Undergraduate Research and Creativity Alumni Profiles 

Kari-Anne Clayton

Global Technology and Solutions, Deutsche Bank
Major(s)/Minor(s): Earth Sciences

What research or work have you done since graduating from Buffalo State?

The journey since graduating from Buffalo State has been both unexpected and amazing! I pursued a graduate degree from Colorado State University (Global Campus), earning a master's in organizational leadership with a focus in strategic innovation. Simultaneously, I took assignment with my employer in London, where I have been leveraging the research and critical-thinking skills learned through the Undergraduate Research Program as well as combining that with industry leading methodologies in technology, data, and innovation.

Can you translate your work for the general public?

The work I am currently involved in now, while different from my initial undergraduate degree, leverages the same analytical and critical inquiry processes for practical application within a business context. I work with senior and executive stakeholders from across the financial institution accelerating innovative change, partnering with FinTech start-ups and combining human and technological elements in such topics as data and digital analytics, 'big data', robotics and artificial intelligence.

Why did you decide to get involved in undergraduate research?

The program offered a wealth of knowledge and practical experience above and beyond the scope of what one may experience in the classroom setting. The undergraduate research framework allows students the opportunity to experience the challenges and successes of conducting real research, with real outcomes and real deadlines while offering the tenured support and guidance of faculty. To me, becoming involved in undergraduate research made perfect sense, as it truly prepares students for the practical applications of many of the theories learned in the classroom. Additionally, it offers endless opportunities for learning, refining critical thinking and analysis skills and prepares individuals for the next step after graduation—be that career or post-graduate study.

How did your undergraduate research experience influence your career path?

My undergraduate research experience truly inspired me. It opened my eyes to a wealth of possibilities both academically and professionally. The undergraduate research programme provided the opportunity to make some amazing connections in the academic community globally, and the opportunity to experience professional conferences and the incredible amount of hard work that goes into professional level research. Without this experience I can honestly say I would not be where I am today. The skills acquired throughout the whole process, from hypothesis, through synthesis to analysis and presentation are skills that I use every day in some capacity or another. It is one thing to know something, a fact, a theory etc., but it is an entirely different skill required to be able to communicate to someone who is not in your field. The act of translating your knowledge and discoveries is a lifelong skill.

Describe the research you did and if you presented it at any professional conference, juried art exhibit, or other off-campus location.

My research focused on the nature and behaviors of oscillations observed within the Buffalo River. Water level data from the river was gathered and analysed over the course of several years across several strategically positioned locations. Corresponding meteorological data was cross references and anomalies in the oscillations were further studied and analyzed.

Undergraduate Research Mentor: Dr. Jill Singer