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On April 17, 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:
Kaylyn Caliri
John Giannone
Sam Katz
Meiling Kry
Paul Morris
Freida Parsons
Pooja Patel
Muhammad Razzaq

Undergraduate Awards
Louis D. Traurig Scholarship
Xueqi Ban
Dillon Pierce Bushby
Xia Hua
Monica Mula
Kenneth Perez
Johnny Hua Pham
Shravan Rao
Emily Seyle

Ross Mayer Scholarship
Salman Sherwani
Farha Choudhury

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize
Kateri Ciccaglione

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship
Robert Roche

Economics Department General Scholarship
Robert Roche
Lilian Cheung

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship
Paul Morris

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship
Michael Cinque
Zachary Mitchell

Graduate Awards
W. Harrison Carter Award
Rebecca Germino

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship
Huanan Xu

Economics Department Graduate Fellowship
Jesse Kalinowski
Chao Zheng
Tao Song
Aaron Cooke

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship
Rong Zhou
Zheng Xu
Peijingran Yu
Bryce Casavant
Yishu Zhou
Chao Zheng
Tao Song

Farrell Oral History Project
Sadullah Yildirim

 

Faculty Awards
Grillo Family Research Award
Talia Bar

Grillo Family Teaching Award
Richard Suen

Congratulations to everyone!

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sealPatrick Adams, a freshman enrolled in the UConn Honors Program, has been named a Holster Scholar after taking part in a highly competitive application process. The Holster Scholars First Year Program is an opportunity for talented first year students to jump-start their academic careers by proposing a research project in the spring of their freshman year and carrying out the project over the summer. Patrick Adams has chosen 2-sided matching as the topic for his summer project and will be working under the guidance of his faculty mentor, Professor Vicki Knoblauch.

aea2Professors William Alpert and Oskar Harmon, and PhD candidates Robert Szarka and Paul Tomolonis presented “An Interactive Graphing Activity” in the AEA Committee on Economic Education Poster Session at the annual ASSA 2014 Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Their presentation demonstrated several problem sets where students use the drawing tool within Google Drive to create economic diagrams. Relying on the concept of learning-by-doing, these online activities give students the opportunity to practice drawing economic diagrams representing the core principles in their microeconomics textbook. That is, the act of drawing the diagram will reinforce student understanding of the economic concept. Working with Adam Nemeroff (Instructional Designer in the Uconn Institute of Teaching and Learning), the authors anticipate that using Google drawings in principles of economics courses at Uconn will promote the use of other products in Goggle Apps @ Uconn, build skills for upper division course work, and encourage collaborations across disciplines.

For a preview of the presentation click here.

journalProfessors Oskar R. Harmon, William T. Alpert, and PhD Candidate Joseph Histen, have been published the article  “Online Discussion and Learning Outcomes” in the Journal International Advances in Economic Research, 2014.

This paper describes how the authors used Facebook as a discussion tool in the instruction of a principles level economics course and reports empirical estimates of the effect of that use on learning outcomes.  Social media as a tool for promoting classroom discussion has advantages and disadvantages.  For example, its omnipresence and flat learning curve can promote academic discourse.  However social media can promote non-academic “chatting”, and its omnipresence means the user needs more than a passing knowledge of the privacy settings to have control of their “digital identity.  For a Principles of Microeconomics taught in 2011 we collected data, with permission from our institution’s Institutional Review Board, on student use of Facebook, academic and demographic characteristics, learning style preferences and learning outcomes. Overall our empirical estimates provide cautious support for the hypothesis that active participation in the discussion board has a positive effect on exam score at a statistically significant level.  The estimates of the effect of posts related to question and answer dialogue show a positive impact on the cumulative final exam score at a 5% level of statistical significance.  This result is consistent with the view that using Facebook in academic instruction can be an effective tool for assisting the average student to resolve questions about the course material and for promoting peer-to-peer learning.

Archita Banik defended her dissertation on Monday, July 22nd 2013. Her dissertation entitled “Three Essays on Health Economics” was completed under the supervision of her major advisor Dennis Heffley and associate advisors Thomas Miceli and Nishith Prakash.

Archita’s dissertation analyzes an incentive-based health insurance plan in the context of developing countries and also examines the importance of different socioeconomic factors and presence of microcredit in determining ever-married women’s health in the context of India. The first essay of her dissertation is a theoretical analysis where she analyzes an individual’s behavior with misperceived health risk under incentive-based health insurance plan vs. a conventional plan. The other two essays are empirical studies in the context of India where she shows that age, education, marital status, and presence of microcredit are important factors in determining ever-married women’s health in India.

Archita is heading to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where she will join as a tenure-track assistant professor of economics starting from Fall.

Congratulations, Archita!

sealOn May 28th, Matt Schurin defended his dissertation entitled, “Three Essays on Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Fluctuations.”  His major advisor is Christian Zimmermann and his associate advisors are Dong Jin Lee and Richard Suen.

