Terry Ph.D. students win top prizes in marketing research competition

Youngtak Kim and Lana Waschka honored by Southeast Marketing Symposium

Merritt Melancon | May. 04, 2020

Youngtak Kim, left, and Lana Waschka were both honored for their research as part of the 2020 Southeast Marketing Symposium.
Youngtak Kim, left, and Lana Waschka were both honored for their research as part of the 2020 Southeast Marketing Symposium.

For the second year in a row, Ph.D. students from the Terry College’s Department of Marketing have won the William O. Bearden Doctoral Student Research Award as part of the Southeast Marketing Symposium.

Third-year doctoral student Youngtak Kim won first prize in the marketing research competition, and fellow third-year Lana Waschka was one of two runners-up.

“I am very proud of both of them for this accomplishment,” said John Hulland, the Emily H. and Charles M. Tanner Jr. Chair in Sales Management and graduate coordinator for the Department of Marketing. “They continue the success of Terry Ph.D. students in receiving this award.”

Marketing Ph.D. candidates Vincent Zhang and Seoyoung Kim shared the award in 2019.

The Bearden Award was established in 2007 as a way to recognize the best research coming out of marketing graduate programs. The symposium itself was launched to encourage marketing doctoral students to build and maintain their academic networks with fellow students and faculty from other universities in the southeast.

The University of Georgia joined the symposium in 2017. Today the symposium includes a network of 11 schools: the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee, the University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, the University of Memphis, and the University of Arkansas.

Ph.D. students from participating universities are invited to present their research papers at the annual Southeast Marketing Symposium, a student-focused showcase for scholarly research. Organizers canceled the 2020 symposium following the COVID-19 outbreak, but the research competition was judged remotely.

Kim spent seven years working in marketing before coming to UGA to pursue his Ph.D. He is interested in marketing strategy, sustainability and product innovation.

Kim won the Bearden Award for his research focusing on the impact that the introduction of an ecologically sustainable product or product line has on overall firm profitability. Prior studies have focused on the profitability of the product or product line, but Kim is adding to the literature by linking sustainable products to the company’s bottom line.

Waschka, whose interests focus on consumer behavior and quantitative market analytics, won the runner-up award for her ongoing research into the cognitive process by which consumers weigh the practical and pleasurable aspects of products. She describes how that process affects their final purchasing decisions.

Waschka graduated from North Carolina State University with bachelor’s degrees in statistics and business administration before entering the doctoral program at UGA.