aNITA 2Dr. Anita Alves Pena takes over as Interim Coordinator of Graduate Studies in the Department of Economics.

As of Fall 2016, I am the Department’s new Interim Coordinator of Graduate Studies. This is my 10th year at CSU.  I came to CSU in Fall 2007 from Stanford University where I received my MA in Economics in 2004 and PhD in Economics in 2007.  I was promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor in July 2013.

I have taught graduate courses in Microeconomic Theory, Public Economics, and Microeconomics of Development and undergraduate courses in Intermediate Microeconomics, Introduction to Econometrics (both traditional classroom and online), and Economics of Public Finance. I also have worked with several students via Supervised College Teaching, Independent Study, and general advising at both graduate and undergraduate levels.  In our department, I have been a member and subsequently the chair of our microeconomic theory review committee that administers the microeconomics portion of our Qualifying Exam to PhD students.  I also have been a Faculty Member of the Graduate Center for Diversity and Access (GCDA) (formerly Colorado Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP)) for the Graduate School here at CSU since 2014.

My research spans several areas of applied microeconomics and the analysis of large micro-level datasets. I am particularly interested in public sector economics, labor economics, and economic development and have written in the areas of economics of immigration, economics of race and ethnicity, and economics of inequality and poverty.  Over the years, I have had a specific focus on issues pertaining to domestic and international U.S. agricultural labor and have benefited from the perspective of being at a land-grant institution.  Two papers with coauthors published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics in 2015 and 2016 respectively have been widely cited in mass media recently, and it has been exciting to generate such discussion about labor dynamics in this sector and relationships to public policy.  I am currently working on a small project about how agricultural worker health and risk factors translate into wages and productivity, which is funded by the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (HICAHS).  Some of my previous work on agricultural labor has been funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, and by the West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington.  Recent research (unrelated to agricultural labor) on inequality, skill, and education more broadly was funded by the American Institutes for Research.

I have presented work in numerous research conferences, academic seminars, and local outlets over the years. Most recently, I presented at the Western Economic Association International Annual Conference in Portland in June and the Greeley Chamber of Commerce in May.

In addition to starting as the Coordinator of Graduate Studies this year, I am also CSU’s first representative to the Rocky Mountain Federal Statistical Research Data Center Consortium which is a new collaboration of several institutions in this region for access to proprietary federal data for academic research.

I am eager to work more closely with graduate students in my new role and to support our active MA and PhD programs. Our graduate programs and students are multifaceted and diverse, and I look forward to interacting more closely with current and future students in the Department.