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Professional Writer Visits the Writing-Emphasis Economics Class

Anne McAuley Lopez, CLAS ’96, professional writer and business owner of Agency Content Writer, LLC, visiting Stamford Campus on Thursday, April 13, 2023

It is a rare occasion when a Writing-Intensive Economics class is visited by a professional writer. This is what the English classes usually can offer. It is even rarer when a professional writer is actually an Economics major.

Mrs. Anne McAuley Lopez, CLAS ’96, graduated from UConn-Stamford with an Economics degree and went on to a career in the banking and data-related fields, but her heart was in the research and writing aspect of the business. With one twist in her career, she decided to do what her heart desires – set up a writing consulting firm and help businesses to create content which is appealing to their clients. The mix of economics knowledge and the knack for presenting information in a concise and engaging way jolt her firm Agency Content Writer to success.

Now, Mrs. Lopez is giving back to UConn by participating in various career and alumni events. She is collaborating with Professor Smirnova on the writing-intensive course ECON 3431 W Public Economics. During the pandemic, Mrs. Lopez recorded several motivational videos that Dr. Smirnova embedded in the course on HuskyCT. This semester, though, Mrs. Lopez was able to come to ECON 3431W in person on April 13, 2023.

The students were able to ask questions about the place of writing skills in their future career. Mrs. Lopez explained that in any career path, communication competency (written and verbal communication skills) play a very important role. She also gave motivational advice to students regarding their current peer-review class assignment. She described the role of an editor and a publisher who use the same constructive criticism approach when evaluating papers, essays, and books for publication.

Students were excited for the opportunity to connect with the UConn-Stamford alumna who is generously giving her time and expertise to help them with their writing … and with their Economics career readiness.

We thank Mrs. Anne McAuley Lopez for her continuous interest in and the support of our students.

Economics Alumna Visits Money and Banking Class

Professor Smirnova and Viviana Castillo at Money and Banking Class
Viviana Castillo, CLAS ’20, (right) with Dr. Smirnova after the class visit in Stamford, 2/14/2023

Stamford students in ECON 2411 “Money and Banking” class taught by Dr. Smirnova were treated to a special guest visit on February 14, 2023. UConn Stamford Economics alumna, Viviana Castillo, CLAS ’20, who is Principal Finance Analyst at GlobalFoundries shared her wisdom about building knowledge base and career-relevant skills while in college, about finding a job upon graduation, about graduate school, and about current job market in the intersection of economics, finance, and tech.

While at UConn Stamford, Viviana worked in the banking industry, but she managed her time well, which allowed her to participate in the College Fed Challenge competition in 2019 as Stamford team member. She graduated in the midst of the pandemic in the Spring 2020, but did not slow down and entered graduate school at Columbia University. She continued working in the banking industry, gaining experience. After graduating with a Masters in Risk Management degree, she moved to a more interesting job in FinTech.

Viviana Castillo shared with students her approach to gaining new skills in order to prepare for demands of ever-evolving job market. She encouraged students to become career ready. In addition to content knowledge in their academic fields, students need to develop career competencies that are in high demand in the workplace, such as critical thinking, communication, and professionalism.

Students asked a lot of questions, shared their anxieties, and were grateful for Viviana’s effort to meet with them. Business leaders’ and young alumni’s visits to ongoing classes are an exciting way to connect our students to the world outside the academy and prepare them for careers upon graduation.

Stamford Economics Alum Visits Economics Classes

Kyle Richter (CLAS’21) (left) and Dr. Smirnova in Financial Economics class on December 6, 2022

Kyle Richter graduated from UConn-Stamford in December 2021 and is currently an Investment Banking Associate at Capital Research Partners & Co., a boutique investment bank in Norwalk, CT that specializes in restructuring, capital raising, and mergers & acquisitions. The Center for Career Development at Stamford and Dr. Smirnova worked together to arrange Kyle’s visit to ECON 3413 — Financial Economics class on December 6, 2022.

The class started with students’ presentations of financial analysis reports that they completed during the semester. The assignment was to select a publicly traded company, obtain a series of financial reports, analyze financials statements and ratios, and apply one of the methods of stock valuation that were covered in the course. Students wrote a short report justifying their “buy/sell” recommendation and were defending their findings via oral presentation. Kyle was able to assess students’ work and ask clarifying questions.

