Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's new in the RC Economics Program

Yesterday I sent an email out to all of the alumni for whom I have an email address.  The email encouraged them to drop by this blog and fill out the Contact Information and the new Alumni Survey.  I also asked for them to drop us a line via email with any updates.  Already I have received some great emails.  Some reflected on their memories of the Economics Program.  To that end, I thought that I would share what the Economics Program looks like now.

Currently there are four economics professors: Dr. Garry Fleming, Dr. Alice Louise Kassens (me), Dr. Edward Nik-Khah, and Dr. Sebastian Berger. 

Dr. Fleming was named the Shannon Chair of Economics in 2009 and the Director of Economics in 2010.  We more novice economists appreciate his leadership and sage advice!  Dr. Fleming teaches Principles of Micro and Macroeconomics, Money and Banking, Intermediate Macroeconomics and International Trade and Finance.  Some of the emails I have received from alumni remember taking courses with Dr. Fleming.  How great that he remains a positive memory for you all. 

I (Dr. Alice Louise Kassens) was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Economics in 2010.  My courses include Principles of Micro and Macroeconomics, Health Economics, Labor Economics, and Econometrics.  I suppose you could call me the math nerd of the group.  I push our seniors through a rigorous econometrics course, but in the end they have a fantastic empirical paper that is worthy of publication and presentation.  So far a few of the seniors, including Tyler Rinko, have submitted their papers for presentation and publication in national organizations.  I am incredibly proud of them all.  I will save more discussion of their paper topics for a later post.  Currently I have several projects underway, including one with Dr. William M. Rodgers III (Rutgers University) on the effects of clinical depression on labor market outcomes.  A list of my publications can be found on our website:

Dr. Edward Nik-Khah was also granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Economics in 2010.  He teaches Principles of Microeconomics, a course in the Honors Program, Economics of the Public Sector and its Finance, Competition, Monopoly and Public Policy, Intermediate Microeconomics, and Economics Seminar (History of Economic Thought).  Dr. Nik-Khah has several published works and is going to present one of his papers at the AEA meeting in Denver this coming January.  You can find Dr. Nik-Khah's vita on our program website (link above.)

Dr. Sebastian Berger began teaching at Roanoke College in 2008.  He teaches Principles of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, Comparative Economic Systems, and Ecological Economics.

The Economics Program added a minor in 2009, so we now offer both a major and a minor.  Both have grown tremendously.  We currently graduate 10-15 majors each year and have comparable numbers in the minor.

To complete the major, students have to successfully complete 11 courses: Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Money and Banking, Intermediate Microeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Economic Seminar, and four elective courses at the 200-level.  These electives include Health Economics, International Trade, Comparative Economic Systems, and Labor Economics.  The minor requires the successful completion of 7 courses (5 core courses and two electives.)

Our students have been presenting papers at conferences over the last several years and competing in the Fed Challenge (led by Michelle Alexander).  Additionally, one of our minors (and my advisee), Justin Tuma '11, stared in a video that was shown to all incoming freshmen and their parents this past September.  Justin is a true student-athlete, excelling in all that he does.  Watch the video here: 

While the Economics Program may have many different faces, much remains the same.  We pride ourselves on offering one of the most rigorous, complete in both breadth and depth, and applicable majors at the College.  A prestigious degree is something that will link our current students with our alumni forever.  Thank you for your support and keep us updated.  We enjoy hearing from you!

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