MSU Moorhead holds 20th Student Academic Conference

Tuesday, April 17 | 8:30 a.m. – 3;30 p.m. | CMU

Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 20th annual Andrew B. Conteh Student Academic Conference will take place Tuesday, April 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. throughout the Comstock Memorial Union. The conference is a showcase for scientific research conducted by students and will include more than 280 presentations on topics ranging from Airbnb’s in a new economy to background checks for purchasing guns to the effects of social media on body image to using yoga with first graders to increase engagement.

Nearly 380 students representing 25 academic and service departments have been mentored by 75 faculty advisors—whether in the laboratory, the field, the theatre, the studio, the computer lab or the classroom. These applied learning opportunities are truly transformative in our students’ personal and professional growth.

An example of the high level of talent and research exhibited at the conference is one of last year’s presenters, economics student Matthew Dakken, who took third place in the Minnesota Economic Association Undergraduate Student Term Paper Contest with his paper titled, “Booyah! An Analysis of Mad Money Stock Recommendations.” This is the first time an MSUM student placed in the competition since its beginning in 2002. The majority of students who have won in the past are from prestigious institutions such as Macalester, Carleton, St. John/St. Benedict, St. Olaf, St. Thomas, and occasionally the U of M Twin Cities.

“Matt has entered an elite club,” said Oscar Flores, an economics professor and Dakken’s advisor who worked closely with him on this project.

Dakken’s human approach to economics, while a little unorthodox, may have given his paper the edge it needed to succeed. The focus was on Jim Cramer, host of American finance television program Mad Money. Cramer is known for his loud, entertaining approach to investment and his signature catchphrase “Booyah,” hence the title of Dakken’s paper.

“The main things I focused on were how he selects his stocks, the immediate impact of his stock recommendations, and how he fairs in the long run,” Dakken said. In the end, his research showed that Cramer can influence the market through his audience, proving that humans aren’t perfectly rational actors.

For more information about the Student Academic Conference, presentations and the schedule visit or contact Oscar Flores at 218.477.2710 or