Category Archives: Graduate

Guy Numa

Professor Guy Numa on racism and exclusion 

Colorado State University and the College of Liberal Arts is committed to tackling the wicked problem of racism and exclusion. In this SOURCE story our own Dr. Guy Numa is one of three CLA professors highlighted. Numa stresses the importance of moving from discussion to action. He is a proponent for the creation of “baby bonds,” trust accounts that would be given to all newborns at birth, with larger amounts given to those in low-income families, to elevate the economic status of minority families.

Economics Department Office is Open (Virtually)!

The Economics Department office will be operating remotely until further notice. Normal office hours will be in effect Mondays thru Fridays: 7:30 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-4:30 pm (MST).

The office staff may be reached at 970-491-6324 or via email:

If you need assistance from any other faculty or staff, you are welcome to contact them directly via email. You can view our department’s website for contact information:

We are here to help! Stay well! #RamsTakeCareOfRams 🐏

Stephan Weiler

Winter 2019/Spring 2020 CLA Magazine featuring Professor Stephan Weiler now available

The Winter 2019/Spring 2020 edition of the CLA Magazine is now available for your viewing pleasure! The Liberal Arts Magazine showcases stories from faculty, students, and alumni on universal topics. In this issue, we apply the lenses of the liberal arts to place and space. Our department’s article highlights the work of Professor Stephan Weiler and REDI.

Identifying rural solutions to urban needs, and vice versa, has been a big part of Professor Weiler’s work for decades. With the Regional Economic Development Institute, Weiler and others are examining the many ways to bridge the urban-rural divide. Whether it’s malting barley, charter school supply and demand, or poverty and incarceration, rural and urban communities can learn from and benefit one another and provide opportunities for more people to succeed.

Fall 2019 Incoming Graduate Student Orientations

There are many orientations that incoming graduate students should attend in order to set them up for success. See the full calendar here.

  1. A MANDATORY orientation for all new GTA’s is sponsored by The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT).  The training will be held Monday, August 19th, from 8:00am-2:00pm in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom.  To register for this training, please visit the Institute for Learning and Teaching website at: There is also other helpful information and links to more GTA resources on this page. Please register for this orientation by July 20th.  If you have any questions, please contact Debi Colbert, Director of Professional Development for TILT at (970) 491-2645, or at
  2. GTAs are also required to attend the three gtPathways Writing Integration Orientations Wednesday August 21st thru Friday August 23rd, from 12:00pm-4:00pm. The orientation provides useful resources related to writing, grading, responding to student writing, the importance of critical thinking, the challenges associated with integrating writing into a course, and much more:
  3. A MANDATORY international student orientation is sponsored by the Office of International Programs on Tuesday August 20th. Registration is required :
  4. The Graduate School will be holding a New Graduate Student Orientation on Thursday August 22nd, from 9:30am-11:00am in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom.
  5. The department holds Math Camp each year for new GTAs for our department and our sister department: Agricultural and Resource Economics. Math Camp is an opportunity for students to brush up on the math skills necessary to be successful in your coursework. It is highly recommended you attend Math Camp.

This year’s Math Camp will be held:

    • Monday August 19th, 2:30pm-5:30pm in Clark C358
    • Wednesday, August 21st, 8:00am-11:00am in Clark C358
    • Thursday, August 22nd, 4:15pm-6:15pm in Clark C358
    • Saturday, August 24th, 10:00am-3:30pm in Clark C363 (Lunch served 12:00-1:30pm


The department will hold its own orientation on Friday August 23rd from 9:30am-11:00am in Clark C307.

Please direct any questions to Rosanna Houlton at or 970-491-6324.




2018-19 Student Award and Scholarship winners

2019 Department of Economics Undergraduate and Graduate Award and Scholarship winners announced

The department’s annual undergraduate and graduate award ceremony was held on April 29, 2019. Congratulations to all our amazing students!

Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Eli Oftedal

Eli is completing dual degrees: a B.A. degree with a double major in Economics and Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts with a minor in History and a B.S. degree with a major in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Eli is working to make the world a better place by combining his economic knowledge with his desire to promote environmental sustainability that ensures intergenerational equity for years to come.  Eli has already participated in several internships focusing on environmental sustainability. After graduation and a gap year, Eli plans to pursue graduate studies in environmental economics and an MBA so that he can engage in venture capital impact investing.

The Undergraduate Program Committee selects the recipient of this award by inviting the 10 students with the highest cumulative CSU GPAs who have senior status and have completed, or will complete by the end of the semester, at least 60 credits at CSU to submit their resumes and a personal statement of their educational experience and personal goals.

