Author: McConnel, Mark

Career Competency Innovation Award goes to Professor Smirnova

Jim Lowe, Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of Career Center, presents the Award to Professor Smirnova
Jim Lowe, Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of Career Center, presented the Award.

UConn Center for Career Development hosted the 2024 Career Everywhere Recognition & Celebration Event on May 1, 2024. The event was filled with enthusiasm and camaraderie, fostering meaningful connections among Career Champions in attendance. There are nearly 1,000 dedicated UConn Career Champions (faculty, staff, and employers) who tirelessly support our students in their journey toward post-graduation success.

The nominations for several awards given by the Career Center were solicited from students, faculty, and staff. Professor Smirnova received the inaugural Career Competency Innovation Award.

Nancy Bilmes, Director of the Career Center, described Professor Smirnova’s innovations as aligning course syllabi with NACE career competencies, integrating career readiness modules across their courses on HuskyCT, designing assignments focused on career competencies, presenting at national and regional conferences, and conducting impactful research on the impact of career-focused assignments on students’ knowledge acquisition within their chosen fields. Natalia’s approach to embedding career development into her teaching not only equips students with essential skills but also demonstrates a commitment to fostering holistic growth and success beyond the classroom.

Professor Smirnova’s work on students’ career competencies’ development is documented in her teaching portfolio.

Professor Langlois and “The Corporation and the Twentieth Century in UConn Today

Photo of Richard Langlois, Economics Department Head
Professor and Head of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Richard Langlois (UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

Professor Langlois and his book “The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterpriseare featured in the most recent UConn Today:

An Alternate View of The American Corporation: Economist Reassesses Twentieth-Century Business

Economist Richard Langlois presents a sweeping new take on so-called managerialism in his acclaimed book

Americans have in recent years become fascinated with the 1950’s and 60’s, as seen in the fascination with hit TV series like “Mad Men,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Call the Midwife,”and so many others. The mid-to-late-twentieth century has acquired a sheen of romance, becoming in people’s imaginations an era of social connection, “good” jobs and prosperity. 

But according to one UConn economist, these so-called golden years, which relied on the success of the modern American corporation, were far from what they seem in hindsight.

In “The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterprise,” Richard Langlois, Professor and Head of Economics, explains how the American corporation rose to prominence, prospered, and eventually died a dismal death.

The book, which was favorably reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times and was picked as a Foreign Affairs best book of 2023, argues that although the corporation as an institution remains crucial to economic growth and prosperity, the large and extensive corporate structures that dominated much of the twentieth century were something of an aberration rather than a norm.  

He writes that extensive managerial corporations were creatures of the mid–twentieth century’s economic and political events – the Depression, the New Deal, and World War II.  

The full article is online at:

An Alternate View of The American Corporation: Economist Reassesses Twentieth-Century Business

Two Stamford Students Present at Frontiers 2024

(left to right) Mitchell Velasco (’25), Dr. Smirnova, Matthew Dalzell (’25) at the Frontiers of Undergraduate Research Exhibition, Stamford campus, April 16, 2024

The Welcome Center area at the Stamford campus was crowded on April 16th as the Frontiers of Undergraduate Research 2024 exhibition was about to start. Thirteen undergraduate students from the Stamford campus presented their research on various topics within diverse fields of study.

Among the presenters, there were two students of Professor Smirnova, Matthew Dalzell and Mitchell Velasco. Both started their research in the ECON 3431W – Public Economics course. However, their interest in the topic grew and they continued working on their papers.

Matthew Dalzell’s (‘25) paper entitled “The Impact of Privately Owned Buses on Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Connecticut” written in Spring 2023 was presented at the New York State Economics Association (NYSEA) conference 2023 in October. Matthew’s trip to the conference was sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, for which Matthew is grateful. Matthew acknowledged in his speech the benefits of attending a conference outside UConn. He said that such exposure allowed him to see what students at other universities are doing in terms of research, “rub elbows” with professional economists and distinguished faculty, and gain confidence for his studies and future career aspirations.

