From UConn Today:
The economic historian and UConn baseball fan talks about his new role leading the department, which he began in January.
The economic historian and UConn baseball fan talks about his new role leading the department, which he began in January.
At the Open House, students had the opportunity to network with their peers, hear from Chairman Jerome Powell and staff from the Monetary Affairs division – all in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Board hosting the College Fed Challenge finals.
This trip has an educational value that cannot be replicated through any other venue. Students’ learning outcomes included: 1) experiential learning at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; 2) deeper knowledge acquisition of the structure of the Federal Reserve Board, conduct of monetary policy, and internship and employment opportunities at the Board; 3) networking with the Federal Reserve officials and students from other universities.
The highlight of the trip was the meeting with Chairman Powell and taking a picture with him.
The trip was organized by Professor Smirnova, the faculty adviser to the team, and made possible by collaborative efforts of the Economics Department, CLAS Associate Deans Office, the Business School, and the Stamford campus. The students are grateful for the opportunity to expand their economics knowledge and career competencies such as teamwork, professionalism, and career and self-development.
We ate the cake too!
The UConn Stamford team participated again this year in the College Fed Challenge national competition. The College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee.
The Fall 2023 Stamford team consisted of seven students who represent a diverse set of majors and minors at the Stamford campus.
Daniel Barreto, Team Leader. He is a senior majoring in Economics. His passion lies in understanding the intricate workings of the economy, a skill he found invaluable in his ventures within financial markets. One of his primary career goals is to perpetually expand his knowledge and push his limits in life. His part-time position at a law firm, which commenced in the spring, has played a pivotal role in advancing his aspirations of becoming a corporate lawyer. Daniel’s summer fellowship at WaveAerospace provided him with invaluable insights into the dynamics of a small business startup. It was an experience that deepened his understanding of economics and business, further propelling him toward career goals. Upon graduation, Daniel plans to pursue further studies in corporate law. Read Daniel’s reflection here.
Felix Brito-Velazquez is a senior majoring in Economics. He has embarked on his journey in economics driven by a genuine interest in how money shapes our society. His passion for economics started as he experienced the consequences and witnessed the complexities behind Venezuela’s economic collapse, a crisis triggered by government intervention in the central bank and private sector. This early curiosity has since evolved into a broader interest including politics, finance, and history. In parallel to his academic pursuits, he has spent the last five years as a Personal Banker at Bank of America, where he has had the opportunity of helping individuals navigate their financial decisions. It’s his deeply held aspiration to merge his academic knowledge, real world experience, and enthusiasm to play a meaningful role in crafting a more equitable economic environment for all. Read Felix’s reflection here.
Kevin Jankowski is currently in his third year at the University of Connecticut, where he is studying Financial Management with a minor in Economics. Kevin is passionate about his academic pursuits and has plans to continue his education with a master’s degree in quantitative risk management. Kevin’s career goal is to enter the world of Investment Banking. He is dedicated to working hard and seizing opportunities to expand his knowledge and skills. Read Kevin’s reflection here.
Tuan Kiet Tran comes from Vietnam. He is a sophomore majoring in Marketing Management. The striking cultural contrasts between his homeland and the US have opened his eyes not only to the vast economic disparities but also to the power of decision-making on a global scale. His passion for economics stems not merely from textbook theories but from witnessing the profound impact that decisions made by a few can have on the lives of millions. This understanding deepened as his personal hobby of cooking confronted him with the stark reality of escalating grocery prices. The surge in daily expenses prompted his curiosity, leading me to participate in the Fed Challenge. Kiet’s involvement in the Fed Challenge further enriched his understanding, demystifying the forces behind inflation and potential countermeasures. As he continues his academic journey, he remains committed to bridging the gaps between theory, personal experiences, and real-world implications. Read Kiet’s reflection here.
Parth Trivedi is a senior majoring in Economics. As a teenager, he had a passion for economic theory which he was able to nurture with the guidance of the Econ department at UConn. The Federal Reserve Challenge has lived up to its name, testing Parth’s analytical and communication skills. Though Parth had hoped to win, he hopes that the experience of a competition itself will allow him to prove himself capable as a professional Economist.
Noah Park is the Student Body Vice-President and a senior majoring in Digital Media & Design and minoring in Economics. Noah was honored to represent our university’s economics team, especially for the prestigious College Fed Challenge competition at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As a team member, Noah closely examined and forecasted trends within the current housing market. While his primary major may seem distinct from economics, he firmly believes in the importance of understanding financial markets across all sectors. His passion for economics was ignited by his fascinations with numbers, especially measuring statistics for his favorite sport, the NBA, as well as his desire to comprehend the complexities behind the 2008 housing market crash, a pivotal event that highlighted the far-reaching consequences of economic shifts today.
Noah’s commitment to both design and economics is a testament to the diverse and integrative education offered at UConn-Stamford, demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between design thinking and economic acumen. Post-graduation, his aspirations are both clear and ambitious. He intends to seamlessly weave business and economics in his personal endeavors, focusing on individuals, particularly those with ADHD. By tapping into the synergies of his academic background, Noah plans to devise strategies to empower individuals with ADHD to enhance their executive functioning skills, enabling them to lead more fulfilled and productive lives. In tandem with this venture, Noah is fervently pursuing a part-time position as a summer TA at Yale University. This role promises to be a keystone in his academic journey, facilitating his advancement in the management master’s program and allowing Noah to further delve into the confluence of design, economics, and impactful pedagogy. Read Noah’s reflection here.
