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Ivey alumnus wins global undergraduate academic award for research

Sep 21, 2020

Shawn Liu

Shawn Liu

Shawn Liu, HBA ’20, was named one of 25 Global Winners in the 2020 Global Undergraduate Awards annual competition.

Liu, who is now an Analytics Consultant at Validere, won in the Business category for a paper he prepared while an Ivey student titled Opportunity Recognition Regarding the Circular Economy in the Canadian Food Sector. His paper was selected from 4,100 submissions. Liu will receive a gold medal and certificate of recognition, have his paper published in the Undergraduate Awards’ Undergraduate Library, and is invited to attend the virtual UA Global Summit 2020 from November 16-18.

The Global Undergraduate Awards is a global competition that recognizes the world’s brightest undergraduate students through an anonymous international evaluation of their coursework. Submissions are judged by academics from the world’s top universities.

Explaining the benefits of the circular economy on supply chains

Liu said his research looks at how the circular economy is relevant to building a sustainable business landscape as it aims to minimize the use of natural resources and maximize reusability. The project was supervised by Jury Gualandris, an assistant professor of Operations Management & Sustainability.

“Seeing as supply chain activities generate much of the waste we see today, implementing circular principles into existing supply chains will greatly improve the sustainability of our planet,” he said. “In order to accomplish this, entrepreneurs must be willing and able to recognize opportunities within the space to start innovating new circular solutions.”

Liu said he entered the competition hoping to expand his network of future researchers, but wasn’t expecting to win.

“It's an honour to be considered for this award among all these other amazing papers,” he said.

Ivey alumna on Highly Commended list

Michelle Li

Michelle Li, HBA ’20, Customer & Digital Consultant at KPMG, was also named a Highly Commended Entrant in the competition, in the Business category, for her paper, Reaching Out: Leveraging Social Norms to Increase Consumer Debt Help Seeking Behaviour. Papers are recognized as Highly Commended if they finish in the top 10 per cent of their subject category.

Li said her research focuses on bridging the gap between issues arising from the Canadian consumer debt crisis and existing literature on how social norms have been used in similar situations. She said she decided to submit her paper for consideration because she thought it was a unique look at the intersection of marketing and psychology. The project was supervised by Miranda Goode, an associate professor of Marketing at Ivey.

"While working on this project with Dr. Goode was already a very enlightening experience, this recognition from the Undergraduate Award panel was humbling from an international perspective,” said Li. “I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have worked on a research-based project during my time at Ivey and found that it complemented my casework well.”