Spring 2009 Economics Department Newsletter
The Economics Faculty
From L to R (second row) Per Norander, David Mitchell, Khalid Bataineh, John Hoftyzer, Ardeshir Dalal, Reed Olsen; (front row) Faisal Rabby, Julie Gallaway, Tom Wyrick, Sandra Wilkins, Sharmistha Self, Mahua Barari-Mitra
Some new faculty members..
Ardeshir Dalal joined MSU in July 2008 as Head of the Economics Department. He earned his B.A. (Hons) from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, his M.A. from the Delhi School of Economics, and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Prior to coming to MSU, he taught at St. Stephen’s College, at California State University, Fullerton, and at Northern Illinois University, where he was the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Economics. He has also been a Visiting Scientist at ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) in Hyderabad, India. His research articles have been published in numerous journals, including Review of Economic Studies, Journal of International Economics, International Economic Review, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, among others. In addition to being the department head, Ardeshir is currently teaching a class in Mathematical Economics in spring 2009 and he will be offering Advanced Economic Analysis in fall of 2009. His current research focuses on applications of duality to behavior under uncertainty. When he has the time (and he currently asserts he has none) he likes to travel, read, do cryptic crosswords, and find interesting things to eat.
Khalid Bataineh joined MSU as an instructor in Fall of 2007. He graduated from Texas Tech University. He teaches Principles of Macroeconomics and Fundamentals of Economics.
John Buchanan (not pictured) is a valued per-course instructor who allows us to draw on his expertise whenever we need him. He received his BS from Georgia Tech, MBA (Economics) from Loyola University of the South, ABD (Economics) from The American U in Washington, DC. He moved to Springfield from Houston, Texas where he was the President of Global Energy Consultants, Inc. Prior to that he was the Vice President of Stone & Webster Management Consultants Inc., also in Houston. Most recently John has taught Principles classes for us in 2006-2007 and in spring 2008.
Julie Gallaway returned to Missouri State University in Fall 2008 as an instructor. She originally joined the Economics Department in 1997 and taught for four years. In 2001 she completed her PhD from Colorado State University in Fort Collins with fields in economic development and international economics. From 2001-2008 Julie taught at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, while she and her husband (Terrel) lived in Lebanon and commuted in opposite directions. Julie teaches Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, International Economic Development, and International Economics. Her research interests include marital wage premiums in the US, microfinance in Mexico, safe drinking water in Guatemala, and textbook purchases by students. Julie has a 6 year old daughter, a 3 year old son, and a 10 year old dog, Scooby.
David Mitchell (with wife Jennifer) joined MSU as an instructor in fall of 2005 and then as an assistant professor in fall of 2006. He received his Ph.D from Oklahoma State University in 2001. He moved to Springfield from Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia. He teaches Sports and Entertainment Economics, Public Finance, Urban and Regional Economics, Resource and Energy Economics, Intermediate Micro, Principles of Micro/Macro. His research interests are in the areas of urban and regional economic growth, housing policy, environmental economics, water pollution, and light pollution. His personal hobbies include spending time with family, swimming, and learning Italian.
Per Norander joined MSU as an instructor in Fall of 2008. He relocated to Springfield in August of 2008 after teaching in the economics department at Ohio University, where he did graduate work in applied economics. Prior to re-entering the world of academics, he spent several years working in both the hospitality and the banking industry. Per, a native of Sweden, has a keen interest in topics related to international economics and resource economics.
His teaching has been focused in the area of microeconomics, teaching both the Principles class and Managerial Economics. When he is not busy here at MSU, he spends his time with his family. His wife Stephanie, is an assistant professor in the communications department at MSU. Per also has a sixteen-month old son named Elias.
Faisal Rabby joined MSU as an instructor in fall of 2008. Faisal earned his Ph.D. in 2008 from Rutgers University, New Jersey. His research interests are Empirical Microeconomics, Labor and Demographic Economics and Applied Econometrics. He teaches Principles of Micro and Macroeconomics courses. Even though he is a fresh transplant from New Jersey, Faisal claims he has already started to love Springfield and Missouri.
Sharmistha Self (with kids) joined MSU as an assistant professor in fall of 2006. She moved to MSU from St. John’s University in Minnesota. She graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2002. Her areas of specialization are development, education, gender, health, and Asia. She has taught Principles of Macro, International Economic Development, International Economics, Asian Economies, and Senior Research Seminar. She enjoys teaching both upper division and lower division classes. She has also been the faculty advisor to the Economics Club and Omicron Delta Epsilon, the economics honor society till 2009. On the personal front, she has three kids, one in college and two in grade school. She enjoys traveling, reading, music, watching movies, entertaining, and hanging out with her kids, though not necessarily in that order.
Some not-so-new faculty members..
