College of Business faculty members Dr. Rishav Bista, Dr. Michael Newsome and Dr. Becky Tomasik recently completed two technical papers for the Cabell County Planning Commission (CCPC). The CCPC will use the information from the two reports to develop the Cabell County Comprehensive Plan, the primary public planning document required by the state government.
The first paper, “Characteristics, Preferences, and Opinions of Cabell County, WV Residents” analyzes the results of a survey of 478 Cabell County residents. The survey was conducted by students in the Spring 2014 economics capstone, now an official service learning course. The survey was a door-to-door, face-to-face, interview-style process. Questions elicited information concerning respondents’ socio-demographics and household characteristics; grocery, retail shopping and restaurant habits; health care use and access; recreational and public event activities; public service use and satisfaction; respondent perceptions and attitudes; and future public budgeting preferences.
The faculty members are currently using the budget preference information to write an article for submission to an academic journal in the fall.
The second paper, “Economic and Socio-demographic Trends Affecting Cabell County and West Virginia,” reports county demographic, economic and industry trends and forecasts trends for select variables. Secondary data collection for the report was completed by the capstone students. Information collected from federal, state and local sources included the county’s population characteristics, health indicators, personal income, net earnings, gross domestic product, employment, unemployment, wages, building permits, housing units, business registrations and de-registrations, and largest employers.
The two reports are the products of the Center for Community Growth and Development (CCGD), started in the fall of 2013 by Bista, Newsome and Tomasik. The CCGD was created after the success of the summer 2013 technical paper, “Physical Activity, Eating Habits, and Health in Western West Virginia.” This paper used survey data collected by Newsome’s spring 2013 econometrics class. That report was used by Region II of the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health to aid in its strategic planning and has led to a peer-reviewed article soon to be published in the West Virginia Medical Journal.
In addition, in spring of 2013, the CCGD also completed a technical paper for the Office of the President at Marshall. This paper, “Determining the Effects of Changes in Tuition and Scholarship Levels on Enrollment at Marshall University,” uses Marshall enrollment data from 2007 to 2012 to analyze how changes in tuition and average scholarship offers affect the proportion of high school graduates who enroll at Marshall University.
Bista, Newsome and Tomasik continue to develop the CCGD. The objectives of the CCGD are to improve communities, increase research potential and enrich the student experience. Research areas include planning analysis, economic statistical analysis, financial analysis and community surveying and strategic planning.
Bista, an assistant professor of economics in his second year at Marshall, teaches undergraduate macroeconomics, econometrics and global macroeconomics issues. Newsome, a professor of economics in his 17th year at Marshall, teaches undergraduate econometrics and microeconomics and graduate managerial economics and health economics. Tomasik, an assistant professor of economics in her second year at Marshall, teaches undergraduate microeconomics and international trade.
Photo: Drs. Becky Tomasik, Michael Newsome and Rishav Bista, who teach economics at Marshall, have formed the Center for Community Growth and Development, which conducts research on community issues and assists with strategic planning.