Spotlight on Alumni: Huskies in Sewanee

Professor Furdate with PhD alumni Huarui Jing and Tao Song.
Professor Furtado with UConn PhD alumni Huarui Jing and Tao Song at Sewanee

This past spring, Prof. Delia Furtado gave the Georgescu-Rogen Lecture at Sewanee: The University of the South while visiting with UConn PhDs, Huarui Jing and Tao Song.

Sewanee is among the nation’s top national liberal arts colleges and is consistently ranked as one of the top five in the South. While Professor Furtado enjoyed walking around the beautiful campus, often spotting students and faculty in their academic gowns, her favorite part of the trip was catching up with former UConn students.

Sewanee: The University of the SouthHuari’s research interests are in asset pricing, financial econometrics, macro finance, and machine learning.  At Sewanee, she teaches the courses, Investment Finance, Derivatives and Fixed Income Securities, Financial Modeling, and Financial Engineering.

Tao’s research interests are in labor and urban economics with a particular focus on immigration. He has taught Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics as well as the field courses Labor Economics, Urban Economics, and the Economics of Immigration. This month, he was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor. Congratulations, Tao!

Interior of building at at Sewanee: The University of the SouthCurrent UConn PhD students, do reach out to Huari and Tao for advice on building a successful academic career at a liberal arts college.

Former UConn PhD students, we would love to know where you are and what you’re up to! Contact Lisa Bono at

PhD Students Present Research on Gender and Race at Workshop

Two graduate students in the UConn Department of Economics presented their research at the New England Experimentalist Workshop last week.

PhD Student Ana Karaban presents her researchAnastassiya Karaban presented her paper, “The role of gender comparisons in determining reference wage and labor supply.” She finds that when people make different wages, we choose to compare our wage to others of the same gender. Women work harder when making more than other women (but not when making more than other men). Men work less hard if they are making less than another man (but not if they are making less than a woman).

PhD Student Victor Volkman presents his researchVictor Volkman presented his paper, “Race and experimental design: How respondents may read context into a neutrally framed scenario.” Traditionally, economics experiments have participants engage in “context free” simulated economic transactions. Victor examines whether such absence of context can affect individuals differently based on their racial backgrounds. He finds evidence that different racial groups interpret context-free scenarios differently, and thus their actions are not directly comparable.

The presentations offered the students both broader exposure for their research and a chance to receive valuable feedback from researchers at other universities.

UConn Hosts Experimental Economics Workshop

On July 1 and 2, the Department of Economics hosted the annual New England Experimentalist Workshop.

The Workshop brought together experimental and behavioral economists from twelve universities to present research on topics as diverse as gender pay disparities, self-censorship of political views in the classroom, and effective environmental policy.

The two-day workshop was organized by faculty members Remy Levin and Mike Shor and graduate student Anastassiya Karaban.

Professor Tianxu Chen: Faculty Fellow at the Center for Career Development

The University of Connecticut’s Center for Career Development is excited to announce that Professor Tianxu Chen from the Department of Economics has been selected as a Faculty Fellow for Summer 2024. This prestigious fellowship highlights Professor Chen’s commitment to enhancing students’ career readiness and bridging the gap between academic theory and practical application.

As part of this fellowship, Professor Chen will collaborate with career development experts to integrate career competencies into the curriculum of her labor economics course. The goal is to ensure that students not only grasp economic theories but also understand their relevance in today’s labor market. By incorporating real-world applications and insights from industry professionals, Professor Chen aims to equip students with the skills necessary for success in their future careers.

Career Competency Innovation Award goes to Professor Smirnova

Jim Lowe, Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of Career Center, presents the Award to Professor Smirnova
Jim Lowe, Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of Career Center, presented the Award.

UConn Center for Career Development hosted the 2024 Career Everywhere Recognition & Celebration Event on May 1, 2024. The event was filled with enthusiasm and camaraderie, fostering meaningful connections among Career Champions in attendance. There are nearly 1,000 dedicated UConn Career Champions (faculty, staff, and employers) who tirelessly support our students in their journey toward post-graduation success.

The nominations for several awards given by the Career Center were solicited from students, faculty, and staff. Professor Smirnova received the inaugural Career Competency Innovation Award.