Kyle took Financial Economics in the Spring of 2021 and was happy to share with students how he uses what he learned in this class every day at work. He talked about uses of financial statements, benchmarking, and trend analyses for valuation of companies and M&A deals. He explained the differences in structure and culture between small firms and large corporations.

Students engaged in a productive discussion with Kyle. They asked questions pertaining to job search after graduation and about careers in finance. Kyle shared his story of job search and his ambitions for the future. He suggested using this class’s report as a showcase of financial industry skills during the interview process at any financial firm. Understanding of nasic financial concepts, concise writing, and presentation skills are essential for getting a job in finance.

After the Financial Economics class, Kyle Richter met with students in ECON 3492 – Practicum class. This is a special course where Stamford team participates in national competitions. Here, the discussion with students focused on careers, career competencies, and networking. Kyle offered his help in giving feedback on students’ resumes and in mentoring students as they navigate job search and connections with professional networks.

Overall, the visit was very productive and interesting. We thank Kyle Richter for coming to our campus, mentoring our students, and engaging with the University.

Spring 2021 Awards

Uconn sealWhile the department is not able to celebrate with an awards banquet this year, we still are able to recognize the best among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty! This year’s award recipients are:

Undergraduate Awards

Economics Department General Scholarship

Jasmine Kuyateh-Banks
Melissa Mendez
Kelly-Anne Moffa
Joslin Valiyaveettil
Clare Wieduwilt
Linge Yang
Michael Zhu

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship

Lauren Pawlowski

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship

Ryan Durrell
Cole Ensinger
Yue Sun

Louis D. Traurig Scholarship

Kader Akpinar
Susan Bailey
Prasad Gosavi
SeSe Nguyen

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize

Brendan Adams

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship

Linge Yang

Charles Triano Scholarship

Matthew Petridis

Dr. Joseph W. McAnneny Jr. Scholarship

Kelly-Anne Moffa
Benjamin Scudder
Kira Smith
Alexander Taylor
Joslin Valiyaveettil
Clare Wieduwilt
Michael Zhu

Robert J. Monte Scholarship

Isadore Johnson

Ross Mayer Scholarship

John Peterson
Ajshe Zulfi


Graduate Awards

W. Harrison Carter Award

Jinsoon Cho
Jingwei Huang

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Miranda Mendiola Valdez

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship

Yijia Gao
Anastassiya Karaban
Ha Kyeong Lee
Kunze Li
Ghania Shuaib
Jiaqi Wang
Yangkeun Yun

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship

Umesh Ghimire

Economics Department General Scholarship

Tiange Du
Xuejian Gong
Ruohan Huang
Benjamin Taraskevich
Ziyun Wu
Yizhi Zhu

Best Third Year Paper Award

Lindsey Buck, awarded for her paper “Head Start Improves Health and Welfare 25 Years After Participation”

Graduate School Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

Faisal Algosair
Abdulmohsen Almuhaisen
Erdal Asker
Birenda Budha
Dingxian Cao
Jingyun Chen
Zhenhao Gong
Treena Goswami
Huarui Jing
Chuang Li
Chun Li
Xizi Li
Tongan Liu
Deepak Saraswat
Rui Sun
Victor Volkman
Jinning Wang
Haoxiang Xu
Heli Xu
Heshan Zhang
Wei Zheng


Faculty Awards

Grillo Family Research Award

Jorge Agüero

Grillo Family Teaching Award

Natalia Smirnova

 

Congratulations to everyone!

Diverse Journeys: Social Sciences Alumni Career Panel

On Thursday, February 25th, 2021, UConn Stamford students were treated to a special discussion “Diverse Journeys: Social Sciences Alumni Career Panel” featuring UConn Stamford alumni of color who majored in social sciences and now work in a variety of interesting and diverse careers.

The panelists were:

Daniel Caceres ’14 (CLAS), Real Estate Agent, YB Realty.

Saif Syed ’16 (CLAS), Investment Banking Associate, Goldman Sachs.

Destini Pereira ’19 (CLAS), Associate Project Manager, Lockwood.

Andrea Lopez ’14 (CLAS), Research Associate, Teachers College, Columbia University.

The participants shared candid insights and perspectives about job search and navigating the workplace as a person of color. Panelists also provided perspectives on how their educational experiences at UConn Stamford shaped their career journeys and put them on the path to success.

