When the Lundquist College’s Business Research Institute (BRI) first opened its doors back in 2011, it mostly drew clients with a marketing bent. These days, the mix is a little different.
Visit BRI today, and you might run into faculty from the college’s Department of Management using the facility’s small group room to observe team interactions. You might watch associate director of admissions and recruiting Paul Allen host a question and answer videoconference for prospective Oregon MBA students in the ESI Collaboration Studio. You might even see students from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication screening a film.
Not to worry—the facility is still plenty popular with its core audience of marketing students, faculty, and regional and national companies like Nike, Gerber, IMG, Nordstrom, Microsoft, and more. In fact, the number of marketing-related sessions booked for the facility has dramatically increased in the past two years.
But thanks to the expansive vision of the facility’s director, assistant professor of marketing Katie Mercurio, new and old clients alike continue to find innovative ways to use the facility’s leading-edge technology.
When Mercurio talks about the many new ways people are using the lab—and the nearly countless ways they could be using it—her enthusiasm is palpable. One of the many projects she’s eager to share is the college’s first-ever virtual guest speaker series, which Mercurio worked with associate professor of marketing Robert Madrigal to develop.
Using BRI's nimble cloud-based videoconferencing technology, the college’s Department of Marketing is now able to invite leading scholars from all over the world to spend an hour or two sharing their work with faculty and graduate students.
One recent guest speaker was so impressed with the concept that he plans to implement it at his home institution, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Though the virtual speaker series started out as a marketing department effort, if Mercurio has her way, each one the college's other departments will begin running their own series.
“It’s a great way for PhD students to get exposed to different research and different faculty,” she said.
Mercurio’s background makes her particularly well suited to head BRI. As a PhD student, she ran the behavioral lab at the University of Washington. When she went to the University of California, Los Angeles for her post-doctoral work, she ran the behavioral lab for the entire business school.
What’s next for BRI? Mercurio is always on the lookout for new tools that will keep BRI in its current position as the West Coast’s top facility. High-end eye-tracking software is at the top of her wish list. This addition would make BRI the only West Coast facility to offer this sought-after technology.
BRI will hold an open house for faculty and staff at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, December 4.
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