The 2023 Fall Economics Graduate Assistant (GA) Training Seminar was held in Herbst (Previously Oak) 312 on November 1, 2023. The GA training seminar was designed to help student instructors and graduate assistants in the Economics Department succeed in their teaching roles at UConn, and to help promote their professional development.
During the event, Professor Talia Bar, Professor Tianxu Chen, Professor Delia Furtado and Professor Derek Johnson shared their teaching experiences, and addressed a variety of issues/questions raised by our student instructors and GAs. Specifically, the topics addressed in the seminar included (1) responsibility of instructors, (2) evaluation of teaching, (3) improving attendance, (4) responding to students’ emails, (5) suggestions for first time teaching, and (6) disputes between instructor and student.
Student instructors teaching in Fall 2023 and other GAs participated in the seminar. They also shared their teaching experiences, and the challenges they face, with the faculty and their peers. The event was a big success, and provided valuable support for our student instructors and GAs. The seminar was coordinated by Professor Chen, who is also the instructor for ECON 6492: Teaching Economics, the newly designed course for first-time student instructors.
On a picture perfect Spring evening, several doctoral students participated in the University’s Commencement exercises. Major advisors hooded their students while friends and family members watched either in person from the Jorgenson or online from thousands of miles away at very inconvenient times given different time zones.
The joyous occasion was at times quite somber given the recent passing of Professor Jorge Agüero. As Professor Agüero’s student, Miranda Mendiola Valdez, crossed the stage, special recognition was given to honor the moment. The entire Jorgensen clapped as Professor Delia Furtado hooded Miranda. Miranda will begin a tenure track position at North Central College in the fall.
We are delighted to share that three of our 5th-year PhD students focusing in econometrics, Xuejian Gong, Ruohan Huang, and Ziyun Wu, recently accepted (full-time) job offers in the US financial industry.
Xuejian has accepted a job offer as assistant vice president for wholesale credit risk management at Citi Institutional Clients Group. His dissertation (advised by Professor Duke Kao) is about applying distributionally robust optimization in economic and financial models. Ruohan has started her career at OneMain General Services Corporation as a senior analyst in credit, pricing, and analytics. The subject of her dissertation (advised by Professor Jungbin Hwang) is financial econometrics, focusing on empirical asset pricing models. Lastly, Ziyun has started work as a data scientist at Hartford Steam Boiler – Munich Re. Her dissertation (advised by Professor Duke Kao) studies the machine learning approach in asset pricing.
All three students commented that their programming language skills and understanding of various econometrics/statistical theories from their PhD training were key factors for their success in the job market. Also, they pointed out the importance of earlier preparations for the industry job market, as most companies for quantitative analyst positions have at least two rounds of interviews for coding and critical thinking.
We are again pleased to congratulate our PhD students’ achievements in their job markets and know that they will have great success in their careers in financial industries!
Patralekha Ukil, Assistant Professor at San Jose State University and 2020 UConn PhD in Economics, was interviewed by the nightly news for the San Francisco CBS Affiliate about the rising price of eggs.
Her interview starts at minute three of the recording:
The Department of Economics successfully held its first Graduate Assistant (GA) Orientation on January 16, 2023. The GA Orientation was coordinated and led by Professor Tianxu Chen. The event has been designed to support our GAs/TAs and student Instructors by providing them with strategies and tools to successfully start and manage their teaching responsibilities. It also aims to help promote their professional development in teaching.
The orientation invited David Des Armier from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) to share information about how to design a HuskyCT course webpage, as well as to familiarize GAs with University policies and CETL resources. During the orientation, Professor Talia Bar, Professor Tianxu Chen, Professor Mike Shor and Professor David Simon also shared their teaching experience with the GAs, and provided advice on a wide range of topics including lecture preparation, academic integrity, class engagement, and ensuring an accessible environment for students with disabilities.
The GA orientation had a great turnout. Over a dozen of PhD students from different cohorts attended the event, and we expect it to be held regularly in the future.
Professor Steve Ross and UConn Ph.D. Graduates Jesse Kalinowski (Quinnipiac) and Matt Ross (Northeastern) recently published a paper in the Journal of Human Resources examining tests for racial profiling in police stops, showing that minority responses to perceived discrimination in stops (driving more slowly and safely) can substantially bias these tests away from finding discrimination.
Matthew Ross, 2016 UConn Ph.D. in Economics, has been hired by the School Public Policy & Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics at Northeastern University as an Associate Professor, leaving his previous Assistant Professor position at Claremont Graduate School.
Matt works on research related to technological change in the labor market, racial profiling in policing and the process of scientific research. His work has been or will soon be published in several major journals including Nature, Journal of Human Resources, Industrial Labor Relations Review, and Criminology and Public Policy. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the US Department of Transportation.
Third-year PhD student Anastassiya Karaban has received funding in support of her research. Her project, done in collaboration with Professor Jorge Agüero, is entitled “Female Education, Empowerment and Bargaining over Babies in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
The funding is through the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on Women and Girls of Color through Africana Studies at UConn:
“In November 2015, the White House Council on Women and Girls announced a new initiative on women and girls of color – the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on Women and Girls of Color—during a summit co-hosted by the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University. The Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on Women and Girls of Color, which the University of Connecticut joined in 2015, consists of more than fifty colleges, universities and non-profit organizations committed to studying and addressing the educational, health and social services disparities faced by women and girls of color. Housed within the Africana Studies Institute, UConn’s Collaborative aligns with Africana’s goals to prioritize research and collaboration that target health disparities and injustice and the health and well-being of populations both racialized and gendered.”