This event was organized by UConn Stamford — Department of Economics, Department of Political Science, the Center for Career Development, and the Honors Program in partnership with the UConn Foundation.

The recording of the event can be watched using this link.

Stamford Team Competes in the College Fed Challenge 2020

This year, the College Fed Challenge competition was virtual. It was a challenging transition to understand the intricacies of new rules and regulations and to pivot in September to be ready by October 9. But the UConn-Stamford team was well-organized, enthusiastic, and well-prepared to put forward the arguments that the current economic situation warrants keeping the target federal funds rate unchanged.

The 2020 team consisted of five Stamford students: Cullen Murphy (ACES, sophomore), You Kim (Financial Management and Economics, senior), Shayla Siljkovic (Linguistics and Philosophy, sophomore), Eileen Zhu (Economics, junior), and Rashana Weerasinghe (Business Data Analytics, sophomore). They worked virtually; very diligently, creatively, and collaboratively. They describe the challenges of this new environment as the loss of a camaraderie of in-person interactions, technical difficulties, and physical isolation. However, the presentation that they put forward combines the intellectual rigor of each member, deep research of economic indicators, and a collective vision of what the forecast of current economic conditions looks like.

You can watch their presentation here.

Our team did not make the next round of the competition this year, which is, of course, disappointing. However, the learning that has occurred was a worthwhile experience. First, each student has developed an expertise in a selected economic indicator or industry: each team member researched, constructed graphs, and made connections with overall economic development as well as with monetary policy implications. Furthermore, students gained highly valuable skills such as critical thinking and teamwork. These are the skills that are transferable to other professional environments such as a graduate school or a workplace.

You can read the students’ reflections here:

Cullen Murphy – Stamford Fed Challenge 2020

You Kim – Stamford Fed Challenge 2020

Shayla Siljkovic – Stamford Fed Challenge 2020

Rashana Weerasinghe – Stamford Fed Challenge 2020

Eileen Zhu – Stamford Fed Challenge 2020

The course that will be used to prepare a team for the next year’s competition is ECON 3492 – Practicum. It is offered every semester. Stamford students who are interested in joining the team should contact Dr. Smirnova. The student’s major does not matter – all majors are welcome! What matters is the desire to learn about the economy and monetary policy, and to be open-minded to work well in a team.

 

Stamford Campus Hosts Women Alumnae

Students at Stamford campus were treated to an amazing event on November 12, 2020. A virtual panel discussion featuring UConn Stamford alumnae who majored in social sciences (COMM, ECON, HDFS and POLS) called “Breaking the Mold: Women in Social Sciencesattracted almost 100 students.

A recording of the event may be found online at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQK8qMAPrXs&feature=youtu.be

The five UConn Stamford alumnae who were featured work in a variety of interesting and diverse careers. These women created their own paths, in unconventional ways, in areas where women are often underrepresented. During the event, they provided insights into how their educational experiences at UConn shaped their career journeys and put them on the path to success!

Panelists:

  • Harriet Munrett Wolfe (’76 CLAS) is the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Webster Bank and Webster Financial Corporate. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UConn and a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law.
  • Maureen Hanley (’92 CLAS) is the Senior Vice President of The First Bank of Greenwich. Maureen has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UConn.
  • Anne McAuley Lopez (’96 CLAS) is the lead writer and owner of McAuley Freelance Writing. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from UConn.
  • Katherine Velez (’10 CLAS) is a Research Coordinator at Columbia University Medical Center. She has a bachelor’s degree from UConn in Human Development and Family Studies and an MSW from Fordham University.
  • Brianna Walston (’17 CLAS) is the Founder of Brianna Regine Visionary Consulting, LLC. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from UConn.

Students learned how one’s career evolves post-graduation, how to find a mentor, and how to navigate the job search environment during the pandemic. During the Q&A, students asked questions about challenges that women face in the workplace and how to leverage one’s education and mentorship relationships for the successful steering of a career.

Overall, the panelists offered many positive and constructive suggestions, helping students keep faith in themselves even during the uncertain times of a pandemic.

This program was hosted by UConn Stamford: Political Science and Economics Departments, the Center for Career Development, and the Honors Program in partnership with the UConn Foundation.