Mahua Barari Mitra (with Judge Juan Guzmán) met Judge Guzmán when she attended a ten-day seminar held partly in Chile and partly in Argentina on “Economic Reform, Regional Integration, and Democratization in Argentina and Chile,” in June 2007. Judge Guzmán is the most famous judge in Chile who indicted the former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet on human rights charges and ruled that he was fit to stand trial. In addition to teaching and doing research, Mahua has also accumulated some administrative experience in recent years. She was the Acting Head of the Economics Department in 2005-2006. In 2007-2008 she was appointed as one of the two provost fellows for international education and partnerships with the responsibility of enhancing internationalization efforts on the MSU campus. As the Provost Fellow for Public Affairs in 2009-2010, she will be chairing the 2010 Annual Public Affairs Conference on Evolving Economic Realities. Mahua is excited about this assignment as this will allow her the opportunity to go beyond economics and help shape a broader perspective of the current crisis by combining several threads cutting through different disciplines. She is married to her childhood sweetheart for almost 25 years and enjoys spending time with only son Arjo and "daughter" Tulow (a mutt). In her spare time, she enjoys reading and traveling to far-away places.
Terrel Gallaway (at Chaco Canyon National Historical Park in New Mexico) was promoted to Associate professor in 2006. He is on sabbatical in spring of 2009. During his sabbatical he is conducting research on light pollution. In February 2009, he organized a symposium on light pollution and brought three nationally recognized speakers to campus to talk about how badly-designed artificial lighting radically transforms the environment, harms wildlife, and has been linked statistically and experimentally to increased rates of cancer. They also talked about the cultural and aesthetic damages from the loss of dark nighttime skies. Most of his current research is in the area of light pollution. Terrel teaches upper-division courses in Environmental Economics, Public Finance, and our new class on Comparative Economic Systems. In the fall, he will also be teaching our Intermediate Microeconomic Theory course. Terrel recently moved to a neighborhood south of Ozark where he lives with his wife and two kids. He is planting ¼ acre of his property with native wildflowers and grasses. He also hopes to build an observatory in his backyard in the near future.
John Hoftyzer (with girlfriend Carolyn at an economics department social event) joined MSU and the Economics department in July 1987 as department head. He plans on retiring at the end of the Fall 2009 semester. In John’s own words, “It has been my pleasure to have met and taught so many bright and enthusiastic students, and I am happy to state that we captured our share of majors for the Economics department.” John plans to stay active; he would like to complete several research projects that focus on the teaching aspects of Economics. When he becomes an emeritus member of the faculty, we can expect him to be in the office quite frequently, probably hanging out in the Emeritus office and using his old computer. John has enjoyed his years of teaching and bantering with fellow faculty members. He has been witness to this department’s growth and changes. When he arrived the department had no scholarships available. He had made it one of his objectives to promote the establishment of a number of these, and during his tenure as department head the faculty and alumni initiated the Hardy Scholarship, the Alumni Scholarship, and also the Lages and Carnahan scholarships. He intends to continue supporting these initiatives. His significant other, Carolyn, and he plan to travel a bit, but they also plan to remain in the Ozarks, and stay active in university affairs.
Reed Olsen (with wife Lorraine at Yellowstone National Park) joined MSU in 1990. Reed’s areas of specialization are labor economics, law and economics, and health economics. Recently he has taught Principles of Micro, Intermediate Micro, Labor Economics, Economic Analysis of Law, and Healthcare Economics. His interests/hobbies include biking, both mountain and road, reading fiction (especially science fiction), history (especially WWII, Napoleonic wars, and U.S. Civil War) and biographies (favorite biography is of Teddy Roosevelt), and online video gaming (World of Warcraft) on which he claims he spends too much time.
Tom Wyrick. Tom's teaching activities have been unchanged in recent years: a large section of Macro Principles, Money & Banking, and a Macro Principles tele-course. He spent this past New Year's in Rome and hopes to visit Central or South America sometime during the next year. In March '09, Tom visited Colorado Springs, where he chaired an external review team for the University of Colorado's Economics Department. With the recession and recent financial crisis, he's been busier than normal doing media interviews. He will teach two classes this summer and plans to attend Springfield Cardinals games whenever possible. As a sideline, Tom's working on an epic poem -- something like Homer's Iliad, but centered on the life and times of Alan Greenspan. He writes two lines every day, with a projected completion date for the project in early 2016.
Some faculty members who have recently retired..
Joe Bell’s tenure as a member of the Department of Economics began in 1971. He retired in 2006. During this time he also served as the Director of the Center for Economic Research, producing bi-annual reports on economic activity in the Ozarks region. In retirement, he and his wife (she also retires this summer from MSU - her second retirement) plan to travel some every year, primarily in the U.S. Both of them also plan to become involved in volunteer activity, mainly in the Nixa area. They plan to simply do more of the things they already do. Seeing the grandkids is of course always a priority with two here in Springfield and one in PA. He will continue to read a lot, some economics, but mainly history. His motorcycle will undoubtedly get a lot more use since there are some roads in the U.S. he hasn’t ridden yet. Much of his time in the summers is spent on yard work (3.5 acres), which he finds somewhat enjoyable as long as it can be done with a device that has an internal combustion engine.
