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!
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.”
Leshui completed his thesis at UConn in 2013 under the supervision of Professors Richard Langlois, Robert Gibbons, Christian Zimmermann, and Vicki Knoblauch.
He started his position as an Assistant Professor at Bates College in 2015, and works primarily in the fields of organizational economics and industrial organization. He is also working on research projects on education with Professor Stephen L. Ross.
While 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:
Economics Department General Scholarship
Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship
Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship
Louis D. Traurig Scholarship
Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize
Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship
Charles Triano Scholarship
Dr. Joseph W. McAnneny Jr. Scholarship
Robert J. Monte Scholarship
Ross Mayer Scholarship
W. Harrison Carter Award
Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship
Miranda Mendiola Valdez
Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship
Ha Kyeong Lee
Albert E. Waugh Scholarship
Economics Department General Scholarship
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
Aaron Cooke, a 2018 PhD graduate of the UConn Department of Economics, recently became the Chief Economist for Macroeconomic Policy at the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).
The CEA, an agency within the Executive Office of the President, is charged with offering the President objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy.
Aaron earned his PhD degree from the Department of Economics in 2018, specializing in macroeconomics and public policy. His PhD dissertation, “Three Essays on Wealth and Income Inequality”, studied the causes of U.S. wealth and income inequality, and was completed under the supervision of Professor Kai Zhao.
Prior to joining the CEA, Aaron was an economist at the Office of Management and Budget.