Nancy Bilmes, Director of the Career Center, described Professor Smirnova’s innovations as aligning course syllabi with NACE career competencies, integrating career readiness modules across their courses on HuskyCT, designing assignments focused on career competencies, presenting at national and regional conferences, and conducting impactful research on the impact of career-focused assignments on students’ knowledge acquisition within their chosen fields. Natalia’s approach to embedding career development into her teaching not only equips students with essential skills but also demonstrates a commitment to fostering holistic growth and success beyond the classroom.

Professor Smirnova’s work on students’ career competencies’ development is documented in her teaching portfolio.

Professor Langlois and “The Corporation and the Twentieth Century in UConn Today

Photo of Richard Langlois, Economics Department Head
Professor and Head of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Richard Langlois (UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

Professor Langlois and his book “The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterpriseare featured in the most recent UConn Today:

An Alternate View of The American Corporation: Economist Reassesses Twentieth-Century Business

Economist Richard Langlois presents a sweeping new take on so-called managerialism in his acclaimed book

Americans have in recent years become fascinated with the 1950’s and 60’s, as seen in the fascination with hit TV series like “Mad Men,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Call the Midwife,”and so many others. The mid-to-late-twentieth century has acquired a sheen of romance, becoming in people’s imaginations an era of social connection, “good” jobs and prosperity. 

But according to one UConn economist, these so-called golden years, which relied on the success of the modern American corporation, were far from what they seem in hindsight.

In “The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterprise,” Richard Langlois, Professor and Head of Economics, explains how the American corporation rose to prominence, prospered, and eventually died a dismal death.

The book, which was favorably reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times and was picked as a Foreign Affairs best book of 2023, argues that although the corporation as an institution remains crucial to economic growth and prosperity, the large and extensive corporate structures that dominated much of the twentieth century were something of an aberration rather than a norm.  

He writes that extensive managerial corporations were creatures of the mid–twentieth century’s economic and political events – the Depression, the New Deal, and World War II.  

The full article is online at:

An Alternate View of The American Corporation: Economist Reassesses Twentieth-Century Business

Two Stamford Students Present at Frontiers 2024

(left to right) Mitchell Velasco (’25), Dr. Smirnova, Matthew Dalzell (’25) at the Frontiers of Undergraduate Research Exhibition, Stamford campus, April 16, 2024

The Welcome Center area at the Stamford campus was crowded on April 16th as the Frontiers of Undergraduate Research 2024 exhibition was about to start. Thirteen undergraduate students from the Stamford campus presented their research on various topics within diverse fields of study.

Among the presenters, there were two students of Professor Smirnova, Matthew Dalzell and Mitchell Velasco. Both started their research in the ECON 3431W – Public Economics course. However, their interest in the topic grew and they continued working on their papers.

Matthew Dalzell’s (‘25) paper entitled “The Impact of Privately Owned Buses on Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Connecticut” written in Spring 2023 was presented at the New York State Economics Association (NYSEA) conference 2023 in October. Matthew’s trip to the conference was sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, for which Matthew is grateful. Matthew acknowledged in his speech the benefits of attending a conference outside UConn. He said that such exposure allowed him to see what students at other universities are doing in terms of research, “rub elbows” with professional economists and distinguished faculty, and gain confidence for his studies and future career aspirations.

Mitchell Velasco’s (‘25) paper entitled “Decarbonization of the US Power Grid and Cost Competitiveness of Renewable Energy Technology” was written in Fall 2023. The Frontiers’ presentation was the first outside-of-the-classroom presentation for Mitchell. Dr. Smirnova encourages Mitchell to continue improving his paper and to submit it to the undergraduate panel at the Eastern Economic Association, the annual conference of which is scheduled for February 2025 in New York City.

The Frontiers event showcased the dedication of the Stamford faculty to undergraduate students’ success and to students’ preparation for careers after graduation.

Economics Faculty Delia Furtado and Tianxu Chen Receive Promotions

Congratulations to Economics faculty Delia Furtado, who has received promotion to Professor, and Tianxu Chen, promoted to Associate Professor in Residence!

The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees approved the promotions at their Board meeting on Wednesday, April 17th.

UConn Celebrates Promotion and Tenure of 91 Faculty


Professor Langlois at the Janus Forum Lecture Series

Professor Langlois recently participated in the Janus Forum Lecture Series at Brown University, joining Tim Wu, who was President Biden’s special assistant for technology and competition policy, in conversation about the regulation of Big Tech industries.

The lectures are sponsored by the Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Brown.