Harmon

Professor Harmon Testifies before CT State Government Committees

On February 21, 2017 Professor Oskar Harmon provided teHarmon Provides Testimonystimony before the Connecticut State Senate Labor and Public Employees Committee, in opposition to SB 596 – An Act Concerning the Definition of Managerial Employee.

On March 9, 2017 Professor Harmon provided testimony before the Connecticut State Assembly Higher Education Committee in opposition to HB 971 – An Act Concerning the Promotion of Transfer and Articulation Agreements.

Professor Harmon presents at Morgan Le Fay Center

harmonAt the symposium “Understanding Our Neurodiverse World: Teaching Business and Economics to Students Who Learn Differently,” on Saturday, October 1, 2016, Professor Oskar Harmon gave an invited presentation on Universal Design in Online Instruction.

The keynote speaker was Paul McCulley, former chief economist and managing director at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO).  The other speakers at the day long symposium included Peter Fisher, J.D., senior lecturer at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and Manju Banerjee, Ph.D., VP of Research and Innovation at Landmark College.

The symposium was sponsored by the Morgan Le Fay Center for Advances in Business, Economics, and Entrepreneurship, Landmark College, Putney, VT.

Econ Undergraduate Students Present at the NY and Boston Fed Challenges

Stamford Econ Undergraduates Present at NY Fed ChallengeCongratulations to the undergraduate students from the Stamford and Storrs campuses who took part in the College Fed Challenge this month!

Sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the “College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee.”

The Stamford team (above left) participated in the NY Fed Challenge, competing against forty-one other schools.

The Storrs team (below right) presented at the Boston Fed Challenge, competing against twenty-four other New England schools.

Storrs Econ Undergraduates Present at Boston Fed ChallengeCongratulations to both teams on all of their hard work in this competition!

Stamford Team:

Joanna Ksiazek
Chris McLaughlin
Amir Parikh
Shrey Patel
Alex Rojas
Ravinder Singh
Dr. Julia Coronado (Advisor)
Professor Oskar Harmon (Advisor)
Professor Steven Lanza (Advisor)
Professor Kanda Naknoi (Advisor)

Storrs Team:

Patrick Adams
Matt DeLeon
Erik Eason
Gabriel Hack
Ed Leardi
Stephen Mwangi
Matt Regan
Joe Roessler
Professor Owen Svalestad (Advisor)

Harmon, Svalestad and Tomolonis present at CTREE 2016 Conference

PCTREErofessors Oskar Harmon and Owen Svalestad, and Paul Tomolonis (PhD Candidate) participated in the Sixth Annual Conference on Teaching & Research in Economic Education, June 1 – 3, sponsored by the  American Economic Association Committee on Economic Education.

Oskar Harmon moderated the  panel session “The Experience of Managing a Team in the FED Challenge Competition: Pointers and Pitfalls”, and Owen Svalestad presented “The First Timer Experience”.

Oskar Harmon and Paul Tomolonis presented the paper “Can Social Media be an Effective Tool for Discussion in the Online Classroom?”.  The paper makes a comparison between the use of social media and traditional Course Management System (CMS) discussion groups in a fully online (Microeconomic Principles) course.  Using the experimental design of a randomized trial, the paper tests the popular hypothesis that students using social media (Facebook discussion group here) have greater engagement with the class and higher learning outcomes relative to students not using that platform for coursework (the CMS control group here) because of the ease of use and student familiarity with social media.  Our findings were contrary to this popular hypothesis with lower levels of engagement and learning outcomes for the Facebook groups compared to the CMS discussion groups. We attribute this to the more casual and less formal environment of social media compared to the CMS since students postings were shorter via the social media discussions.

Professors Alpert, Couch and Harmon publish in the American Economic Review

The work of University of Connecticut Professors William Alpert, Kenneth Couch, and Oskar Harmon, entitled “A Randomized Assessment of Online Learning”, appears in the May issue of the American Economic Review.  The paper was selected for inclusion in the Papers and Proceedings issue after being submitted in response to a national call for papers on economic education.

The study provides the fourth randomized examination of online versus face-to-face education ever conducted for a semester length college course.  In this case, the course studied was microeconomic principles.  The study shows that students in a face-to-face course did about half a letter grade better than students in a purely online course developed consistent with best practices for online education. The study finds that there are no meaningful differences in performance when comparing students in a course with a blended versus face-to-face format.