Ben W. Garcia Scholarship recipient: Savanna Millburn

Savannah is a double major in Economics and Animal Science and a minor in History. Savannah has had a very interdisciplinary life serving both as a member of CSU’s award-winning meat judging team and as president of the CSU’s Economics Club.  Savannah’s essay examines possible economic policies to reduce pollution and increase sustainability in the animal agricultural industry. She examines the potential to reduce carbon emissions from swine lagoons by imposing a carbon tax and the possibility of using government subsidies to promote the adoption of technologies to convert animal waste to energy or other saleable products. Savannah’s paper certainly illustrates an interdisciplinary approach, combining elements of her seemingly unrelated majors – economics and animal science.

The Ben W. Garcia Economics Scholarship is a $1,000 award for one academic year.  Ben Garcia is a former economics major and 1981 graduate of CSU. Ben went on to earn his M.A. in Economics with an emphasis on Labor Studies from Notre Dame in 1983. Ben has spent his career working for Colorado Labor Market Information, a Colorado state government agency that produces the official employment statistics for Colorado.

The purpose of this award is to provide scholarship benefits to economics majors who are pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to economics by using knowledge from other social science or humanities fields to help explain economic phenomena.  In addition to being a junior or senior level economics major exhibiting academic merit, the recipient must submit a paper written for an economics class that illustrates an interdisciplinary approach to economics.

Ed Hewett Scholarship recipient: Zachary Hughes

Zach is a junior Honors Scholar double majoring in Economics and Business with a concentration in Finance. In his essay he provided an economic analysis of price gouging in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria.  After college Zach intends to become a lawyer in order to provide a voice for those without one.

The Ed A. Hewett Memorial Scholarship is a $2,500 award for one academic year. Ed Hewett earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics here at CSU in 1966 and 1968, respectively, and went on to earn his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1971, specializing in the Soviet economy. Ed Hewett served as a key government policy advisor during one of the most important events of the Twentieth Century: the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  Just before his untimely death in January 1993, Ed’s contributions were recognized by a Special Award for Exceptional Service from the first President Bush.

The Ed A. Hewett Memorial Scholarship was established to encourage outstanding students in economics to follow the example of Ed Hewitt and to strive to make a difference in the world. The recipient of the scholarship must be a junior majoring in economics with at least a 3.0 GPA and submit an essay applying economic principles to real world issues.

Alok Mehta Scholarship recipient: America Rios-Martinez

America is a junior Honors Scholar triple majoring in Economics, International Studies with a concentration in Latin American Studies, and Languages, Literature and Culture with a concentration in Spanish. After graduation America wants to provide services to members of Spanish speaking migrant communities to help them achieve better lives. In accordance with the stated preferences of the Mehta Scholarship donors, our scholarship selection committee was particularly pleased to find such a qualified and deserving applicant as America, who had volunteered as an after-school tutor at the Boys and Girls Club in Brighton.

The Alok Mehta Memorial Scholarship is a $1,500 award established by Dr. and Mrs. Gopal Mehta, in honor of their son Alok and other victims of the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Alok was a year 2000 CSU graduate, with an Economics major and Biochemistry minor.

Applicants for this scholarship must be undergraduate Economics majors with a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrated financial need, with preference given to a member of the Triangle Fraternity, and/or an applicant involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs or other community engagement activities.

Outstanding ODE Undergraduate Paper: Davianna Velasco Valdivieso

CSU’s chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE) provides awards to the Best Undergraduate and Graduate Term Papers written in Economics courses in the past academic year.

Davianna’s paper was written for her ECON 335 Econometrics class.  In the paper she empirically investigates the oft-made claim that violent crimes are higher in areas with more undocumented immigrants.  Using data for a sample of 189 metro areas, controlling for population, poverty rates, and unemployment rates, and estimating a number of different specifications, Davianna’s results show a statistically negative relationship between the proportion of undocumented immigrant population in a metro area and violent crimes in the area, on average, controlling for population size. This result does not lend statistical support to the perception that undocumented immigrants contribute to an increase in violent crimes.

Outstanding ODE Graduate Paper: Adam Walke

Adam’s paper, titled: ““Capital Exportation and the Falling Rate of Profit: a Comparison of Marx and Mill,” highlights similarities in the analysis by Mill and Marx on the role of profitable opportunities for capital investment in colonies as a counteracting force to the decline in the profit rate, which the classical political economists view as inevitable.

Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching: Edward Teather-Posada

Edward is a 5th year PhD student interested in Political Economy and Economic Development and has taught undergraduate courses in Gender and the Economy, and History of Economic Thought. He has also served as the Graduate Instructor Supervisor. The award recognizes Edward’s “unique and relaxed lecturing style, that engages students and promotes inclusive classroom interaction.” Further, it recognizes the “real depth to the material he covers.”

