In a special weekly series, the College of Liberal Arts is featuring a faculty member from one of our 13 departments. We asked questions about why they are passionate about the subjects they study and teach, and how they found their path to CSU.

Friday September 14th’s Faculty Friday article features our very own Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator Nancy Jianakoplos!

1. What inspired your interest in economics?

I like studying and teaching economics because it is an essential part of everyone’s life. Economics is everywhere! Learning about how an economy works and how policies might make an economy work better can contribute to making the world a better place. Much of my research in economics has focused on household wealth accumulation and saving for retirement. In particular, I have looked at how financial investment decisions can differ between men and women—if a wife earns more than a husband—or for different generations of households—Boomers versus Gen X, for example. Differences in financial decision making can produce differences in economic well-being. I care about economic well-being!

2. Which class is your favorite to teach and why?

I enjoy my senior seminar in sports economics (ECON 492) the most. I get to work closely with the seniors, many of whom are very interesting and intelligent young people with exciting ideas. Most of the students are interested in sports so they work really hard to get the economic and quantitative analysis in their senior projects right. It is very satisfying to watch students recognize the power of economic theory and quantitative methods to shed light on how the world works.

3. What did you want to be when you were little?

When I was 10 years old, I decided I wanted to be President of the United States. I wrote in all four of my college application essays that I wanted to be president and that I needed the best education possible to prepare me for the job. Therefore, I needed to be admitted to that college. I was accepted at three out of the four! In college, I learned that the Federal Reserve has almost as much impact on the world as a president, convincing me to change my major from political science to economics.

4. How did you get to CSU?

I was moving from Michigan to Colorado to be with my husband-to-be. I received job offers from the economics departments at Metro State in Denver and from Colorado State University. Metro paid more, but CSU had a football team. I came to CSU for the color and pageantry of college football.

5. What is one thing students would be surprised to learn about you?

I love the Teletubbies! I have over 500 Teletubbies in various sizes. Small versions of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa, and Po travel with me attached to my purse, briefcase, or backpack. I take pictures of Teletubbies wherever we go. The Teletubbies have been to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Anghor Wat in Cambodia, and beyond. They even have a brick at the new stadium!