Message from the Chair
By Peter VanderHart
Greetings from the BGSU Economics Department! Our department continues to experience some great changes:
- We successfully hired two fantastic new faculty – Dr. Amanda Cook and Dr. Rachel Shafer. Their research, teaching ability and overall enthusiasm have pumped life into the department and have provided an atmosphere of renewal. I invite you to read their profiles in this newsletter.
- Our Masters of Financial Economics graduated its first students, and many have successfully found employment. Our incoming class is significantly larger than last year’s class and is academically strong.
- Dr. Sebastian Roelands resigned from the Department late last spring and is pursuing his fortune in the private sector (State Street Corporation). While this is certainly not good news for us (we will miss his expertise with money and banking), we did receive quick authorization to hire a replacement this winter.
- We are establishing two new scholarships for our undergraduates. One will be focused on younger students with financial need, and the other will be focused on the research accomplishments of senior students. Details regarding these scholarships, and information on how to contribute to them, can be found below.
- Our students and alums continue to use their economic training in interesting ways. I invite you to read about Grant Jones’ “sabermetrics”, Mark Remeis’ commercial real estate, and a spotlight on two Department of Economics Board of Advocacy members.
Please read more about the happenings in economics below. I welcome your feedback as well as news you would like to share, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Faculty Join Department
The Department is pleased to welcome two exciting new faculty to its ranks.
Dr. Amanda Cook
Dr. Amanda Cook joins us from Purdue. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, and finished her dissertation just this summer at Purdue. Her research focusses on health care; specifically the consequences of being uninsured, and the bargaining power of insurers and hospitals. Her teaching experience includes micro and macro at Purdue, high school math in Massachusetts, and English to orphans in Haiti. (BGSU undergrads will be a piece of cake for her.)
While living in Haiti for two years, she also worked with a women’s cooperative in the mountains north-east of Port-au-Prince, teaching classes in basic finance, disease prevention, and English, as well as starting a small micro-finance organization. She is training for her third marathon. In her free time, she likes to think about experiments she can (ethically!) run on her undergraduate students to improve learning in her classes.
Dr. Rachel Shafer
Dr. Rachel Shafer comes to us via Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, where she finished her dissertation just a few months ago. Her bachelor’s degree was earned at the University of Tulsa, where she was lucky to have some great economics professors. Their generosity inspired her to want to teach and encourage students as they had done for her. Tulsa is also where Rachel first became fascinated with auctions. Her research focusses on auction theory, specifically on how auctions work when the participants face uncertainty and are “regret-minimizers”, rather than the typically assumed expected utility maximizers. Her teaching experience includes a special course on auctions, as well as industrial organization. She brings some badly needed microeconomics expertise to our depleted ranks.
Each year the College of Business financially supports research projects through Summer Research Awards. This year Dr. Zheng Zeng, associate professor of economics, was selected among the eight winners of the summer research awards for her research entitled, “Identifying Financial and Business Cycles: A Multivariate Threshold Dynamic Factor Model with Economic and Credit Regimes.”
In addition, Dr. Nancy Kubasek won The Robert A. Patton Scholarly Achievement Award in August 2016. This award recognizes outstanding research accomplishments that have impacted her discipline.
Congratulations to both Drs. Zeng and Kubasek on their wonderful accomplishments.
Spotlight on Two Department of Economics Board of Advocacy Members
By Mary Ellen Benedict
In 2013, the department developed a Board of Advocacy. The board members help the department with strategic direction for growing the major and for moving our students to careers that employ the analytical skills learned in the classroom. Recently, I was asked to profile two of the members of the Board, Bill Manson and Patric Fransko. I was happy to do so, because I know both from my time as chair of the department in Bill’s case, and knowing Patric since he took classes with me back in the 1990s.
Bill Manson. Bill has been with Lubrizol Corporation since 1995. Lubrizol is a specialty chemical company that manufactures and sells products internationally, and it is now a part of Berkshire Hathaway. As Deputy General Counsel, he is involved in regulatory and international business matters, and through his years at Lubrizol Bill has focused on commercial litigation, transactions and commercial compliance. His work takes him not only around North America but to international destinations from South Africa to Seoul, and from London and Brussels to Dubai and Mumbai.