Professor Harmon Participates in Voting Rights Panel

Voting Rights PanelProf. Harmon was a panelist at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The panel addressed voter disenfranchisement including current/past court challenges to the Voting Rights Act, and stricter voting requirements, following passage of this landmark legislation.

The panel was moderated by Professor Beth Ginsberg (UConn Political Science).  The panelists were US Congressman Jim Hines; Scot X. Esdaile – CT NAACP State Chair; Professor Harmon; Khalilah L. Brown – Dean Quinnipiac University; Rev. Tommie Jackson – Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church; Michael Pollard – Chief of Staff for Stamford Mayor David Martin; Jasmine Pierre – Future 5 of NAACP; and Peggy Reeves – CT Secretary of State Election Affairs.

The event (April 11) was attended by approximately 75 students and community members.  It was held in the main concourse of the Stamford Campus.  It was organized by the staff of Congressman Jim Hines; Terrence Cheng, Director of the Stamford Campus; Jack Bryant, President NAACP Stamford Chapter; and Professors Ginsberg and Harmon as part of their Spring 2016 Service Learning Courses.

Stamford Economics Faculty (Profs. Naknoi, Lanza, Harmon and Alpert) Host an Economics Alumni Networking Event

Economics Alumni Four UConn Economics Alumni participated in a panel on the topic ‘Jobs and Careers’ at the UConn Stamford Campus, March 30, 2016.

The event was attended by 35 economics majors.

The participating alumni: Vitalie Alexandru ’13 (CLAS), currently Financial Analyst – Stress Testing, People’s United Bank; Michael Alpert ’90 (CLAS) Portfolio Manager, Stralem & Company; Pedro DeAbreu ’15 (CLAS) Gartner , Inc.; and Marketing Specialist; and Charles Triano ’87 (CLAS) Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Pfizer, Inc.

All panelists graduated with a major in Economics, two from the Storrs Campus, and two from the Stamford Campus. All were generous with their time, advice regarding courses and participation in college life, and praise for the quality of the UConn undergraduate experience.

Matt Fraulino, CLAS Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Alumni Relations, provided invaluable assistance in organizing the event. The event was co sponsored by: UConn CLAS Alumni Relations, UConn Foundation, and the UConn Stamford Economics Club.

Professors Harmon and Lanza at the Eastern Economic Association Conference

Professors Oskar Harmon and Steven Lanza presented a paper “Factors Contributing to Differences in State Economic Outcomes over the Great Recession” at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Eastern Economic Association in Washington DC, Feb 26, 2016.

Eastern Economic Association BannerThe paper employs a Cox Proportional Hazard model to analyze duration of state recession and recovery spells during the Great Recession.

“Agents of Change” Film Screening at Stamford and Storrs

Professor Oskar Harmon has arranged for the screening of the film “Agents of Change” at the Stamford Campus (2/24 at 6:15 pm) and at the Konover Auditorium on the Storrs Campus (2/25 at 4:30 pm).

Admission is free, open to the public and will have a reception and post screening discussion with the co-producer Abby Ginzberg and writer Ibram Kendi. Also on 2/25 at the Storrs Campus, Abby will present a seminar on documentary film making, and Ibram will present a seminar on racism and diversity.

The film premiered Feb 11 at The 24th Annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles, and won The Best Documentary Award

http://www.agentsofchangefilm.com

The event is co-sponsored by 12 UConn groups: Institute for African American Studies, Human Rights Institute, American Studies, Dodd Center, AAUP, Humanities Institute, El Instituto: The Institute of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, Digital Media Center, UCONN Stamford, UCONN Student Government Association, The Connecticut Information Technology Institute and School of Business, and the UConn Stamford Economics Club.

Poster for the film Agents of Change

Professors Harmon and Alpert Present Papers at the Southern Economic Association Meetings

Professors Harmon and Alpert presented two papers at the Southern Economic Association meetings in November.

Harmon presented their paper with Robert Szarka, Using Google Apps in Economics Courses” and Alpert presented their paper “Who Takes Online Courses at Public Universities?”

Harmon and Alpert also organized two sessions and discussed papers at two sessions. As a capstone Harmon organized and Professor Harmon chaired a panel discussion entitled Labor Market Transitions in the Great Recession featuring Professor Kenneth Couch and including Dr. Robert K Triest, of the Federal Reserve of Boston.