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Hudson grad and UW-RF business student grabs attention at Dallas symposium

HHS class of 2008 graduate John Hunchar is a junior at UW-River Falls. He presented a research paper at the International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines Spring Conference in Dallas last month with his professor, Dr. Darryl Miller. Photo submitted

Hudson native and UW-River Falls student John Hunchar has had a pretty remarkable school year.

What began as a semester abroad to study at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, culminated in his presentation of the results of an undergraduate research project at the 2012 International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines (IABPAD) Spring Conference in Dallas last month.

Hunchar's research compared cultural differences in the use of comparative and superlative terms in British and American advertising in women's magazines. He said he didn't realize during his research and independent study that he might eventually be presenting his work to over 200 participants in the Dallas gathering. "The opportunity more or less arose naturally out of the Wisconsin in Scotland program, the independent study that grew out of that, and, of course, at the suggestion of Professor Miller," said Hunchar.

Darryl W. Miller, Ph.D., chairs the Management and Marketing program in the UW-RF's College of Business and Economics, where Hunchar is a junior and expects to graduate in 2013 with majors in computer science, business administration and economics.

"John is a very talented student and researcher. He caught on to the intricacies of the formal research process very quickly," said Miller.

"I thought the project allowed me to use the concepts and tools I'd learned about in the classroom in a practical application," Hunchar said. "And presenting the research in Dallas was a great experience." Hunchar co-presented the paper with Miller. "We seemed to get a lot of interest and I was curious to hear the audience's questions and observations."

Hunchar's hypothesis was that differences in cultural expression between the U.K. and the U.S. might naturally lead to significant differences in advertising in women's magazines. With Miller's help, Hunchar used his independent study to develop a methodology to gather data, tools to sample and validity the results and an analysis of his results.

"I was amazed by John's confidence in presenting his research to a room full of marketing professors from around the world," said Miller. "He displayed a high degree of professionalism."

Hunchar has capitalized on three of the features the College of Business and Economics provides its students -- opportunities to study business abroad, a robust internship program and mentorship of undergraduate research.

Hunchar encouraged other student to pursue undergraduate research. "Don't be afraid to approach your professors or faculty about undertaking a project. I learned so much and the opportunity to work more closely with my professors and to network with others at the Dallas conference was invaluable. I feel more confident of my ability to apply the skills and tools I've learned, to defend a position and think on my feet, as well."

Hunchar graduated from Hudson High School in 2008. He is the son of James and Cynthia Hunchar of Hudson.