News & Media

Thompson wins WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW Oshkosh by explaining data breach research

OSHKOSH—Sophomore economics & information systems major Julia Thompson won the WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW Oshkosh on March 3.

The student “pitch” competition inspires UW System students to consider the impact of their research and effectively communicate it to the public. This year’s event at UW Oshkosh had a record 21 students participate.

PHOTOS: WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW Oshkosh 2020

The title of Thompson’s winning presentation was “The Impact of Public Data Breach Disclosure and Firms’ Openness to Investors.”

Specifically, Thompson examined what it costs a firm to announce a data breach and whether firms that openly disclose incidents experience significantly different stock price reactions from those who are less forthcoming.

Thompson, who won a $600 prize, is now eligible to participate in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final at the WiSys SPARK Symposium in Madison, July 27-28.


Junior Stacey Sparks, a secondary education-English major, took second place in the event for a presentation titled “Community Socioeconomic Indicators and Intra Head Start Student Performance”

Sparks investigated the relationship between community socioeconomic indicators and student social-emotional variation within a Head Start program. Of the seven socioeconomic variables analyzed, one was statistically significant: Growing up poor in a neighborhood with a higher percentage of individuals with bachelor’s degrees correlated with negative social-emotional scores, according to Sparks.


Senior environmental health major Joy Evans took third place in the competition with the presentation “Food Insecurity and the Clustering of Health Risk Factors Among Students of Color.”

Evans’ research aimed to assess the prevalence, distribution and clustering of health risk factors among racially minoritized college students experiencing food insecurity compared to those not reporting the experience of food insecurity. 

Evans also received the event’s People’s Choice Award, which was voted on by the audience.


Junior psychology major Mackenzie Ricard took fourth place in the competition. Ricard’s presentation was titled “Stress Management in University Students: Does Training in Boundary Management and Recovery Activities Help?”

Ricard’s project taught university students stress management techniques and then evaluated their effectiveness in managing stress by comparing before and after surveys of the students.

WiSys partnered with the UW Oshkosh Office of Student Research and Creative Activity (OSRCA) to put on the event and student cash prizes were sponsored by the WiSys, OSRCA and the Honors College at UW Oshkosh.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.