Mitchell Velasco’s (‘25) paper entitled “Decarbonization of the US Power Grid and Cost Competitiveness of Renewable Energy Technology” was written in Fall 2023. The Frontiers’ presentation was the first outside-of-the-classroom presentation for Mitchell. Dr. Smirnova encourages Mitchell to continue improving his paper and to submit it to the undergraduate panel at the Eastern Economic Association, the annual conference of which is scheduled for February 2025 in New York City.

The Frontiers event showcased the dedication of the Stamford faculty to undergraduate students’ success and to students’ preparation for careers after graduation.

Economics Faculty Delia Furtado and Tianxu Chen Receive Promotions

Congratulations to Economics faculty Delia Furtado, who has received promotion to Professor, and Tianxu Chen, promoted to Associate Professor in Residence!

The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees approved the promotions at their Board meeting on Wednesday, April 17th.

UConn Celebrates Promotion and Tenure of 91 Faculty

 

Professor Langlois at the Janus Forum Lecture Series

Professor Langlois recently participated in the Janus Forum Lecture Series at Brown University, joining Tim Wu, who was President Biden’s special assistant for technology and competition policy, in conversation about the regulation of Big Tech industries.

The lectures are sponsored by the Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Brown.

Career Advice is Shared with Stamford Economics Students

Mara Gauger (’13) at the Stamford campus on April 9, 2024

Students in Professor Smirnova’s Financial Economics and Money and Banking classes were visited by UConn Alumna, Mara Gauger (’13) on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

Mara Gauger graduated from UConn with BA degree in Economics in 2013. After graduation, she worked at Citi, and achieved the level of Assistant Vice President. Since 2016 she works at Deloitte.

Mara Gauger is currently a Senior Manager Deloitte’s Capital Markets practice with extensive experience supporting securities firms and broker-dealers. Mara focuses on assisting firms on topics related to securities operations, trading systems, and risk management programs. At Deloitte, Mara has been a lead in the SEC Rule 613 Consolidated Audit Trail project office as well as assisting firms in their design and implementation of the rule requirements. Mara is also a core member of the Deloitte team supporting SIFMA, ICI, and DTCC’s efforts to analyze the impacts of an accelerated settlement cycle (T+1) since inception.

The goal of Mara’s visit was to familiarize students with careers in the financial sector, and mentor them on how to get their first job upon graduation from UConn with the Economics degree. Mara generously shared her wisdom about how to navigate the process of job and internship search: what to showcase on the resume to stand out; how to network through LinkedIn and HuskyLink; how to prepare for and conduct interviews; how to utilize the Career Center and Career Fairs; and what skills and career competencies are in demand in the marketplace.

Students were able to ask questions pertaining to their career aspirations and their experiences with internships and job search. Students who are seniors were the most vocal and were able to ask the most pointed and specific questions. Students who are juniors and sophomores received a motivational advice to start their networking as early as possible. Mara suggested utilizing HuskyLink as the first step of connecting with the UConn alumni.

Mara Gauger and Natalia Smirnova
Mara Gauger (’13) (right) and Dr. Smirnova at the Stamford campus on April 9, 2024

Mara shared that her visit to UConn is the way to give back to her Alma Mater after working in the financial industry for 10 years. She was very supportive of students’ inquiries and honest about identifying the competitiveness of the industry and challenges of getting the first job out of college. Students took her advice and candid conversation in stride. They were encouraged by Mara to continue their studies, gain career competencies, and confidently showcase their strengths and skills to the employers.

Thank you, Mara Gauger (’13) for visiting us at UConn Stamford. We really appreciate it!

Women in Economics Symposium at Stamford

UConn-Stamford students at the Women in Economics Symposium Watch Party, April 4, 2024

UConn-Stamford was an official Watch Party for the Women in Economics Symposium 2024. The Symposium’s goal is to showcase the role of women in Economics profession and inspire students to pursue majors and careers in Economics.

