Trish Kalis

Warrington student wins best reviewer, nominated for best paper on how social marketing influences public perception

Warrington College of Business student Trish Kalis was among the top honorees at the Academy of International Business Southeast Chapter Conference this October.

Kalis (BSBA ’18, MSM ’19, MIB ’20) was named Best Student Reviewer and was nominated for Best Student Paper at the conference focused on academic research in the field of international business. Kalis said it feels rewarding to have been awarded with Best Student Reviewer.

“It’s great to know that my reviews were perceived so positively,” she said. “The papers I reviewed showed a lot of promise, so I’m happy that I was able to offer some useful insights.”

As for the Best Student Paper nomination, Kalis was unexpectedly honored to have been among those considered for the award.

“This was my first academic conference, which I initially entered as an interactive author – so I was excited when my paper was moved up to the competitive category, let alone nominated,” she said. “It’s a great feeling to know your research has sparked an interest within the discipline. To me, the nomination was a great reassurance that my research has relevance and value in the community.”

Kalis’ paper focused on international marketing, the management of public perceptions and explored how social marketing efforts by a state-owned enterprise operating abroad may influence the public attitudes and opinions of the host market.

“The paper analyzed the marketing strategies of the Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom in the host market of Germany,” Kalis explained. “The research looked at Gazprom’s marketing strategies in Germany during times of international tensions with Russia and tracked changes in German attitudes towards Russia to assess if social marketing strategies could mitigate risks to public perceptions of the home nation.”

Kalis’ interest in the subject, and subsequent idea for the paper, came after participating in the Global Immersion Experience to Germany as part of her Master of International Business program. After learning about Gazprom and the pipeline developments between Germany and Russia that have caused international tensions, Kalis was looking to know more.

Over the summer, Kalis got the opportunity to dig deeper into the subject thanks to Clinical Associate Professor Dr. Alex Settles, who offered to oversee Kalis in an independent study on Gazprom.

“Dr. Settles has lived and worked in Russia, so I was thrilled that he was willing to entertain my plethora of questions on the topic and to share his insights,” Kalis said. “He also introduced me to academic literature on related subject matter, such as state-owned enterprises and CSR marketing.”

It was also Dr. Settles who urged Kalis to submit her paper for the Academy of International Business Southeast Chapter Conference.

“With his help and guidance, I submitted the research as an interactive paper – which was accepted and eventually advanced to become a competitive paper,” Kalis said. “I’m extremely grateful for all of Dr. Settles’ support and appreciative of the AIB-SE for the opportunity to participate!”

Kalis’ interest and success in research has only just begun. The former strategic management and global strategy course TA at Warrington is currently exploring potential doctoral programs in strategic management and international business as well as a JD-Ph.D. in business. Kalis credits Dr. Settles and a number of other Warrington faculty for supporting her as she looks to her next opportunity.

“The Warrington faculty have been incredibly supportive and encouraging – including Dr. Settles, Dr. Aaron Hill, Dr. Amanda Phalin and Dean John Kraft,” she said. “I’m very grateful for their guidance throughout my time at Warrington.”