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McCarter Research Award Recipient Profile: Alena Kostyk

Alena Kostyk

"I'm grateful to the McCarters, who have given me a chance to make my research—and the research that NMSU can present at different conferences—stand out while I'm still in grad school."
—Alena Kostyk

It's challenging to get money to fund research, but it's especially difficult as a graduate student with your professors seeking similar funds from the same pools of money. Sometimes students have to persuade their professor to request money, and then share in the research. However, the McCarter Research Award, created by Palmer "Jack" McCarter and his wife, Evelyn, serves both faculty and graduate students at NMSU.

The McCarter Research Award is an annual stipend awarded to advance the participation of College of Business graduate students in scholarly research activities. It gives graduate students the experience of leading a research project—before they even complete their degree.

The most recent recipient of the McCarter Research Award is Alena Kostyk, originally from Siberia, Russia, who moved to the United States to attend school in Michigan. Working her way toward progressively warmer climates, she then decided to come to New Mexico to pursue graduate work in marketing. Her research examines how consumers process online influences.

Standards of research integrity meant that she needed to have others examine the mounds of data she had gathered. The McCarter Award helped her hire students around campus to examine how people engage with branded Instagram posts.

"Our work as graduate students boosts the profile of the university," says Alena, who hopes to publish in the Journal of Interactive Marketing. "I'm grateful to the McCarters, who have given me a chance to make my research—and the research that NMSU can present at different conferences—stand out while I'm still in grad school."