pconwayDear Friends:

The fall semester has just begun here at Carolina.  That’s always a magical time of year, as undergraduates and graduates alike embark on a new journey of discovery.  The Economics classes filled up quickly, as they have in recent years:  even the 8 am classes have attracted a respectable crowd!

The students have a lot to look forward to.  Our faculty is back, delivering an innovative education in Economics at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.  Our professors of the practice are making the Minor in Entrepreneurship a recommended complement to any of the College’s undergraduate majors.  Our researchers are in discovery model; whether it is a question of health economics, monetary policy or international trade, our faculty members are adding to our understanding of the economy around us.

It’s my privilege to serve as Department Chair in Economics.  I have a first-hand view of what makes the Economics Department unique, and I am very impressed by what I see.  Let me mention just a few of the new opportunities that surround me.

  • After a summer of renovation, the EconAid Center has opened in Gardner Hall. Students with questions about Economics classes don’t have to wait for office hours:  they can come to the EconAid Center and speak to an instructor or peer tutor.  It’s such an affirming place that students come to sit and work together on Economics questions without even asking for aid!
  • We’re entering the second year of our credential in Quantitative Financial Economics. We evaluated the written work of students in the credential last year, and found that their course papers were of higher quality on average than students in other advanced Economics courses.  The difference seems to come from the experiential learning techniques used – an innovation not available elsewhere in the curriculum (yet).  It’s a promising template for innovation in other subject areas.
  • One of our graduate students was invited to join the Nobel Laureates in Economics at a conference in Lindau, Germany this summer. She came back energized and with her mind brimming with new ideas.   She’ll keep her dissertation advisers occupied with her theorizing – and that’s a very good thing!

These are three from among many wonderful opportunities for our students in Economics, and they have something else in common as well.  We were able to support our students’ participation only because of the generosity of our many donors. The grants we win and the donations we receive make it possible to fund the “individual learning opportunities that are so critical to an understanding of economics. Thank you! (If you’d like to join the donor group, please see the orange button at the bottom of this newsletter.)

We have a smorgasbord of news for you describing our students, our alums, our faculty and our donors. I hope that you’ll enjoy this taste of what we do. Should you wish to find more, or simply wish to read online, you can go to www.econ.unc.edu and click on “News.”

And, should you be in Chapel Hill, please stop by to visit.  I’d enjoy speaking with you.

Pat sig

Patrick Conway
Professor and Department Chair