I The monthly newsletter of The Uni y V
November 30, 2001 vol. vi, number 10
UVI Students Gain Real-Life Experience Trading Online
His first time trading on the market, UVI business
student Leslie Smith II turned his original investment of $10
into a small fortune of $50. After trading for only a few
weeks, Smith says he's hooked.
"I love buying and selling products!" he said.
Smith is one of about 40 students in Associate Profes-
sor Patricia Cummins's "Public Policy and Business" and
"Introduction to Business"
classes who are trading in the
Iowa Electronic Market's Inter-
disciplinary Educational Alliance
project an online futures
market where students can test
their new skills in economics.
Throughout the semester,
Dr. Cummins's students bid on
Federal Reserve interest rate
adjustments, box office receipts
for new movies, and share prices
of major firms like Microsoft.
With a grant from the Depart-
ment of Education, UVI and IEM UVI students in an "Intro
set each student up with a $10 are enthusiastic about tr
trading account. The participants
apply their experience, research and personal hunches to
buy and sell contracts and products at scaled-down prices.
Students can also bid on events such as political races
and public policies, which, while not traditionally traded as
futures, influence market trends and force the students to
use the latest research tools to make their decisions. Based
on principles they've learned in class, they try to predict
how national and world events will affect product shares
"It teaches students the economic and business impacts
of world events," Dr. Cummins said. "Money makes the
world go 'round, and they learn how it works and who
controls it. Then they can make informed decisions based
on that information."
In addition to training from NASDAQ Educational
Foundation and Merrill Lynch analysts, students learn how
to interpret economic information from print sources like the
Wall Street Journal and online databases such as the Dow
Jones and NASDAQ.
All the obvious educational benefits aside, however, the
students have an extra incentive to learn: They get to keep
the money they make.
At the final session of the "Introduction to Business"
class, about a dozen enthusiastic students crowded around
computers in the UVI Library computer lab, some jumping
up to point out growth in their assets and tossing around
financial j argon like campus
gossip. They debated the merits
of diversification, ways to
hedge against inflation, or how
often to trade. Smiling her
arms folded in front Dr.
Cummins stood back and
marveled at the students'
She touts the program as an
excellent tool for teaching
economics in the same way
laboratories do in other sci-
action to Business" course While Dr. Cummins hopes
'ing online. the experience will encourage
her students to continue study-
ing economics and other related disciplines, she said that the
introductory courses have already paid off
"They've learned to apply their own research to make
better decisions, wiser decisions," she said. "That's what
business is all about. That's the way it works in the real
Dec. 8 Campus Christmas Party STX
Hotel on the Cay
Dec. 15 Holiday Extravaganza STT
Sports and Fitness Center
Dec. 19 Holiday Block Party STT
Chancellor's Office parking lot
NCAA Paradise Jam Scores in Sports & Fitness Center
Spectators were thrilled and players were pumped at
the Paradise Jam NCAA Basketball Tournament in the
UVI Sports and Fitness Center Nov. 17-26. The St. Tho-
mas campus arena hosted 17 Division I women's and men's
teams, which competed in 22 high-energy games.
V.I. residents and visitors alike enjoyed the fast-paced
basketball action that attracted mainland media and sports
UVI students, faculty and employees were treated to
$1 admission on November 20, as part of a Student, Faculty,
Staff Appreciation Day.
applauded the tourna-
ment and recorded
the impressions of
coaches and fans,
who praised UVI's
facility. Everyone is
looking forward to
next year's Paradise
square off in final game of the Paradise
Successful Grant Writing Supports UVI Courses and Programs
For the third year in a row, the University of the Virgin
Islands generated more than $10 million in federal grants to
support teaching, research and other university-wide programs
Among the many grants this year were two prestigious
grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling more
than $3 million; a four-year award of $1,748,587 from the
NIH Minority Biomedical Support-Research Initiative for
Scientific Enhancement program; and a five-year grant of
$1,287,970 from the NIH Minority Access to Research Ca-
reers program for biomedical research training.
Other grants included:
$300,000 from the Department of Housing and Ur-
ban Development to prepare local workers for ca-
reers in the hospitality industry and for jobs requir-
ing computer skills.
$294,495 from the National Science Foundation to
UVI's Division of Science and Mathematics to pro-
vide financially-needy students majoring in math-
ematics, engineering or computer science with up to
$3,150 per student per year.
$14,130 from the Environmental Protection Agency
to the UVI Cooperative Extension Service to train
V.I. residents to assess water quality and identify
pollution and potential health risks.
$10,000 from U.S.D.A. to the CES to train farmers
in organic farming management and production.
Federal grants are essential during economic hard-times,
according to Kevin Sottak, UVI's director of corporate, foun-
dation, and federal grants. While he is primarily responsible
for identifying potential funding sources, Sottak said it is the
faculty who generate the successful ideas. He commends the
many grant-winners and urges others to keep trying.
"Most grant programs are extremely competitive. You
have to send in several applications to get a single grant," he
said. "But our future success will depend on the willingness
of faculty and staff to keep generating new ideas and submit-
ting new proposals."
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