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Carroll Connection

September 2016

Dean Andy Boynton


Research Matters (Most of All, to Our Students)

Can different sound frequencies influence our visual perceptions—and thus our product choices? When academic researchers predict stock returns, do they actually make the returns less predictable? Are companies finally using data analytics well enough to drive competitive advantage? This is just a sampling of recent research investigations by our faculty, highlighted here in the “Findings” section of the Carroll Connection. I rattle off the topics to make a point: Research matters. Read Andy’s message »


A Visit with Alicia Munnell

Picture of Alicia Munnell in office

Scarcely a day goes by without major news outlets calling the Carroll School’s Alicia Munnell, seeking comment on issues related to retirement security. Here, she talks about the retirement crisis—and how a self-described party girl who “didn't do all that well” in college rose to the top of economic policy making in Washington.

Glorious Orphans

Katie Carey Nivard and Hannah Ames Beavers

While volunteering at a village school in Tanzania after graduating from the Carroll School, Hannah Ames Beavers ’09 asked one of the local leaders a simple question: “What do you need?” Today, Beavers and Katie Carey Nivard, MCAS ’09, are forging new ways to support grassroots global leadership. And they’re bringing the BC community—students, alums, and funders—along for the ride.

Slideshow: Springing to Action—on Spring Break

Spring Break Service Trip

Passing up the more typical destinations such as Daytona Beach and Cancun, scores of Carroll School students dove into service projects during spring break this month, lending a helping hand in places such as West Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Here are scenes of service from Spring Break ’17 »


Making Tax Education Great Again

Photo of Edward Taylor in classroom

“What’s the issue with Michael Jackson?” Edward Taylor asks as he begins a session of Advanced Federal Taxation. The students know about an IRS dispute involving the king of pop’s estate because their assigned reading includes the Wall Street JournalIt’s just one example of how this award-winning professor brings the world into the classroom—at a moment when the federal tax code is up for grabs.

Carroll School Rankings


The Well Tempered City »

April 20, 2017 | 5:00 p.m.
Fulton Hall, Honors Library 

Shea Center for Entrenpreneurship: Year End Celebration »

May 2, 2017 | 5:00 p.m.
Corcoran Commons, the Heights Room

12th Annual Finance Conference and Dinner »

June 7, 2017: Dinner 
June 8, 2017: Conference
Boston College Club (Dinner) and Fulton 511 (Conference)


Betting On Stock Predictions By Academics

Jeffrey Pontiff—holder of the James F. Cleary Chair in Finance at the Carroll School—started investing when he was 13 years old. That interest led to graduate school, then to the faculty of Boston College, and now to a prestigious award for his paper written with Carroll School doctoral graduate David McLean, a professor at Georgetown. It proves that investors actually read academic studies.


Big Data Is Finally Paying Off

For years, companies around the world were good at talking about the data revolution, less good at using large pools of data to drive competitive advantage. That is changing, according to the MIT Sloan Management Review’s 2017 Data & Analytics Report, coauthored by Sam Ransbotham (Information Systems) and SMR’s David Kiron. The survey reveals a sharp rise in the number of companies that say analytics is helping them outpace the competition.


What Does Dark Blue Sound Like?

S. Adam Brasel and Henrik Hagtvedt (Marketing) have coauthored a paper that for the first time demonstrates how sound frequencies can direct our eyes to certain colors. Published in the Journal of Marketing Research, the paper has broad implications, pointing to techniques that could “influence what we purchase and the information we retain,” according to a report by NPR’s Here and Now.


Telling The Truth

As New Englanders basked in the afterglow of their Patriots’ Super Bowl victory, a scientist arrived on campus with a cold, wet blanket. Bennet Omalu—portrayed by Will Smith in Concussion—spoke about the dark underside of football. But in a Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics lecture, he spoke also of perseverance and our common humanity.


Repairing Communication Breakdown

Mark Twain once said, characteristically: “If you have nothing to say, say nothing.” Rita Owens (Business Law & Society) recalls that as a young technology consultant, she at times ran afoul of such advice. Now she is out with a book about how to bridge the business communication gaps.



For months, seniors Anders Bill and Theo Chapman had been tossing the idea for Darkroom, a web-based platform from which photographers could sell professional-quality prints. But the idea didn’t coalesce until it became Bill’s semester-long project in Idea2Launch, a new marketing class in which everyone launches an entrepreneurial idea.