Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Week in the Life of Jared

This summer, rising senior Jared Mercadante kept himself busy in Washington, D.C. as a Koch Foundation Fellow and an intern. He shares a sample week with us.

Jared Mercadante
My name is Jared Mercadante, and I am heading into my senior year at Roanoke College where I am studying economics and philosophy. This summer, as part of the Charles Koch Institute’s “Koch Fellow Program: Policy”, I interned at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the premier university Libertarian economic policy think tank. Although I was a remote employee, I lived in the Washington, D.C. area so as to be able to form connections with scholars and other interns. While there, I worked for the Study of American Capitalism department, which is a group of scholars and researchers focused on corporate welfare, barriers to entry, and the sharing economy. Because of the department’s broad purview, I worked on projects ranging from Minor League Baseball stadium subsidies to Mississippi’s Certificate of Need program. This is what my last week of work looked like:

Monday: I had gone home for the weekend, so I drove up during the middle of the day and worked from home for the rest of the afternoon. Because it was my last week of work, I really had to push to get all of my work done before Friday. This week, I was working on two important projects. The program director, Dr. Matt Mitchell, was invited to testify before Mississippi’s Certificate of Need (CON) board, so I was tasked with preparing a memo for him, answering questions about the length of time it takes to a acquire a CON, the fees associated with it, and the history of the program, including important scandals. My other major project was a policy brief discussing the Government Accounting Standards Board Statement No.77, focusing on the excellent job done by Birmingham, Alabama, with the hope of informing other city and state governments how best to report information on corporate tax abatements. I also managed to squeeze in a little research time on a project for Dr. Kassens.

Tuesday:  I was in the office today. I really enjoyed my days in the office because they gave me the chance to work more closely with my department. Most of my work was entirely independent, so it was nice getting the chance to collaborate. Today, I spent most of my time working on the policy brief with Dr. Michael Farren. We were hoping to have a working draft by Friday, with the intention of finalizing it over the next few months after my internship ended. 


Jared's Office

Wednesday: I had plenty of work to occupy my time, so I stayed home today. I finished as much of the memo on Mississippi’s CON program as possible; I had to wait until Thursday to submit a public records request to the Mississippi Department of Health for the rest of the information. After completing the memo, I finished my rough draft of the policy brief and submitted it to Dr. Farren for edits. I had a substantial lull after that, so I managed to get another two hours of work done for Dr. Kassens.
Notes on CON Laws for Memo
Thursday: Today was very laid back- I got to the office around 11pm and spent the rest of the morning turning over some unfinished long term projects to the full-time research associate. After this, I had my going away lunch with the on-site members of my department. From here, Dr. Farren and I spent a few hours looking over my rough draft of the policy brief to see what additional information he wanted me to gather for use in the second draft. I left around 3:00 and got home in time to relax for a few hours before I made my way to the Cato Institute to meet a few friends for the annual Libertarian vs. Conservative debate. This is an event hosted at Cato at the end of every summer, pitting two interns from Cato against two interns from the conservative Heritage Foundation. The auditorium fills up within minutes, and the overflow room is packed. It’s a really exciting atmosphere, and definitely worth going to if you’re in the DC area.

 
Graduate studies area at the Mercatus Center
Friday: Today was technically my last day, but I had very little work to do, so I stayed home. I had submitted the public records request for the CON memo, but it would take weeks to hear back. I was just waiting for the edits from Dr. Farren on the policy brief, which ended up not coming until Saturday. This gave me the opportunity to catch up on some research for Dr. Kassens; it had been a busy week, giving me very few chances to get work done for her. After today, I will continue working on the policy brief with Dr. Farren, but aside from that, I am officially done at the Mercatus Center. After work, I made my way over to the National Mall to enjoy a little bit of sunlight.
Working from home

***Interested in an internship or research experience while at Roanoke College or over the summer? Talk to Dr. Kassens for information and contacts.***

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mutahir Nadeem accepted to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research



Economics minor Mutahir Nadeem is accepted to present his research at the 31st National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Memphis. His paper is entitled "Charity vs. Aid in Poverty Alleviation" and was written in his fall econometrics course. Congrats Mutahir!

You can read about the conference here.