educated Immigrant Entrepreneurs’ Startup Location Decisions”
  • Third place (tie) $200 – Xinran Wang, “Silence versus Diffusion: An Evolution from Grievances on Social Media to Policy Entrepreneurship”

Winners of the doctoral student working paper category are:

  • First place, $1,300 – Daniel White, “Traditional Scientist to Academic Entrepreneur: Why It’s Hard to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks”
  • Second place (tie), $500 – Daniel White, “Life Partner Dynamics and Entrepreneurial Action”
  • Second place (tie), $500 – Jason Strickling, “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development: Media Influence on Entrepreneurial Orientation”
  • Third place, $300 – Laura D’Oria, “Building Positive Traditional Media Attention and Social Approval: How New Ventures Might Leverage Social Media”

Winners of the faculty working papers category are:

  • First place, $3,000 – David Williams, “Path Creating and Path Breaking: The Effects of Initial International Entries on Venture Growth and Performance”
  • Second place, $1,000 – Jacob LeRivier, “Shareholder Protection and Dividend Policy: An Experimental Analysis”

In addition to the individual research awards, the judging committee also approved a $3,000 grant to fund the purchase of the RavenPack News Analytics Database, which will be used to support entrepreneurship research across the university.


Kimberly Hood (865-974-5126,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,