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Dr. Eric Richardson & Sara Golden

December 2017


Faculty Research

Dr. Eric L. Richardson

School: Business
Field: Healthcare Administration/Human Resource Management


Research Focus

My current research interest and focus is concentrated on topics related to human resource management within the context of the healthcare environment. I enjoy researching topics related to retention and turnover (i.e., pay equity, job satisfaction, job commitment, burnout, etc.). Most recently, I have participated in several applied research projects that have yielded practical solutions for several organizations. Whether theoretical or applied, I enjoy engaging in the process and always seek to learn something new from the experience.


Research experience and how research mentorship played a role:

In order to be effective within research, one must first be mentored. Several past and present mentors have played a key role in shaping how I approach a research problem and cultivate a corresponding design. I pride myself in being a lifelong learner…and I still have much to learn! As a mentor, I aspire to provide that same level of mentorship to my students. I seek to inspire them to ask questions, engage in the scholarly pursuit of information, use discernment in their exploration of data, and ignite a love for continuing in the practice.


What impact will this research have in your field?

As noted previously, I have participated in several applied research projects that have yielded practical solutions for several organizations. These contributions have directly impacted the field of practice for those organizations as well as have provided a platform to engage students in active learning inside and outside of the classroom.  Beyond these examples, I hope to continue to pursue active scholarship within my field that yields future publications.


What is the most exciting and/or rewarding aspect of collaborating with students in a research experience?

I am drawn to both the rewards and challenges of teaching and participating in research at the collegiate level because it allows for the opportunity and privilege of making an impact and difference in lives of student researchers. This impact, not taken lightly, is exhibited while engaging students in the collaborative learning process, stimulating assimilation of knowledge, development of research designs, enhancing skill sets, and fostering each student’s ability to become a contributing member of their academic and professional communities.


What How do you work together as a team to accomplish the research agenda?

Research is naturally collaborative. Success in research requires commitment, trust in others, diversity of thought, and an appreciation for asking questions. I find that working together as a team allows each individual to contribute to the process in a role or capacity wherein they excel.  Collaborative research often allows for interdisciplinary efforts which I also find to be rewarding as it serves as a catalyst for strengthening collegial relationships outside of one’s own discipline.

Student Research

Sara Golden

School: Business


Research Project

Currently, I am employed and am learning how to apply research to real-life situations. I work in human resources and am consistently researching how to create better analysis and understanding of human resources metrics. I also connect how to best create those metrics and make them understandable to others in the organization. Since graduating and being employed, I have definitely learned how research directly impacts real-life situations and opportunities.


How did you get involved in research collaboration with a faculty mentor?

I first got involved in research collaboration when I took a role as a Graduate Student Assistant in the School of Business with Dr. Richardson. At first, we only worked in the classroom together but eventually had the opportunity to do some research and analysis for a nonprofit organization in the community. From there we researched anything from compensation to entrepreneurship.


What impact will this research have on your future academic and professional opportunities?

I am seeing the impacts currently with my employer now. Working in human resources and the experiences I have had in human resources, have focused my research and have helped me to connect and to create a well-rounded picture of applicable circumstances. I believe research gave me a mindset to approach situations in the professional world from a different perspective and has allowed me to better analyze the situation and apply statistical, measurable data to those situations.


What is the most exciting and/or rewarding aspect of your undergraduate research experience?

I really enjoyed seeing the research take on its own life as we moved through the process. Research can seem monotonous, and I definitely thought that at first, but as the process continues and the research begins to affect real-life situations, it begins to grow and create a life of its own. Seeing how the research grew from words or numbers on a page to real life application is exciting and rewarding. Not only do you begin to see the positive impact for yourself and the research team, but you also see how the impact is changing the organization and/or people you are helping to grow alongside the research.


What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?

I would urge any student to get involved in research that is applicable to their field. Specifically, in business research, a student has the opportunity to directly relate to things that are going to be happening in the professional world. The School of Business at Liberty also does a very good job of connecting research with actual clients who need the research to help grow their business and affect the economy in a positive way. There is nothing like real-world experience, and research is a great way to gain that in the field of business that can directly impact future professional opportunities.