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 pvander@bgsu.edu.


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.


Faculty Achievements

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.


Obituaries

V.N. Krishnan, Professor Emeritus of Economics, BGSU, died October 16, 2016.  He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University.  He Joined BGSU as an assistant professor in 1965 and taught for the Economics Department for 25 years, retiring in 1991 as a full professor.  In 1968, he went to India to teach at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and returned to BGSU in 1970 to resume his career.  He was an active researcher, and authored and coauthored books and numerous journal articles.

Bartley Brennan, Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies, BGSU, died May 26, 2016.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in International Economics from Georgetown University in 1963, received his Juris Doctor from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1968, and his Master of Arts in Economics in 1974.  Brennan was hired by BGSU in 1974 as an assistant professor of Legal Studies, and retired from BGSU in 1997 as a full professor.  Dr. Brennan served as chair of the Legal Studies Department from 1985-1989 and served as Faculty Senate chair from 1988-1989.  He was very active in teaching, course development, service to the college and university, as well as wrote many articles, publications, and textbooks.


Econ Club Update

During the Fall semester the Economics Club has been working hard to increase membership and to bring in a variety of speakers for their bi-weekly meetings. This semester the club has seen its highest attendance count in the last few years. Recently, Dr. Benedict has come in and spoken about economic career opportunities and Dr. Shafer came to share her knowledge on Auction Theory. After Fall Break the group came back and spoke with Robert Pruger, a retired CPA and CFO, about retirement and pension plans. Following that VP of Farmers & Merchants State Bank, Tom Lueck, came to speak about the role community banking has today. The club is also working on planning the Spring Trip to explore the city of Pittsburgh. The Econ Club is continually growing and is hoping to organize even more exciting events as the year goes on.


Reconnect with Faculty

If you want to reconnect with one of your favorite professors, feel free to send an email.  They would love to hear from you.


Grant  Jones:  Dream Job in Baseball Close to Reality 

Grant Jones loves baseball.  Like many individuals, he played as a young man, but unlike many, he also had the opportunity to be a batboy for the minor league Kane County Cougars.  That last gig allowed Grant the chance to meet scouts and Cougar front office folks.  The latter recommended that if Grant wanted to work in professional baseball, he should major in economics.  This determined young man did exactly that.

Grant is receiving his BSBA in Applied Economics degree this December.  Since his freshman year, he has tailored his coursework and internships to prepare him for front office work for a major league team, including the core economic courses and econometrics.  In the summer of 2015, he was a minor league video intern for the Milwaukee Brewers, where he videotaped players to chart each pitch.  Grant learned the technical side of the game and used the videos to help players improve.  Last summer, he was a Scouting Contributor to Baseball Prospectus, an online website devoted to the study of baseball.  Grant had already written two articles for the site before receiving the internship, using his economics and report-writing skills gained in classes.  As a scout, he went around the Midwest to evaluate players, and his scouting reports were ultimately published.

Grant’s training culminated in being accepted as a speaker for the Society for Baseball Research (SABER) conference in Boston in July.  Grant was one of two undergraduates invited to participate in the event, where he presented “Are Teams Under-Gaming the Draft?”   Although a daunting experience, Grant gained confidence in his public speaking skills and he networked with teams, finding out what steps he needed to take to get a job in the industry.  Grant found that many of those who spoke to him were helpful, suggesting graduate school (either sports management or law school) and he made some concrete contacts for job opportunities this winter.  Grant is undecided about which way he might go, although the sports management program at Columbia University looks promising.

Grant found that economics helped him to combine the analytic and practical sides of front office work.  His classes have also helped him to communicate better.  Grant is currently working on an econometrics project related to baseball, another way to get his “foot in the door” of the front offices.  He thanks the Economics Department and Dr. Vanderhart for the financial help he received to make it to SABER because that experience is certainly making a difference in his life.


Spotlight on an Economics Alum:  Mark Remeis ’91  

When students ask “What can I do with an Econ degree?”, we often respond with “Just about anything!”.  Mark Remeis is a good example.  He graduated from BGSU with a BS in Economics in the Fall of 1991.  He stayed in the Bowling Green area, and pursued a career in Real Estate.  He found success in this career, specializing in commercial and multi-family properties.  Mark has won multiple awards and serves on several local boards.  He credits his Economics training with providing him the intuition to put together deals that benefit both the buyer and the seller, and to help him evaluate when a commercial development is economically viable.  If you would like to check out what Mark is up to professionally, visit www.aagreen.com.


Alumni Update

Several of our readers reached out to us after our last newsletter to let us know what’s happening in their lives.  Here is what some of our alumni have been doing.

Ben Zauski (2016) – Actuarial Technician at State Auto Insurance Companies, Columbus Ohio.  Also an Adjunct Professor at Ohio Dominican University.

Dr. John Navin (1987) – Dean of Dicke College of Business, Ohio Northern University, Bluffton, OH.

