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Jessica Msambichaka is a junior Economics and Public Policy double major. She attended the 3rd Annual Sadie Conference, which was held virtually in February 2021. Jessica reflects on her experience in an interview with Department Chair, Dr. Donna Gilleskie, below:


Did your experiences at the Sadie Conference give you any ideas about projects or research that you can explore with your training as an Economics major?

This experience definitely taught me more about research in the economics field. I heard from many qualified and experienced speakers about their own research and how they were able to intersect their interests with economics, especially with topics that have racial underlying’s and implications.

In light of current events that are bringing racism to the forefront of people’s minds, has anything you learned from the conference (or these events) changed the way you will approach your continued economics training?

In general, I have been very aware of the systematic racism that exists in United States. I have never really understood how to navigate it in my studies in economics, however this conference showed me that it is possible. Addressing racial inequalities in any discipline is extremely important, and that it can hopefully become the forefront of economic research because there are racial implications in economic policy. This conference has opened my eyes a bit more on what questions to ask/explore when thinking about policy and economics. I will definitely be able to apply this new skill in the upper-level economic elective courses I take next year.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your participation in the Sadie Conference?

This conference is not only amazing for those interested in economics, but also a great opportunity to explore other interests and topics as well! I am also a double major in public policy, and I was able to see how economics and policy go hand in hand in the real world. Not only that, but I was also able to learn more about my newfound interest in data science, so it was a really exciting weekend for me.


The Sadie Collective, which was founded in 2018, is committed to “empowering and equipping Black women in quantitative sciences by “address[ing] the pipeline and pathway problem in economics, finance, data science, and public policy through curated content creation, programming, and mentorship.”

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