Outstanding Graduate Research: Sarah Small

Sarah is a 4th year PhD student with interests in Political Economy and Public Economics. Sarah has been presenting papers at several workshops and conferences, and is working on several related projects: one on state-variation in intimate partner violence with Anita Pena, another one on a feminist take on women participation in the labor force with Elissa Braunstein, and a third one with Steven Pressman on J.S. Mill’s Subjection of Women.

Dissertation Fellowship: Bryanna Dixon and Yuchen Hu

Bryanna is a 5th year PhD student with fields in Public Economics and Regional Economics who has passed her preliminary defense. Her dissertation is focused on relationships between community economic and non economic factors and migration by race in the modern United States with attention to whether migration is voluntary or involuntary (e.g., displacement).

Yuchen is a 5th year PhD student with fields in Regional Economics and Public Economics who has passed her preliminary defense. Her dissertation is composed of three papers broadly on the topic of community resilience to natural disasters, and it uses a variety of methodologies such as CGE computer simulations of alternative resilience strategies, as well as econometric identification techniques to study out-migration following hurricane Katrina.

The department awards two fellowships each year to PhD students who are working on their dissertation research. The purpose of the fellowships is to release the students from teaching obligations for a semester to accelerate their progress on their research. Recipients of the fellowship are required to submit a report at the end of the fellowship period detailing what they were able to achieve.

Graduate Research Assistantship: Yeva Aleksanyan

Yeva will be working with Professor Sammy Zahran on a project addressing the marketing relations between pharmaceutical companies and young physicians. In particular, the project uses CMS National Provider Identifier File (NPIF) and Open Payments 2016 data in order to explore whether medical school policies affect promotional payments acceptance later in physicians’ careers.

Graduate students at any level are eligible to apply for money to support research undertaken in conjunction with a faculty member during a semester. The student and faculty member jointly apply for this research funding. The purpose of this assistantship is to provide a student with research experience working with a faculty member with the expectation that the collaboration will result in a publishable paper.

Fan Graduate Scholarship recipient: Kit Deming

Kit is a 3rd year PhD student. He receives the award in recognition of his strong motivation, rigor, and dedication. In the words of his recommender, “Kit has the talent and work ethic to be highly successful in our program.”

The Fan Scholarship was established in honor of Professors Emeriti LS Fan and Chuen Mei Fan. It is intended for PhD students who have passed the Qualifying Exams, have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA in their graduate studies, and are still enrolled in classes. The scholarship is a $2,500 award and is intended for students who exemplify excellence in academic achievement in economics, particularly in the areas of public economics (Professor CM Fan’s field) and economic development (Professor LS Fan’s field).

Ozawa Graduate Scholarship recipient: Teresa Perry

Teresa is a 3rd year PhD student. The scholarship is awarded in recognition of Teresa’s academic accomplishments, as well as her ongoing effort in fostering the adoption of open-access resources in the Principles courses.

The Ozawa Scholarship was established in honor of Professor Emeritus Terry Ozawa.  This award is intended for PhD students who have passed the QE, have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA in their graduate studies and are still enrolled in classes. Eligibility for this award also requires that students have presented a conference paper or participated in the ECON/DARE Graduate Workshop or the Western States Graduate Workshop. The amount of the scholarship is $2,000.

Dr. Alexandra Bernasek takes over as Interim Chair of the Department of Economics

Alex Bernasek 2016Dr. Alexandra Bernasek takes over as Interim Chair of the Department of Economics.
On July 1, 2016 I became Interim Department Chair. This will be my 25th year in the economics department at CSU. I arrived as a new PhD from the University of Michigan in 1992 when I was hired as an Assistant Professor. I was promoted to Associate Professor in 1998 and to Full Professor in 2004. I took a short break from the department serving as Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts, 2005-2008, and as Associate Provost in the Spring of 2009. In 2009 I returned to the department and eventually took on the role of Graduate Coordinator. Taking on the role of department chair is an exciting new challenge for me.
In my early years here I taught a lot of Principles Micro, what was then the first graduate course in Micro (ECON 506), and undergraduate and graduate courses in Economic Development. The first new course I developed was ECON 211 Gender in the Economy. Over the years I’ve taught many different courses, adding the History of Economic Thought at the undergraduate and graduate levels to my course menu. Just last spring I taught a graduate political economy seminar in Feminist Economics; something I have been wanting to do since I first came to the department.
My research has almost exclusively had a gendered focus from a feminist perspective. I have been fortunate to have great colleagues in the department with whom I have been able to collaborate. My collaboration with Dr. Nancy Jianakoplos was particularly productive and enjoyable. Our most notable paper “Are Women More Risk Averse?” published in Economic Inquiry in 1998 has been cited more than 1200 times according to Google Scholar. I continued to be involved in research on gender and entrepreneurship and gender risk taking. More recent collaborations with a colleague in women’s studies involve the application of the power, privilege difference framework to understanding how value is conflated with hegemonic norms of whiteness and maleness in academia.
One of the aspects of my job as a professor that I love is giving talks both within and outside of the university. Over the years I have given talks on the economic status of women and girls, microcredit, the minimum wage, just wages, single payer health insurance, pay equity, and gender and risk taking. In addition to that one of my main service activities is serving on the President’s Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty (SCSWF). On the committee we engage in research based advocacy for advancing women faculty at CSU.
I am excited about a number of initiatives being undertaken and being contemplated, in the department. I will just mention two at the undergraduate level. The Undergraduate Women in Economics (UWE) initiative in conjunction with Claudia Goldin at Harvard is going into its second year and there a lot of enthusiasm around our efforts to increase women’s representation among our undergraduate majors. Discussions are progressing on including economics as a concentration in a new Data Science interdisciplinary undergraduate major. That would provide students interested in economics with the skills to work in the world of “Big Data”.
There are lots of exciting things happening in the department and we will be sharing information about them with you on our website, in newsletters, and via social media. We are particularly interested in connecting and reconnecting with our undergraduate and graduate alumni; please let us know how you are and what you are doing.
With best wishes,