Matt’s dissertation analyzes the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy and examines what optimal policy should be in response to macroeconomic fluctuations.  The first dissertation chapter explores what the government’s fiscal policy should be when banks hold significant amounts of public debt and the government can default on its debt obligations.  The second dissertation chapter analyzes the effects of fiscal austerity using a two-sector small open economy model that is calibrated to the Canadian economy.  Results from this model coincide with key characteristics of the Canadian economy.  The third chapter examines the impact of government debt on macroeconomic volatility in an environment where, going forward, the government is required to balance its budget.  The model in this chapter can help explain why developing countries have more volatile output and more countercyclical net exports than developed countries.

Matt is heading to McLean, VA where he will work for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their transfer pricing group.

Congratulations, Matt, on all your hard work!

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė recently signed a decree appointing Marius Jurgilas to the 5-member Board of the Lithuanian Central Bank. Marius was recommended for this appointment by the Advisory Council, a group of prominent economists in the field of finance.  He will assume his new responsibilities on May 15. 

Marius’ appointment to the Board reflects his extensive background, experience, and expertise in the banking sector.  He began developing this expertise during his time as a finance major in the Department of Economics at Vilnius University in Lithuania.  In 2001, he joined the Economics Department here at UConn, where he earned his PhD in 2007 with a field in monetary economics.  Christian Zimmermann, who is now at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, was his major advisor.  His dissertation was on “Interbank Markets under Currency Boards.” 

After finishing his PhD, Marius was an assistant professor at Elon University for a year but left Elon to take a position at the Bank of England, where he worked for three years.  Most recently, he has worked in the Financial Stability Research Department at the Norwegian Central Bank.  He has also spent time at the European Central Bank, SEB Vilniaus Bankas, and Lithuanian Savings Bank, and has been a visiting professor at ISM University of Management ant Economics in Vilnius. 

Marius’ research covers a wide range of topics relating to banking and housing.  Some of his recent publications include:

JURGILAS, M. & Lansing K. J., (2012 June 25 issue) “Housing bubbles and homeownership returns”, FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

GUPTA, R., JURGILAS, M., KABUNDI A. & MILLER M. S. (2012), “Monetary Policy and

Housing Sector Dynamics in a Large-Scale Bayesian Vector Autoregressive Model” International Journal of Strategic Property Management, Vol 16(1): 1-20

GUPTA, R., JURGILAS, M., MILLER, M.S., & WYK, V.D. (2012 January), “Financial Market Liberalization, Monetary Policy, and Housing Sector Dynamics”, International Business and Economics Research Journal, Vol. 11(1).

 For more information about Marius’ appointment, click here.

On April 19, the department convened for an awards banquet to recognize the best among undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. This year’s award recipients are:

Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees:
Andrew Feisher
Allyson Rose
David Greenberg
Nicholas Hynd
Matthew LeBel
Kellyn Maher
Emily Seyle
Alison Zielinski

Undergraduate Awards
Louis D. Traurig Scholarship
Diana Cooke
Natalie Cooke
Michael DiMaio
Sritheja Gulukota
Stephen Jablonowski
Lydia Kowinko
Yuriy Loukachev
Benjamin Simmons-Telep

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize
Stephen Jablonowski

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship
Joel Sinofsky
Yuqi Xing

Ross Mayer Scholarship
Michele Carroll
Yuriy Loukachev

Economics Department General Scholarship
Antonio Russo

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship
Diana Cooke

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship
Benjamin Simmons-Telep

Graduate Awards
W. Harrison Carter Award
Jesse Kalinowski

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship
Paul Tomolonis

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Bryce Casavant

Economics Department General Scholarship (for 2013: Recognition for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant)

Rebecca Germino
Eric Gibbons
Matthew Joseph Histen
Tao Song

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship
Bryce Casavant
Elizabeth Kaletski
Zheng Xu
Peijingran Yu
Rong Zhou
Yishu Zhou

Faculty Awards
Grillo Family Research Award
Kenneth Couch

Grillo Family Teaching Award
Susan Randolph

Congratulations to everyone!

Rangan Gupta, an ’05 PhD graduate under the advisement of Christian Zimmermann, was named one of the top 20 Young Economists (10 years or less) by RePEc. Rangan defended his dissertation titled “Essays on Financial Repression,” in May 2005 and headed to the University of Pretoria, where he is now a full professor.

To view the full rankings, please click here.

Congratulations Rangan!

Economics Ph.D. alumnus Al-Mursi Al-Sayed Hegazy has been named the next Egyptian Finance Minister. Prior to his appointment, Hegazy was a professor at Alexandria University, specializing in Islamic Finance. He was sworn into office on January 6.

Hegazy defended his dissertation titled “The Contribution of Oil to the Economic Development of Kuwait (1962-1981): a Macroeconomic Approach,” under the advisement of Professor William Lott, in January 1985.

Read the UConn Today article about Hegazy here.

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