Travis Howard (2014) – Intern for The President’s Council Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.

Brandon Perry (2015) – Currently in a one-year fellowship with the Black Congressional Caucus in Washington DC.  He was selected by his congresswoman in Michigan.

Rachel Childers (2009, 2010) – completed her dissertation entitled "Essays in Health Economics" from the University of Kansas (Chair Dr. Donna Ginther).  Rachel accepted an assistant professor position with Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.

Dan Saros (1999) – Department Chair and Associate Professor of Economics, Valparaiso, IN.

Magen (Massey) McClintock (2007) - Procurement Strategist for Key Bank, Cleveland, OH

Catherine Stange Adams (2001) – Category Manager, American Eagle, Pittsburgh, PA.

William Manson (1974, 1975) – Deputy General Counsel, Lubrizol Corporation, Wickliffe, OH.

Beth Kosanovich (2010)-  married Joshua Cole on September 24, 2016.

Brad Woleslagel (2012) – married fellow BGSU alum Jordyn Gallagher (still waiting for last name), September 24, 2016.  Jordyn was a Medical Laboratory Science major and works at Magruder Hopsital.  Brad is a Global Commodity Manager at First Solar.

Paxton Edwards (2015) – started the Masters of Science in Public Policy Management (MSPPM) at the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University.  Engaged on October 24, 2015, to longtime partner and fellow BGSU alum, Ashley Fintz.

Andrew Bohland (2014) – recently moved to West Palm Beach, Florida.  Still works for FedeX Freight.

Tim Moomaw (2014) – started as a New Accounts Analyst at JPM Chase in March 2016.

Katharine Kontak (2002) – got engaged in August and is planning a fabulous wedding for May, 2017.  She is a lecturer for the Economics Department, BGSU.

Catherine Stange Adams (2001) – Category Manager, American Eagle Outfitters, Pittsburgh, PA.

Marvin Njoroge (2013, 2014) – Analyst, Revenue Integrity Center at Air France, KLM Cargo and Martinair Cargo Atlanta, Georgia Airlines/Aviation

We’d love to hear from you.  Please email us and let us know what you’re doing in your life.  Email Kelly Dove at kdove@bgsu.edu.


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.

Fall 2015:

Kevin Burgett and Emily Gunner

gunner-and-burgett

(pictured Kevin Burgett and Emily Gunner)

Spring 2016:

Marina Costa, Jia Duan, Grant Jones, Michelle Pogozelski, Alyssa Pyles, Mark Richards  

ODE-Inductees

(pictured left back:  Mark Richards, Jia Duan, Alyssa Pyles, Marina Costa, left front:  Andrea Schneider, ODE advisor, and Peter VanderHart.)

Student Achievements and Awards

Scholarship-photo-Fall-2016

Pictured left to right:  Andrew Lotz, Emily Gunner, Brittany Pizzuli, Grant Jones and Claire Nelson

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.)


Colloquium Series for 2015-2016

Dr. Sebastian Roelands served as colloquium coordinator for 2015/2016 and invited a variety of speakers to BGSU.  Below is a list of our colloquia for the academic year.

November 6, 2015:  Amanda Stype, Ph.D. candidate, Michigan State University, presented “An Examination of Veteran Health Access Around the Medicare Eligibility Age.”

April 6, 2016:  Justin Esarey, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rice University, presented “Women’s Representation, Accountability, and Corruption in Democracies.”  Justin is a BGSU alum who graduated in 2002 with his BS in Economics.

January 22, 2016:  Rachel Shafer, Ph.D. candidate, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, presented “Regret-Minimizers and Convergence to Price-Taking.”  Rachel received her Ph.D. in Economics in May, 2016 and is an assistant professor in our department as of August, 2016. 

January 29, 2016:  Alex Fiore, Ph.D. candidate, Clemson University, presented “The Competitive Effects of Product Unbundling:  Evidence from U.S. Airlines.”

February 1, 2016:  Conor Lennon, Ph.D. candidate, University of Pittsburgh, presented “The Individual-Specific Incidence of Employer-provided Health Insurance: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act.”

February 2, 2016:  Patrick Gourley, Ph.D. candidate, University of Colorado Boulder, presented “Social Stigma and Asset Value.”

February 3, 2016:  Amanda Cook, Ph.D. candidate, Purdue University, presented “Uninsured? Fewer services, less readmission, more death.  A study of Maryland’s hospitals.”  Amanda received her Ph.D. in Economics in May, 2016 and is an assistant professor in our department as of August, 2016.

February 9, 2016:  Prachi Jain, Ph.D. candidate, University of Michigan, presented “Imperfect Monitoring and Informal Risk Sharing: The Role of Social Ties.”

We enjoy having alumni visit BGSU and speak to our department.  If you are interested in giving a colloquium, please contact our new colloquium coordinator, Dr. Amanda Cook, at accook@bgsu.edu.

Ben Zauski and Shaoying Yao, Spring 2016 graduation