By Natalia V. Smirnova

Women in Economics Symposium

On February 27, 2020, two Economics students from the Storrs campus (Daija Brunson and Pershae Gilling) and one Economics student from the Stamford campus (Viviana Castillo) got the chance to travel to Cleveland, OH, for a Women in Economics Symposium. In the morning of the event the students got the chance to meet Research Assistants for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and ask them questions about their journey so far. A lot of insight was given by the Research Assistants and they were very helpful in providing guidance to the students about what they should do in the future.

The students also got the chance to tour the bank and they were even able to go down to the cash processing center where they could see how automation plays a big role in their daily processes.

The symposium was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and included keynote addresses from Dr. Lisa Cook, Director of the AEA Summer Program and Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Founder of Economic Education Institute. In addition, during the symposium the students got the chance to sit through different discussion panels with topics about what to do with a degree in economics, how to get a PHD, and how to navigate the workforce as a female.

During the reception they got a chance to meet other students and employees from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, including Dr. Loretta Mester, the President and CEO of the bank. Overall, the full day was filled with a lot of information and it provided the students with a lot of guidance as to what they should do in the future. The students came back feeling very energized and excited as to what the future holds for them.

 

Written by Viviana Castillo and Dr. Natalia Smirnova

Undergraduate, Mateen Karimi, Publishes Research

Mateen Karimi, a rising junior majoring in management, published his paper, “The Socioeconomic Integration of Second-Generation MENA Immigrants,” in the journal, Aisthesis, this past June. Each year, the journal publishes a compilation of scholarship completed by students in honors programs nationwide.

Supervised by Professor Furtado, Mateen conducted the analysis for the paper last summer as part of his Holster project.

The article shows that the native-born children of Middle Eastern North African (MENA) immigrants in the United States acquire more education and achieve higher salary incomes than both non-MENA whites and blacks, but falter on employment outcomes as a whole. Interestingly, second-generation Iranians and Yemenis acquire more education than both whites and blacks, but also have the highest unemployment rates.

2019 Spring Awards Banquet

Uconn sealOn April 18, the department convened for an awards banquet that recognized the best among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. This year’s award recipients are:

Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees:

Kader Akpinar
Gianna DeMasi
Ryan Gilland
Michelle Grieco
Andrew Hendrickson Jr.
Christopher Holden
Andrew Humphrey
Marisa Infante
Yuansun Jiang
Megan Llewellyn
Colin MacDougald
Adam Patterson
William Poundstone
James Rice
Jeffery Sanawong
David Stanco
Brianna Sullivan
Mollie Swanton
Mary Vlamis
Nicholas Wehrle

Undergraduate Awards

Economics Department General Scholarship

Michael Goccia
Mathilda Hill
James Rice
Sharon Spaulding
Qingya Yang

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship

Tiffany D’Andrea
Zichen Shu
Zian Zhang
Harrison Zraly

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship

Arianna Dines
Sueing Ngov
Sheng Tian

Louis D. Traurig Scholarship

Fizza Alam
Dea Ballij
Marisa Infante
Ajshe Zulfi

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize

Harry Godfrey-Fogg

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship

Michelle Grieco

Charles Triano Scholarship

Gianna DeMasi

Dr. Joseph W. McAnneny Jr. Scholarship

Elizabeth Miller
Alexander Mostaghami
John Peterson
Mary Vlamis

Ross Mayer Scholarship

John Cizeski
Tyler DiBrino


Graduate Awards

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship

Mark McInerney

W. Harrison Carter Award

Lindsey Buck
Huarui Jing

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Wei Zheng

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship

Dingxian Cao
Jingyun Chen
Zhenhao Gong
Chuang Li
Chun Li
Heli Zu
Jinning Wang

Economics Department General Scholarship

Treena Goswami
Shilpa Sethia
Rui Sun
Kevin Wood
Haoxiang Xu

Best Third Year Paper Award

Umesh Ghimire

Roklen Graduate Research Scholarship

Xizi Li

Eleanor Bloom Trust Fund

Eniola Fasola

Graduate School Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

Xuejian Gong
Miranda Mendiola Valdez
Ziyun Wu
Hao Cui
Anup Tiwari
Ruohan Huang
Yizhi Zhu
Abdulmohsen Almuhaisen


Faculty Awards

Grillo Family Research Award

Jackie Zhao

Grillo Family Teaching Award

David Simon

Employee Appreciation Awards

Steven Lanza – 25 years
Richard Langlois – 35 years
Subhash Ray – 35 years

Congratulations to everyone!