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April 20, 2011

Economics alumni: Share your story!

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Economics News, the Augustana Economics Department newsletter. We hope to help you connect with fellow alumni, and keep you informed of our operations with occasional (once-a-year) updates. Read on for a note from Dr. Richard Ballman, an invitation to his retirement sendoff party, and more!

Please contribute to our next issue! We'd like a main feature of the newsletter to be stories about alumni. On reading this email, many alumns are wondering, what in the world happened to _______ (your name here)? Our current and prospective students also want to know about the career paths available with an Augie econ degree. Please share your story: What turns have you made in your career path, or how has your experience with Augie econ affected your life?

Email your contribution (photos encouraged) to Dr. Joanna Short.

Faculty notes

Mark Anderson
wins Tallgrass award

Mark Anderson won the 2010 Tallgrass Capital Award for the most outstanding senior economics major. He compiled a 4.0 GPA in economics courses, which is impressive even among the select company of Tallgrass Capital winners. If there was an award for the student-who’s-nicest-to-Georgia Moreno, Econ-Department Secretary, he’d win that in a landslide, too!

Majors: Economics, accounting, and business administration

Activities: Concert Band, intramural sports, Habitat for Humanity, Community Advisor, Economics Tutor, ACES driver

Internships: McLaughlin Body Company, Moline; Juicy Couture, London

Study abroad: Vienna term

Currently: Staff CPA for Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams (ORBA) in Chicago

Dr. Richard Ballman: retiring in phases

On the college web site faculty members are listed by department along with their ranks and pedigrees. Were you to go there you'd find my rank is "Phased Retirement Professor." Huh? Consequently, Joanna asked that I write a few lines explaining what the hell this means.

To start, it seems to suggest that one in this position no longer would have to write silly pieces for a departmental newsletter. But, since I generally don't do what I don't want to do anyway (e.g., ceremony) that seems to be irrelevant. (more)

Dr. Christopher Marmè: faculty search

This year, the Economics Department has had the difficult task of finding a worthy successor to Dr. Ballman. We set out to find someone who has a dedication to teaching, a clear appreciation of the liberal arts (or at least a keen interest and a willingness to learn), and areas of expertise that complement our own.

In particular, an expertise in environmental economics, public choice theory, or game theory/experimental was considered a plus in our search — as we hope new courses in these areas might be viewed as most relevant to our students.

We were pleasantly surprised when our want ad attracted a flood of applications. (more)

Dr. Joanna Short: curriculum transition

The department's curriculum is in a bit of a transition period, as we have adjusted to Dr. Ballman's reduced teaching load, and look forward to a new hire. One necessary change was that we could no longer offer "History of Economic Thought," since neither Dr. Marmè nor I are particularly expert in that area.

However, we have come up with a compromise: in its place, I now teach a course in my main area of interest: "U.S. Economic History." Like the history of thought class, "U.S. Economic History" is reading and writing-intensive and required of senior majors. The goal is to gain a better understanding of select topics from U.S. history, in order to better understand current events. (more)

Ballman retirement sendoff-Homecoming 2011

We plan to host a tailgate party in Dr. Ballman’s honor before the Homecoming football game. Please plan to attend! Also, send your favorite Ballman memories to Georgia Moreno and we'll compile them to share and present at the party.

Alumni survey

Keep an eye out for the alumni survey for classes of 2001, 2006, and 2009. This year we're hoping to make it easier to rate our program by sending an email survey. We appreciate your participation!

News? Photos? Questions? Send them to Joanna Short.
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