Changing of the guard. Today Dr. Shulman turned the page on his ten years as department chair. He has served us well.

Economics at Colorado State University

Today Dr. Shulman turned the page on his ten years as department chair. He has served us well.

“Some or even most of you have heard by now that I will finish as department chair when I complete my second term on June 30. Alex Bernasek will replace me. I am grateful to Alex and confident that she will prove to be a good leader for the department. Anita will replace her as Coordinator of Graduate Studies. On top of all that, Jenifer will retire in September. Next semester a new team will take the helm, marking a pivotal change for the department.

Our graduate program has prospered over the past ten years. The faculty has worked consistently to improve its academic content & structure. We have put more resources into the program, creating graduate student scholarships, offering online & classroom teaching opportunities & supporting conference travel. Funded research opportunities have significantly grown. We have not only survived, we have thrived as one of the few genuinely heterodox departments in the country. We offer our students a unique mix of intellectual perspectives & applied skills. Our job placement record is impressive & many of our students have gone on to successful careers. I am proud of what all of us have accomplished together.

As for my plans, I look forward to contributing to our teaching programs in some new ways, including playing a more active role in the principles system. I also hope to focus more on my role as the research director of the Center for the Study of Academic Labor. Come see me if you are interested in academic labor markets & the economics of higher education. Whatever your research interests, I would be glad to serve on dissertation committees, & to help you in whatever ways that I can.”

Best wishes,



COIN: Finding tech workers still an issue

COIN: Finding tech workers still an issue, as is rising housing costs

Certification schools, outreach to women, millennials boost qualified tech workforce

When the Colorado Innovation Network published its first talent report in 2012, it noted a startling decline in students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. That’s still a concern, but COIN took a different approach with its new report Tuesday. Within the top-jobs category of careers with higher wages and growth, 55 percent are STEM-related. “What has changed from four years ago is how we look at that talent and recognize how it moves forward,” said Anna Ewing, executive director of COIN, a privately funded organization launched by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2011. “The influx of millennials is a very impactful trend on the talent landscape. People want to come here and work from a lifestyle perspective. But that puts more pressure on housing and transportation.” COIN, which opened its two-day summit Tuesday, is less a fixer of problems than an identifier of issues. The report cites many things for the community to consider, she said. “It’s going to necessitate that employers get more creative in how they keep employees engaged,” Ewing said. “With generational differences in the workforce and cultural changes, workers want flexibility. They want technology tools and to customize their own career path.” The disconnect between traditional college degrees and employers has spurred “badging certification” programs, such as Denver’s Galvanize, which trains students to become software developers with an entrepreneurial edge that tech companies are seeking.

COIN researchers interviewed Chris Onan, co-founder of Galvanize, which has graduated 200 students. Of its data-science grads, 93 percent found a job within six months and averaged a $115,000 starting salary. Full-stack grads started at $73,000, and 98 percent found jobs within six months. The company has made efforts to reach women, veterans and minorities. It expects 500 students to go through its program this year, but that’s not enough to meet demand, said Mark Saldaña, Galvanize’s marketing manager. “Galvanize is going to have to scale (up) to meet employer demand for talent and student demand for technical skills in the coming years,” he said. “We’re partnering with organizations like IBM and (President Barack) Obama’s TechHire initiative to fill the skills gap.”

Stephan Weiler, a Colorado State University economics professor, worked on earlier COIN reports but not this year’s. He said women will be taking on more roles because more women are going to college.

BUSINESS   By Tamara Chuang, The Denver Post, Posted: 08/25/2015

See complete article here:  COIN article