Events

Early College Experience Economics Workshop

Every year, the Economics Department hosts the professional development workshop for high school teachers of economics who are part of the UConn Early College Experience (ECE) Program. This program provides opportunities for high school students to take a UCONN course for credit at their high school. The teachers who offer such a course attend the annual workshop and are certified by the Department. Dr. Smirnova is a new coordinator for the ECE Economics program.

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 29 teachers from all over the State of Connecticut attended a virtual professional development workshop organized by Dr. Smirnova, the Department of Economics, and the Office of Early College Programs. The agenda was packed with useful and up-to-date information that could be used in the classroom right away.

Dr. Diego Mendez-Carbajo, Senior Economic Education Specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis presented a talk “Remote Active Learning with FRED Interactives”, which demonstrated new approaches of using the FRED database for teaching various topics.

Dr. Scott A. Wolla, Economic Education Coordinator at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis talked about “Teaching New Tools of Monetary Policy”, which presented the up-to-date information about monetary policy tools that have changed substantially in the past couple of years and especially since August 20202. Dr. Wolla showed various resources that could be used in teaching and studying Macroeconomics and Money and Banking.

Dr. Carlos J. Asarta, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware presented his new research “Teaching Digitally-Minded Students during the Pandemic and Beyond”. The data collected by Dr. Asarta indicates that the profession has not yet successfully pivoted to using engaging strategies in teaching and, therefore, there are challenges in recruiting and retaining economics majors. Dr. Asarta suggested several ways of making economics more interesting, more applied, and more fun for contemporary students.

The feedback from teachers was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone learned a lot and took away many resources to be used in the classroom.

By Natalia V. Smirnova

Women and Girls’ Day at the Capitol 2020

On March 6, 2020, Dr. Natalia Smirnova and Dr. Tianxu Chen represented the Economics Department at the “Women and Girls’ Day at the Capitol 2020” cohosted by The Governor’s Council on Women and Girls, The Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity; and The Women’s Suffrage Commission.

The theme for the event was CELEBRATE – CONNECT – INSPIRE:

To CELEBRATE the progress made by women in honor of Women’s History Month and the 100 Year Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.

To CONNECT the state community to resources and opportunities that are available to the public, such as:

  • Career information.
  • Health & safety services and information.
  • Women leaders in STEAM and underrepresented fields — hence Economics!
  • Resources for women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

To INSPIRE women and girls to design their own paths (providing a broad scope of role models for them to become inspired).

The intended audience for the day was female high school juniors and seniors, and women from across Connecticut. A total of 300 individuals attended, with half of them being high school aged girls. Both Dr. Smirnova and Dr. Chen were excited to share their love of economics with the attendees. The event was worthwhile for everyone!

Stamford Math Econ Students Working with the Business Community

IRL Case Study LogoThis Fall, Professor Smirnova’s Mathematical Economics class in Stamford engaged in  collaboration with the local business community. A key element of the course was the empirical project, which gave students hands-on experience in working with data and proposing a solution to a real problem for Stamford-based businesses. Separated randomly into seven teams, students pondered the research question: How to attract and retain Millennial talent in Stamford, CT?

This question was posited by Kelly Pierre-Louis, UConn alumna, Founder & Executive Director of #IRLCONN – (In Real Life Conference:  #IRLCONN: Edu). Kelly devoted a substantial amount of time observing teams’ presentations throughout the semester and giving constructive feedback. On the last day of classes, December 5th, teams presented their answer to the research question, their analysis of data, and their recommendations for the Millennial talent retention in Stamford. In attendance at the event were local business community leaders from Stamford Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of Fairfield County, Ferguson Library, Waddell and Reed, GAIA Real Estate, Congressman Jim Himes’s office, and Luigi and Associates.

Students had the opportunity not only to showcase their research but also network with business professionals, ask and answer questions, and connect. Our guests were very enthusiastic about student projects’ outcomes. They asked questions, provided their views on the subject, and were interested in implementing some of the students’ recommendations in their businesses or their line of work. Good dialogue and an exchange of ideas for future collaboration inside and outside of the classroom commenced.

Such real-world projects’ integration in the economics curriculum proves to be an exciting new way of connecting our students to the realm outside the academia. It also makes class projects more meaningful and develops skills that can be easily transferred to the workplace.

Exploring Career Paths in Business and Economics

Panel Discussion, Stamford Campus

The annual Alumni Networking Panel, co-organized by Stamford Campus Economics Faculty, CLAS Alumni Relations, and UConn Foundation, was held March 26, 2019.

The panelists, all UConn alumni, shared stories about their UConn education to the contribution to their career paths.  Mr. Bianchi (majored in Economics) shared that he arrived as a UConn freshman majoring in pre-med, and his class in Principles of Macroeconomics with Professor Polly Allen forever changed his career path, and the skills learned in the Econometrics course taught by Professor Subhash Ray sparked a lifelong interest in quantitative analysis.

Mr. Regan (majored in Economics) shared that his choice of major was inspired by Professor Derek Johnson’s Principles of Microeconomics course, and the Socratic teaching style in Professor Paul Tomolonis’s course in International Economics.

