Villanova senior Thomas Cox certainly knows how to leave his comfort zone. Cox is a 2016 Falvey Scholar representing the College of Engineering, but his fascinating senior project took a bit of stretching into the worlds of business and technology. “[The data] was completely different than any kind of data I’m used to working with in Engineering,” Cox admits, “so I had to teach myself an analytics platform and actually build an engine in that.” He says it’s “pretty cool,” and anyone at the 2016 Falvey Scholars Awards Presentation and Reception Ceremony on April 22 would be inclined to agree.
Hailing from Boxford, Massachusetts and a graduate of St. Mark’s School, Cox loves that his hometown doesn’t have any traffic lights and that everyone is a diehard Tom Brady fan–but rest assured Cox found his home away from home here at Villanova, especially playing pickup soccer every Friday. In his short time here, he’s worked in the labs at the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control (CENDAC) and even built a functioning drone.
But Cox’s senior project required a little less robotics and lot more statistics than his drone venture. Titled “Measuring the Adoption and Deployment Rates of Disruptive Technologies” and developed under mentor Stephen Andriole, PhD, Thomas G. Labrecque Professor of Business, Accountancy & Information Systems, the project explores how companies identify, pilot and deploy specific emerging or “disruptive” digital technologies. Cox explains, for example, that Marriott’s business model is affected by the increasing popularity of the Air B&B service–in this instance, Air B&B disrupts an old business model. Cox obtained the data for his project through surveys, and while there was a statistical learning curve for the engineering student, he is pretty proud of himself for figuring it out: “I can now say I actually have this technical competency when I go into the workforce.”
Cox is more than ready to take that workforce by storm. His experiences doing consulting projects with real clients as head of the Villanova Consulting Group (VCG) have prepared him for his post-graduation career plans of professional strategy consulting. As for his senior project, Cox is happy that it “wasn’t just looking back at something that happened years and years ago,” but “right now”–being on the cutting edge of technological trends is a sure benefit of his hard work.
That said, Cox isn’t too cool for a little “low tech” gadgetry every now and then: “Even though my project’s on tech and tech trends, I still like, you know, reading physical books,” he says, which is part of why he was in Falvey Memorial Library “all the time.”
The Digital Library and Falvey are pleased to announce that all Falvey Scholar Award recipients’ theses will be digitized and made available to the Villanova Community at http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:180038.
Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.
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