Laura Kincaide

OU Major: 
Economics, Letters
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Robin Grier, Dr. Janet Ward
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
My main research focus is international development and comparative economic systems, and I specifically look at the development of post Soviet states and their relationships with Western Europe. I completed a year-long research project under the mentorship of Dr. Robin Grier as a part of the McNair Scholars. In my paper I compare the use of a monetary regime called a Currency Board Arrangement (CBA) in Estonia and Lithuania after regaining independence in 1991, analyzing motives for initial CBA adoption, the impact of the CBAs on restructuring, cultural and political factors contributing to adherence to CBA regulations, and the influence the CBAs had on alignment with Western integration as evidenced by EU membership and EU adoption.In an unrelated project, I wrote a paper on the influence of Christianity on the White Rose, a student led resistance program against the Nazis that originated at the University of Munich in 1942.
Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students: 
The most important thing I learned during my research experience is the importance of having a good working relationship with your faculty mentor. Occasionally you will run into roadblocks or slumps in your research, and having someone experienced and inspiring to help you find your way again is invaluable.In addition, I learned that it is impossible to completely finish a research project because there will always be more information to look through and new ideas to consider. I thought my topic was narrow at first, but quickly had to focus my essay even more to include sufficient detail to make a meaningful argument and contribution. In the end, it is important to remember that your work does not end with one project. Even now that I am done with my paper I keep finding things that relate to my research and that I hope to work on in the future. I highly recommend that everyone who is interested become involved in undergraduate research. In addition to learning more than you can imagine, contributing to your field is extremely fulfilling and exciting, and will undoubtedly change the course of your career.
Awards and/or presentations: 
I presented my CBA research at the 2014 McNair Heartland Research Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
Published Work: 
Kincaide, Laura. “Religion and Resistance: An Analysis on the Influence of Christianity on the White Rose Resistance Movement."