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Name: Corey Koenig
Honors in: Management
Hometown: Springtown, PA
Major: Business Management
Title of project: Alumni Giving: Investigating the Relationship of Personality Attributes and Engagement in a Liberal Arts Environment.
Abstract of a brief description: Alumni giving represents a pivotal source of revenue for colleges and universities across the nation, regardless of size. In recent years, the fluctuating economy has challenged institutions of higher education to become more strategic in their approach to fundraising; calling for more deliberate, coordinated attempts to encourage support. In an effort to gain a deeper understanding of the alumni population and considering factors beyond the traditional predictors of giving, this study, which surveyed approximately 1,900 Moravian College graduates from the classes of 2001 to 2009, sought to uncover the relationships of personality attributes and engagement on one’s propensity to make a financial contribution in a liberal arts environment. Data analysis revealed significant relationships between the variables. These findings will hopefully assist the College in refining current, and employing new, methods of encouraging alumni to give.
How did you get interested in your topic? Through my involvement on campus, I gained significant insight into the College, including fundraising, and became curious as to why alumni giving trends remained stagnant in recent years. This knowledge, combined with my interest in personality attributes and my engagement on campus, resulted in the formation of my topic.
Do you intend to research your topic further? If so, how? Although I will not be personally exploring this material further, I packaged my entire honors project, including all the data that I collected, and gave it to the Offices of Institutional Advancement and Institutional Research to allow additional exploration and analysis. It is my hope that this will maximize the benefits of my work.
How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in Honors? This project was by far the most difficult academic challenge that I have ever assumed in my educational career. I learned a ton about research, managing time, reviewing literature, analyzing data, working with people, and much more. It was truly a rewarding and enriching experience.
How has the department (or faculty) advisor prepared you for the future? Words cannot describe the positive influence that the Economics and Business Department faculty at Moravian has had on my development as a student and person. They have taught me the importance of taking a theoretical and practical approach to problem solving; have inspired me to take advantage of opportunities, and to think beyond my limits. My professors have equipped me with a diverse collection of skills and a mindset that will surely serve me well in the future. Additionally, I am fortunate to have been mentored by my advisors, Dr. Katie P. Desiderio and Dr. Michelle E. Schmidt (Psychology) for years; their presence has been instrumental in my success.
What advice do you have for other students interested in Honors? Go for it. With a positive attitude, solid work ethic, an advisor (or two) with whom you get along, and a topic in which you are interested, you will be able to complete honors with great success. Just remember; however, it has the potential to change the dynamic of your senior year if you do not seriously manage your time. Start as early as possible and do not stop reading and writing until it is perfect!