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.