Ms. Daley, and Ms. Pierre-Louis (Public Policy and Psychology majors) shared that from their courses in statistics and computer programming they developed skills core to their successful career paths.  Professor Harmon served as panel moderator.

For more information about the panel click here.

2018 Spring Awards Banquet

Uconn sealOn March 29, 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:

Ryan Christopher Dodd
Liam Dorris
Matthew Gorman
Rebecca Hill
Shannon Lozier
Madeline Memoli
Alexander Rojas
Ryan Verano
Mingrui Zhou


Undergraduate Awards

Louis D. Traurig Scholarship

John Cizeski
Tyler DiBrino
Rebecca Hill
Zachary Lobman

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize

Steven Hashemi

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship

Matthew Edson
Harry Godfrey-Fogg
Colin Mortimer
Magda Soto-Enciso

Ross Mayer Scholarship

Matthew DeLeon

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship

Alexander Rojas

Economics Department General Scholarship

Michelle Grieco

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship

Adam Vancisin
Mary F. Vlamis
Zihan Wang

Charles Triano Scholarship

Jenifer Repaci

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship

Timothy Brown


Graduate Awards

W. Harrison Carter Award

Michael DiNardi
Patralekha Ukil

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Kevin Wood

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship

Huarui Jing
Chuang Li
Wensu Li
Shilpa Sethia
Rui Sun
Jinning Wang

Economics Department General Scholarship

Samantha Minieri

Best Third Year Paper Award

Mark McInerney
Zhonghui Zhang


Faculty Awards

Grillo Family Research Award

Stephen L. Ross

Grillo Family Teaching Award

Derek Johnson

Employee Appreciation Awards

Rosanne Fitzgerald – 20 years
Olivier Morand – 20 years
C. Paul Hallwood – 30 years

 

Congratulations to everyone!

 

New Frontiers in Development Economics Conference

The New Frontiers in Development Economics conference, hosted by the Department of Economics, will be bringing together some of the most prominent researchers in Development Economics on October 6th and 7th.

Visit the website at http://newfrontiers.econ.uconn.edu for complete information about the program, speakers, location, and other details.

Philip E. Austin Chair Lecture on Economics and Public Policy

Richard Murnane, the Thompson Research Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, will present the Fall 2017 Philip E. Austin Chair Lecture on Economics & Public Policy:

Income Inequality & Private School Enrollment

The lecture, co-sponsored by the Philip E. Austin Chair, Center for Economic Policy and Analysis, and the Department of Economics, will be held:

Thursday, September 28th
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Dodd Center Konover Auditorium

A reception will follow the lecture.

The Second Biannual Austin Seminar in Education Policy

Susanna Loeb, the Barnett Family Professor of Education at Stanford University, will present the second Philip E. Austin Research Seminar in Education Policy:

One Step at a Time: The Effects of an Early Literacy Text Messaging Program for Parents of Preschoolers

Monday, March 27
2:30 – 3:30 pm
Gentry 144

A reception will follow the seminar.

Susanna Loeb specializes in education policy, looking particularly at policies and practices that support teachers and school leaders. Her work spans the the range of age-level, including early education, K-12 and higher education. Her recent work focuses on information barriers to teaching improvement and parenting.

Loeb is a member of the National Board for Education Sciences, co-director of Policy Analysis for California Education, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Philip E. Austin Chair Lecture on Economics and Public Policy

Douglas S. Massey, the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, will present the Spring 2017 Philip E. Austin Chair Lecture on Economics & Public Policy:

America’s Immigration Policy Fiasco

The lecture, co-sponsored by the Philip E. Austin Chair, the Department of Economics, the Department of Geography, the Department of Sociology, the Urban and Community Studies Program & the journal Urban Geography, will be held:

Thursday, March 23rd
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Dodd Center Konover Auditorium

A reception will follow the lecture.

The First Biannual Austin Seminar in Education Policy

Amy Ellen SchwartzProfessor Amy Ellen Schwartz, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, will present The Impact of Universal Free Meals on Student Outcomes as the speaker at the first biannual Austin Seminar in Education Policy.

The lecture, co-sponsored by the Center for Education Policy Analysis, the Neag School of Education, and the Department of Economics, and presented jointly with the Health, Labor and Development seminar series of the Department of Economics, will be held:

Tuesday, October 25th
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Gentry 142, 144

A reception will follow the seminar.

The Abstract:  This paper investigates the academic effects of providing school meals free of charge to all students.  Using detailed data on NYC public school students, we estimate the impact of  “Universal Free Meals” (UFM) on standardized test scores,  participation in school meals, obesity and BMI.

Using a difference in difference design and novel student-level transaction data, we explore the heterogeneity of the impact by student race/ethnicity, poverty, and, critically, prior participation in school lunch.  Most important, we find that UFM significantly increases academic performance of middle school students by as much as 0.1 sd, large enough to pass a commonly used threshold for a successful academic intervention.

UFM increases lunch participation by roughly 5.2 percentage points for poor students and larger effects of 13.5 percentage points for non-poor students.  Similarly, the effect of UFM is larger for students with low baseline participation, than those with high baseline participation.   Finally, we find some evidence of reductions in weight and obesity for non-poor students driven, perhaps, by the better nutritional value of school lunch compared to  competitive alternatives.