2021 Department of Economics Newsletter

July 15, 2021

2021 Department of Economics Newsletter

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Arps Hall
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It has been quite a year! I am grateful for the work of faculty and staff as they continued to rise to the challenges of the past year. With the successful vaccine rollout and low infection rates among the campus community, we were able to stay on campus and the university was able to hold the first in-person graduation since 2019.

The uprising of the #BlackLivesMatter movement over summer of 2020 and the rise of anti-Asian violence during the pandemic underscore that we have a long way to go in the fight against racism and divisiveness in our country. We must work together to root out racism of any form so that all can be safe and welcome in our community.

As part of our commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all students, faculty and staff, the department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee has developed a diversity statement. This committee will work to improve the diversity and success of students, faculty and staff. Additionally, Professor and Associate Dean Trevon Logan is championing diversity and inclusion within the field of economics as the director of the American Economic Association’s Mentoring Program and as the director of the inaugural Working Group on Race and Economics for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The quality of our faculty, students and programs remains high. We have a winner of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching and several Distinguished Scholar Award winners on our faculty. We are publishing in the economics profession’s top journals and receiving research grants from the NSF, NIH and other prestigious sources. One of our professors, Bruce Weinberg, was awarded COVID-19 seed funding from the Office of Research. Professor Weinberg and his team of researchers are estimating the economic effects of the pandemic and the policy responses related to it. Additionally, Professor Paul J. Healy was selected as a Joan N. Huber Faculty Fellow for 2021 in recognition for his excellence in scholarship. Despite the impact of COVID-19, our PhD job market candidates received job offers at institutions like the Bank of Canada, Washington & Lee University and several top universities in China.

One of our main goals over the next several years is to continue to build on our department's strengths in terms of tenure track faculty and graduate students. This goal has been a challenge, but we are optimistic that we will make progress towards this as we emerge from COVID-19. Another main goal is to move from Arps Hall to a modern new space for the department, which will better support our teaching and research missions.

Your support of the department is more important than ever, and a key source of support is gifts from alumni and friends. Your generosity continues to help the department improve funding for undergraduate scholarships and prizes, graduate research scholarships and travel to conferences to present their research, as well as seminar programs that bring scholars to campus to discuss their research. We now have a coordinated effort for all of this thanks to the hard work of our Economics Advisory Board. They have provided key leadership in reaching out to our alumni and encouraging faculty engagement.

I hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Cordially,

James Peck
Department Chair