Bill has not always been an attorney. When he attended the MA in Economics Program at BGSU, Professor Paul Haas in particular inspired his interest in industrial organization and regulation. So, after finishing the program, Bill decided to attend Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for his Ph.D. in economics, which he completed in 1979. His research always involved economics and the law, and after four years as an Assistant Professor at Ohio State, Bill decided that what he really wanted to do was become a lawyer. He subsequently received his J.D from Emory University School of Law in 1985, where he was an Olin Fellow in the Law and Economics Center.
Bill was always using his industrial organization and regulation background in his law work. He worked for ten years with Jones Day in commercial litigation, working with many clients on commercial disputes including litigation of patent and intellectual property rights. Lubrizol was one of his clients, and Bill accepted an invitation to join the firm. At first, Bill’s work was substantially in intellectual property litigation but his focus expanded as he worked on transactions and advised on regulatory issues and general commercial law. Today, in addition to working on transactions, he has been visiting Lubrizol sites to provide commercial compliance training, which includes training on anti-bribery, export, and anti-trust laws.
I asked Bill what advice he might give to economics majors about pursuing a career in law. He stated that one must really want to be a lawyer because the market is tighter than it was twenty years ago and loans can be expensive. Still, opportunities exist for those who really want to be lawyers. He also suggests that students should be making connections while in school. Networking is an important skill and necessary for today’s young workforce. Having mentors and staying in touch with them is valuable, whether it’s through email or occasional visits over coffee.
Bill has been helping the Department for some years – my predecessor, John Hoag, reached out to him early on. So, when the Board of Advocates began, he was one of the first people I asked to be on the Board. Bill has a soft spot for the Department and says the MA program set him on his career path. He wants to contribute at a personal level and the Board makes this personal contribution possible.
Patric Frankso. Patric is one of the newer members on the Board, as he began last year, just as Dr. VanderHart began as Chair. As a Californian (although Ohio is in his heart!), Patric does the meetings via Skype, but works with the members to keep the Department moving forward.
I have been friends with Patric since he was in my classes in the 1990s and became President of the Economics Club. Even then, he was helping the club grow. Patric worked for one of the local bicycle shops in town and would get us a bike for an annual raffle. The club has very little money at the time, but in those years, the raffle helped tremendously with financially supporting the club trip and events. One could see at the time that Patric had high potential for success.
Patric started his career after high school with a stint in the U.S. Navy, then started business school. He received his BS-Economics degree in 1996, took a few MBA classes at BG before moving onto work and completing an MBA certificate at The Ohio State University. His first job after graduation was at Schwinn, whereas Marketing Manager, he sold Schwinn products to small independent shops. When big box stores started selling bikes, Patric moved to a Director of Sales and Marketing position with one of his former clients, Performance Films Distributing, where he was in charge of over 500 clients in the tristate area. His success with his clients (who write about Patric’s exemplary work on his LinkedIn page), eventually moved him to California, where he became Chief Operating Officer of National Glass Service Group. That work in turn helped him to develop an e-commerce website for those who install glass film. NGSG was part of 3M, one of the largest companies in the window film market. The firm has many clients, large and small, across the country, including Kay Jewelers, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Jarrod’s.
Patric did his COO work and his start-up concurrently. He had developed a reputation in the industry and the website, Window Films Pros, helped Patric develop further opportunities in the industry. Concurrently, his work with clients from many industries found Patric’s advice on marketing strategies to be helpful. In particular, he saw many smaller businesses that needed help, but the firms were not large enough to have their own marketing person. So, in April of 2015, Patric decided to start his own marketing firm, Eye Magnet Management. At the beginning, his clients were primarily from the window film industry, but in just 18 months, the firm has attracted companies from a variety of industries.
So, here we have an alum, doing what everyone wants to do: be his own boss. Was it easy? Of course not, but in Patric’s case, he reasoned the risk was low, as he had spent many years building up connections and demonstrating his ability in marketing strategy to clients for the many firms with which he worked. As COO, there was little more for him to do, so starting his own company was a natural progression. He was self-capitalized and operating in the black from the first day of operation. Last year, he earned as much as he did as COO for NGSG. He still provides his detail-oriented style of work to his clients, only now he does it for his own firm.
