When she first arrived at the University of Notre Dame, Karen Stockley ’08 had no plan to major in economics and says graduate school wasn’t on her radar either. Today, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University and already has three years of professional research experience, an award-winning paper to her credit, and a bright future in healthcare economics. It was a Principles of Economics class during her very first semester, Stockley says, that sparked her interest in the field.
Economics majors in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters develop the analytical skills and social perspective needed to better understand complex economic forces at work in the world. They also hone the ability to express their ideas and insights both clearly and concisely. That’s exactly what Class of 2011 students Elizabeth Koerbel and Matthew Conti demonstrated in their senior theses, which won first and second place, respectively, in the University’s annual Bernoulli Awards competition.
You can find economists working almost everywhere and in almost every field, from college sports to Internet auction sites, the music industry, and even NASA. And this mind-opening diversity of career paths is at the heart of a new speaker series sponsored by the undergraduate Economics Club of Notre Dame and the College of Arts and Letters Department of Economics.
When she first arrived at the University of Notre Dame, Karen Stockley ’08 had no plan to major in economics and says graduate school wasn’t on her radar either. Today, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University and already has three years of professional research experience, an award-winning paper to her credit, and a bright future in healthcare economics.
Several years ago, Notre Dame biologist David Lodge approached Department of Economics Chair Richard Jensen about the possibility of one day working together in an area of particular interest to Lodge: invasive species. The pair ultimately obtained a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and are now serving as co-principal investigators, along with Lindsay Chadderton of The Nature Conservancy, on a project titled “Forecasting Spread and Bioeconomic Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species from Multiple Pathways to Improve Management and Policy in the Great Lakes.”
The past year was another eventful one, as the new era of economics at Notre Dame continues to unfold.
By many different measures, people who take religion seriously are different from the rest of society, says University of Notre Dame economist Daniel Hungerman. And different in a good way. “In fact, religiosity is the best predictor of any number of positive social outcomes,” he says. “Religious people are generally healthier, they give more to charities, they are much more likely to be involved in civic life, and they are much less likely to suffer from depression or mental illness.”
Molly Lipscomb, assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, and Laura Schechter and Jean-François Houde, economists at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, hope to increase the accessibility of sanitation technology in poor neighborhoods in Dakar, Senegal. Their two-year research project is supported by a more than $1 million grant to Innovations for Poverty Action from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The College of Arts and Letters is introducing a new business economics minor for students in the College who want to pursue a liberal arts education while also developing literacy in basic business economics principles.