Adrien Vincent is a sophomore pursuing Financial Management with a passion for entrepreneurship. Throughout his college experience, Adrien has strived for success in the business world through various internships and the Student Government CFO of UConn Stamford. His drive for business ventures has allocated his goals in various directions, which gratefully enabled him to join the Fed Challenge Team at Stamford. Aside from Adrien’s business ventures, he enjoys branching out into other interests and hobbies, such as playing in chess tournaments, producing music, and going camping. Read Adrien’s reflection here.
The 2023 competition was still virtual, but the Orientation at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was in-person. The 2023 team’s video is available here.
The experience of the College Fed Challenge competition is an extraordinary way to build career competencies. As students reflected in their essays, the course teaches them not only economics knowledge, but also critical thinking, communication, and team building skills. Participation in this competition becomes a cornerstone of their academic career at UConn and is offered as ECON 3492-Practicum course.
Professor David Cutler was invited by Professor Patti Ritter to speak to the students of the Department of Economics on October 18th about his book The Survival of the City.
Approximately 120 students and faculty from the Department of Economics attended the talk in person at the Dodd Center in Storrs, and 20 students streamed the talk at the Stamford Campus in a watch party.
David Cutler is the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. His work in health economics and public economics have earned him significant academic and public acclaim. He also has served on the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council during the Clinton Administration, and has advised the Presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley, John Kerry, and Barack Obama. He also served as Senior Health Care Advisor for the Obama Presidential Campaign.
In his talk, Professor Cutler discussed the importance and contribution of cities, the history of epidemics and how they have affected urban areas, how the particular problems of American cities make them vulnerable to epidemics and, finally, ways of minimizing the impact of future epidemics.
Students and faculty participated during the talk and had the opportunity to meet Professor Cutler in a small reception afterwards. It was a great opportunity for them to reflect about the consequences of the pandemic and lessons to be learned. A great opportunity also, to witness how a brilliant economist applies economics to the analysis of problems and derives policy recommendations. Finally, the talk was based on the book written by Professor Cutler and his colleague Professor Edward Glaeser, two thinkers with different political orientations. Thus, the talk provided an example of how good economics should not be politically biased, and will hopefully inspire students to put the welfare of our society above our political differences.
Professor Furtado is now a co-editor at the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (JEBO) and a specialized co-editor at Economic Inquiry.
From the journals’ webpages:
“The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization is devoted to theoretical and empirical research concerning economic decision, organization and behavior and to economic change in all its aspects. Its specific purposes are to foster an improved understanding of how human cognitive, computational and informational characteristics influence the working of economic organizations and market economies and how an economy’s structural features lead to various types of micro and macro behavior, to changing patterns of development and to institutional evolution.”
“Economic Inquiry is a highly regarded scholarly journal in economics publishing articles of general interest across the profession. Quality research that is accessible to a broad range of economists is the primary focus of the journal.”
For both journals, Professor Furtado is handling papers in labor and demographic economics.
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.
Finally in-person, emerging after the pandemic, 41 Early College Experience (ECE) Economics instructors participated in the annual professional development workshop on October 25, 2023 in Storrs.
The agenda was filled with active learning about resources for teaching three of the ECE Economics courses (ECON 1000, ECON 1201, and ECON 1202). Both micro- and macro- economics topics were covered, so every teacher was able to take away several ideas ready to be implemented in the classroom.
The presenters at the workshop were national experts in economic education: Scott A. Wolla, Economic Education Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Ariel Slonim, Curriculum Designer at the Marginal Revolution University (MRU).
The attending instructors enthusiastically participated in the following activities:
Professor Smirnova, who is an ECE Economics Liaison, concluded the workshop with an interactive presentation “Teaching Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Topics in Economics”.
Economics is the biggest UConn ECE cohort:
We have 58 UConn ECE certified Economics instructors representing 42 different partner high schools across the state.
Last academic year, we had 785 students enrolled in 64 UConn Economics courses (ECON 1000, 1201, 1202). Since some students take more than one course, there were 1225 total enrollments.
ECE Economics program makes a big impact across the State!
Professor Remy Levin was quoted recently in an article in The New Yorker:
As Remy Levin, an economics professor at the University of Connecticut, told me, “People often go into this field to study their own inner demons. If you feel bad about time management, you study time inconsistency and procrastination. If you’ve had issues with fear or trauma, you study risk-taking.”
|They Studied Dishonesty. Was Their Work a Lie?
Dan Ariely and Francesca Gino became famous for their research into why we bend the truth. Now they’ve both been accused of fabricating data.
Professor Oskar Harmon and Graduate Program Assistant Lisa Bono represented the MSQE Program at three UConn Career Fairs this Fall semester – the UConn Storrs All Majors Career Fair, the UConn Storrs Stem Career Fair, and the UConn Stamford Career Fair.
At the table we distributed brochures describing the program, gave away some of our branded swag, including a raffle for an MSQE custom-made Columbia fleece jacket, and signed students up for our upcoming Info Sessions and Newsletters.
From seniors interested in the MSQE Program and undergraduates interested in the “4+1” accelerated program option, we collected 60+ email addresses from the Storrs and Stamford Fairs. We also networked with many recruiters interested in learning more about the MSQE program and in potentially hiring MSQE graduates.