This year, the agenda included interesting conversations about careers with BA and MA degrees, about getting the first job, and the keynote address by the newest Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, Adriana Kugler.

Women in Economics Symposium discussion group

Stamford students enjoyed the discussion about economics’ role in their career preparation, interactive activities provided by the organizers, togetherness, and camaraderie. And, of course, pizza and cookies provided by the Honors Program.

Jonathan was on hand to provide additional spiritual support!

Jonathan Husky

Fostering Teaching Excellence: Key Takeaways from the 2024 Spring GA Training Seminar

The Department of Economics recently held the 2024 Spring GA Training Seminar in Herbst (formerly Oak) Room 337 on March 29, 2024. This seminar provided a crucial platform for student instructors to develop teaching skills and foster discussions on effective teaching methods. Professor Richard Langlois, Professor Olivier Morand, and Professor Tianxu Chen, shared invaluable insights with first-time student instructors in the meeting.

The seminar started with Professor Morand’s presentation, focusing on the pedagogy of teaching quantitative content. Through interactive discussions, he emphasized the importance of learning styles and clarity in teaching.

Professor Langlois primarily discussed tips for teaching writing-intensive courses (W class), drawing upon his extensive experience in the field. He shared strategies for effectively engaging students in such courses.

Lastly, Professor Chen addressed the challenges encountered by student instructors in their teaching roles. She offered insights into fostering attendance, promoting student interaction, and managing email communications adeptly.

The seminar concluded with an open discussion, providing participants with the opportunity to exchange experiences, address challenges, and seek guidance from peers and faculty mentors. Through collaborative exchanges, attendees garnered inspiration, valuable insights, and peer support to refine and elevate their teaching practices. This seminar was coordinated by Professor Chen, and it is part of ECON 6492: Teaching Economics—a recently developed course tailored for first-time student instructors.

Professor Smirnova Receives Thomas E. Recchio Faculty Coordinator Award for Academic Leadership

Logo of the UConn Early College Experience Program

Professor Smirnova was selected to receive 2024 Thomas E. Recchio Faculty Coordinator Award for Academic Leadership for her work with the Early College Experience Program.

This award recognizes a University of Connecticut faculty member serving as the UConn Early College Experience Faculty Coordinator for their discipline in an exemplary or unique fashion.

With over 50 UConn ECE Faculty Coordinators, there is a very competitive nomination pool every year, and the review committee is challenged to identify the top candidates.

In addition to day to day work of innovation, inspiring and empowering ECE Economics instructors at our partner schools throughout the state, and promoting University of Connecticut resources that enhance UConn Early College Experience, Dr. Smirnova received a very strong nomination from the ECE Economics instructor, Colleen Peling from William Hall High School in West Hartford, making it clear that Natalia was a top candidate.

Economics is the biggest UConn ECE cohort with 58 ECE certified Economics instructors representing 42 different partner high schools across the state.

The ECE Office and all ECE Economics instructors from UConn partner schools congratulate Dr. Smirnova on this respected professional achievement and commend her for the steadfast dedication to UConn, all ECE students and Instructors, and the UConn Early College Experience Program.

2024 UConn Leafy LAEF Conference

2024 UConn Leafy LAEF Conference Logo

The Department of Economics is hosting the UConn Leafy LAEF Macro Conference in Storrs, CT, on October 25-26, 2024, jointly with the Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance (LAEF) at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

LAEF was established in July 2005 to address important questions on growth and fluctuations in national, or aggregate, economies. It is directed by Professor Finn Kydland, Nobel Laureate (2004), Jeffrey Henley Professor of Economics at UCSB.

The conference will feature approximately 9 to 10 papers. Submissions from all areas of macroeconomics and adjacent fields are welcome. We hope you will find this conference of interest and will submit your work. The submission deadline is April 30, 2024.

You can find the call for paper and the submission portal here.