Brad Hoppes joined the Economics Department in 1980. He retired in 2006. A specialist in environmental economics, he managed the internship program for the Economics Department for many years and contributed to the Master’s program in Administrative Studies. In retirement, he plans to finish his second volume on why economics is essential to one's understanding of the way the world works. Other things he plans to do include reading lots of stuff he has not been able to, working on his golf swing, greeting at Wal-Mart, and most importantly, doing whatever his wife has on the list! They may travel a bit as long as gas is less than $3.12/gal, the1980 equivalent, even though MPG have doubled.
Doris Sheets joined the Economics Department in 1974. She retired in 2005. During that time she taught a variety of courses centering on the economics associated with government and the business world. She served for many years as the Business Editor for the Journal of Economics. At the time of retirement Doris stated that, "We do not have any very definite plans at this point. We will likely do some traveling later on, but right now we intend just to read and relax a bit. I plan to continue taking a few classes. I also hope to find time to dust off my clarinet and get back to playing it in the Springfield Community Band."
Dale Wasson joined the Economics Department in 1969. He retired at the end of the spring 2005 semester. The last four years of his career he served as Department Head. Dale also had an impact on the university as a member of the University Roles and Rewards Committee and as a resource on budgeting. A past recipient of the Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award, Dale always put his students first and had a real impact on their lives. His wife, Lynn, retired from the Department of Management in December.
Economics Department Staff
Sandra Wilkins – Sandra has been the Economics Department secretary since October 31, 1996. Sandy is originally from Springfield and she received her undergraduate degree from Missouri State University. She has one daughter and two grandchildren who live in Edmond, Oklahoma. She lives with the love of her life, a (big) toy black poodle, Stormy, who will be ten in April 2009. Sandy says she enjoys working in the Economics Department as there is hardly a dull moment. According to her, the economists are a colorful and lively group who have strong opinions and love to debate, which makes her feel this is the perfect job for her. Sandy says she likes her job (most of the time) and she likes and respects the professors, even though she gives them a hard time occasionally. She also enjoys the students as they keep her current on almost everything and they are just fun to be around. She invites people to give her a call or better yet stop by Strong Hall and visit the Economics Department.
Karley Hammers (at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.) has been the Economics Department graduate assistant since fall 2008. Karley is a senior at MSU who will graduate in July 2009 with a BS degree (major in finance, minor in economics). She has been accepted for the accelerated MBA program (emphasis in management) and expects to graduate in July 2010. She held a marketing internship with JPMorgan Chase in 2008 and was a manager on campus for 2 years (2006-2008). She has also been working as a server at Hemingway’s since 2007. She loves interacting with people while waiting tables. Karley is getting married to Travis Reeves on December 30, 2009.
Cody Lowe is one of the Economics Department office workers. Cody is a Social Studies Education major going into his senior year. Cody is from Northern Missouri. His hobbies include sports and reading.
Samantha Guidorzi , also known as Sam, is one of the Economics Department office workers. She’s a freshman majoring in psychology with minors in chemistry and BMS. Sam is from St. Louis.
ODE -- The Economics Department is a chapter member of the Honor Society for Economists, Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE), one of the world's largest academic honor societies. The main objectives of Omicron Delta Epsilon are recognition of scholastic attainment and the honoring of outstanding achievements in economics, establishing and maintaining closer ties between students and faculty in economics within colleges and universities, and among colleges and universities. Additionally, ODE also publishes a journal, The America Economist and sponsors panels at professional meetings of economists. ODE also gives out various prestigious awards and prizes to its members. To be a member of ODE a student must have completed at least twelve hours of economics coursework, must have earned a B average in the economics courses as well as in their overall coursework. Each spring several economics students, both majors and minors are contacted by the ODE faculty member who invites them to join the club. Student are given a certificate of membership in ODE and honored at a reception attended by economics faculty members, students and their family and friends.
Some pictures from a recent ODE social
From L to R, Ashlie Blanzy, John Buchanan, and Chrisy Lam.
From L to R, Andrew Giddens, Brad Foster, Mike Gonzales, Sharmistha Self, and Larry Cox.
Economics Club -- The economics students have formed an academic/social club which is the Economics Club. Club membership is open to any student majoring or minoring in Economics or simply anyone who is interested in economics. The Economics Club is dedicated to providing educational and recreational opportunities to students interested in economics. Activities focus on the interests of the economics students including the job market and post-graduate education. The Econ Club organizes various trips to places of interest for economics students, actively participates in different fund raising efforts, and helps to bring speakers on campus as well as helps promote any discussions/seminars hosted by the Economics Department.
Missouri Valley Economics Association Conference -- The MSU economics students presented original research papers at the Missouri-Valley Economics Conference in 2007 and 2008. In 2007 and 2008 an entire student session was led by our students. Sessions were organized by Sharmistha Self, an economics faculty member. In 2008 our students presented papers in two consecutive sessions. Papers were reviewed and critiqued by economics faculty from other universities. Needless to say, the department is very proud of these students’ accomplishments.
Some pictures from student sessions at the MVEA conference..
From L to R, Kyle Harmon, Chrisy Lam, Doug Brown, and Ashley Newton
From L to R, Melissa Hill and Kristen Sanocki