It is with great excitement and a little bit of sadness (for ourselves and our students!) that we wish Professor Nancy Jianakoplos: HAPPY RETIREMENT!!!!!!

After 30 years with CSU, Prof Jianakoplos, known fondly by her students as “Dr. J”, held her last senior seminar Friday December 11, 2020.

Jianakoplos moved to Colorado in 1990 to be with her now husband, Jay. She had received job offers from Metro State and Colorado State University. Do you know why she chose CSU?? Football, of course!! (She is an avid supporter of all of CSU’s sports programs!) But she did not always want to teach economics……when Dr. J was a young girl she wanted to become the President of the United States. In college she learned that the Federal Reserve has almost as much global impact, so she changed her major from political science to economics.

When asked what inspired her interest in economics, Dr. J said economics is everywhere and is an essential part of everyone’s life, “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 Jianakoplos’ research over the years has focused on household wealth accumulation and saving for retirement. She has examined 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. She says, “Differences in financial decision making can produce differences in economic well-being. I care about economic well-being!”

Dr. J has taught many different economics classes over her 37+ years as a professor but she has thoroughly enjoyed her senior seminar: Sports Economics. This class has examined the application of economics to sports issues, such as the relationship between player salaries and performance, salary caps and competitive balance, stadium subsidies and team success, spending and winning in college sports. She says, “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.”

In addition to her teaching duties, Jianakoplos has also been the department’s Undergraduate Coordinator, the faculty advisor for the Economics Club, and the creator of the Economics Student Leadership Council. She has helped students secure countless of internship opportunities and has provided invaluable experiences to students, such as hosting alumni panels and career nights.

Dr. J has received many awards over her long and illustrious career, including being named Best Professor twice! Most recently, in 2019 she was presented with the John N. Stern Distinguished Professor Award and in 2018 received the Keller Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

We are forever grateful for Dr. J’s contributions and service to CSU, the Department of Economics, and most of all, to our students.


We can’t wait to see where you, Jay, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa, and Po go next! Cheers to the next chapter!