I asked Patric if he had advice for students who might want to go the entrepreneur path. He said that networking is a key component to developing one’s own business. One needs to build a track record of success and to execute on opportunities. Patric learned early on how to demonstrate his ability and he wasn’t shy about taking on small jobs in order to build his reputation and his business network. Opportunities were given one step at a time. Twenty years in retrospect, in order to start a business, one must begin with a good client base, that didn’t “just happen.” For Patric, it took twenty years of executing the opportunity right in front of him.
In conclusion, I can see that Bill and Patric’s success is in part based on their excellent talent, but a key to their success is their ability to network and develop long-term relationships with individuals they met along the way. The other common denominator for the two is their passion for their work. While I am sure some of the tasks they performed were not their favorite way to pass the time, on the whole, they enjoyed the work and that kept them moving forward. Finally, both of them have been giving back to the Department because they believe that the coursework they received has helped them on their career paths. We thank them for their excellent stories and the time they devote to us in making the Department move forward.
The Economic Department’s 2015/2016 Stars
Congratulations ODE Inductees
The Economics Department inducted several new members into Omicron Delta Epsilon, the Economics Honorary Society.
Kevin Burgett and Emily Gunner
Marina Costa, Jia Duan, Grant Jones, Michelle Pogozelski, Alyssa Pyles, Mark Richards
Student Achievements and Awards
We had several students win department and college awards at the fall 2016 Honors and Awards Banquet.
ECON majors winning College Scholarships:
- Brittany Pizzuli won the Paul T. Albers Scholarship and the Jim W. Parker Scholarship
- Landon van der Molen won a Hoskins Study Abroad Award
- Andrew Lotz won a Marathon Corporate Sponsorship Scholarship, the Marta Rubcich Endownment, and the Cooper Tire Scholarship
- Giannina Celis won a Parker Seaman Scholarship in Business
- Emily Gunner won the Tracy Lynn Tomko Memorial Scholarship
- Ryan Canterbury won a National Association Purchasing Management Toledo Scholarship
ECON majors winning Department Scholarships:
Andrew Lotz won The Karl Vogt Economics Scholarship in Economics Award
- Ryan Canterbury won the Dolores Reynolds Book Award
- Claire Nelson won the Vimala Krishnan) Book Award
- Brittany Pizzuli won the John Hoag Economics Scholarship
- Landon van der Molen won the Navin Scholarship for Public Sector Economics
- Grant Jones won the Paul Haas Economics Scholarship
- Emily Gunner won the Amena Khatun Economics Scholarship
- Giannina Celis won the Alumni/Faculty Economics Scholarship
In addition, Robert Everard, a senior marking in Economics and Supply Chain Management was honored with one of the most esteemed awards from the APICS, a leading professional association for supply chain and operations management in the world. He was presented the Student Voluntary Service Award, which is given annually to one student who demonstrates outstanding leadership and a commitment to volunteering to the local Supply Chain Management Association chapter and community.
New Scholarships Being Developed
The Department is very pleased to be creating two new scholarships for its students:
The Economics Board of Advocates Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to students who have declared Economics as their major or specialization, are early in their college career (Freshman or Sophomore preferred), and who have demonstrable financial need. The University’s new scholarship system will allow us to identify students with financial need without imposing an additional reporting burden on the students. None of our current scholarships address this aspect, and most are aimed at more advanced students.
The Benedict Undergraduate Research Scholarship. This scholarship is named to honor Mary Ellen Benedict’s commitment to fostering undergraduate research. This award will be aimed at students who have completed a research project that analyzes economic or social policy. Preference will be given to projects that employ economic or statistical analysis.
We have just started the fundraising for these scholarships, which must come almost entirely from private donations. If you would like to contribute to either one or both of these, please send your contribution directly to the department with a note regarding where it should be directed. We will keep you updated on their progress. (Checks payable to BGSU Foundation–Economics, memo: indicate scholarship name. Mail to: Economics Department, 3002 Business Admin. Bldg, BGSU, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0268.)