Dear Friends of the Economics Department:
We have just experienced another exciting and productive year. The faculty continues to work on many projects that contribute to the profession as well as the local community. An important emphasis in the department is to engage students in this work as well. We strongly believe that the educational experience is significantly enhanced when students have an opportunity to practice the research process and learn more directly how important economic questions are answered. As you will see in this newsletter, there are a number of faculty that work with students from both our graduate and undergraduate programs. More information on these projects can be found in the “Faculty News” section of this newsletter. Also, individual faculty are happy to discuss their projects if you would like more details.
As part of the dynamic atmosphere in the department, we have welcomed back Professor Xuemei Liu from her sabbatical in China and wished Professor Steve Yamarik good luck during his sabbatical in Switzerland. The economics faculty are a perfect example of how the College of Liberal Arts’ motto, “The World is Our College,” is engrained in our scholarly efforts. Professor Lisa Grobar organized another exciting international experience. She took a group of students to Peru to study international economics as part of the university’s study abroad program. One of the students in the class produced a nice video of the experience.
The department was also very fortunate this year to add Diandra Porter to the office staff. She is truly a delight to work with, and her energy and organizational skills have helped to complete a number of projects, including our initial steps in redesigning our website. You can also read more about Diandra in this newsletter. Also, thanks to the efforts of Karen Fawson, the transition from the years of Professor Emeritus Joe Magaddino’s leadership has gone (relatively) smoothly. Her institutional knowledge and ability to get things done during these challenging times are invaluable to the department.
Although many positive things have happened this year, there has also been some sadness. The department lost a very dear friend and colleague. Professor Emeritus Eldon Dvorak, who many of you knew, passed away unexpectedly. Eldon was an important person in the development of the department and worked tirelessly as executive director of the Western Economics Association to make it into the largest regional economics association in the nation. Eldon also was instrumental in developing two journals that are published by the WEAI: Economic Inquiry and Contemporary Economic Policy. One of Eldon’s last actions demonstrated his love of the department as he established the Eldon Dvorak Endowment to provide resources for the scholarly activities of the department faculty. Eldon will truly be missed. Through his endowment, he will continue to have a positive impact on all of us.
As I mentioned last year, I believe this newsletter (econ:news) is an important source of information for all our friends, but it shouldn’t be the only source. I encourage you to bookmark our website (www.csulb.edu/colleges/cla/departments/economics) and visit it often, particularly the News and Notes section. Also, you are always welcome to attend the seminars organized by Professor Elaine Frey. This is a great way to keep up with the department faculty and current students as well as the latest work on many economic topics. A list of the seminars is posted on the department website under Seminar Series.
I look forward to hearing from all of you,
Wade E. Martin
Chair, Department of Economics