Two Economics Alumni Receive Prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award

Two SMU Economics alumni have received prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship awards for the 2024-2025 academic year. The two Economics winners are Colton Fontenot, who will travel to the Slovak Republic and Victoria Romanczyk, who will go to Poland.

Colton (Cole) Fontenot graduated in May 2022 with a B.A. in economics, history, philosophy, and public policy and achieved the rare feat of completing three distinction theses during his senior year. Eager to learn more about educational systems in other countries, the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in the Slovak Republic will support Cole’s long-term goal of crafting more equitable education policy in the United States.

Victoria Romanczyk graduated in May with a B.S. in economics and statistical science and a B.A. in international studies.  She will teach not just Polish students, but students from all over the EU.  Victoria said that “this is a dream come true and for any upcoming seniors who are thinking about taking on a gap year or who are interested in seeing what it is like to live, work, or do research abroad I would definitely recommend looking into Fulbright programs.”

Congratulations Cole and Victoria!  We wish you the best of luck!

Spring Awards Luncheon

On April 23rd, the Department hosted the spring awards luncheon.  Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE) inductees as well as departmental award winners were recognized for their accomplishments.

Enrique Martínez García, an economic policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, provided a talk on “Where Do Post-COVID Housing Markets Stand? A Shifting Outlook for Global Real Estate”.

Congratulations to all of our inductees and award winners!  Keep up the good work!

Human Trafficking Data Conference a huge success

The SMU Human Trafficking Data Research (HTDR) Project Team and volunteers hosted the first-of-its-kind SMU Human Trafficking Data Conference! It was an amazing 2-day event of human trafficking experts working together to learn, ask questions, and network. Researchers, practitioners, law enforcement and governmental officials, nonprofit organizations, data scientists, and other stakeholders met to discuss the quality, availability, and efficacy of human trafficking data.

Work by Recent Alumnus Jesse LaBelle Garners National Attention

We are very proud of our recent alumnus, Jesse LaBelle. He graduated from SMU in 2020 with a BS in Economics with a focus on Mathematics. After graduating from SMU he joined the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, eventually becoming a Senior Research Associate, where he has had a tremendous impact. His work on multinational corporations was featured in the famous podcast – Trade Talks – “How multinationals avoid taxes through technology licensing”. In addition, his work on supply chain disruptions and inflation was cited by the United States White House in the 2024 Economic Report of the President. In Jesse’s words: “Being cited in the CEA report is a tremendous honor and exciting to know that the work we did has some real world policy relevance.”

Jesse is currently enrolled in the PhD program in Economics at Northwestern University, one of the top programs in the world. We wish him the best and look forward to many more great achievements.

Mea Ahlberg Wins 2024 Mangum Teaching Award

Dr. Ahlberg has been chosen to receive the Barbara and James Mangum Teaching Award in recognition of her extraordinary student engagement. Her dedication to teaching, including her work in redesigning principles courses and creating new undergraduate electives, is appreciated by the department and cherished by students.

Distinguished alum and private investor Charles Mangum gave a million dollar gift to SMU for two teaching awards – one in Economics and the other in Accounting, the two disciplines that (according to him) offered the most challenging courses in his undergraduate curriculum at SMU. The award is intended to “promote and reward the art of teaching”. The criteria for the award is that the recipient be non-tenured and extraordinary at student involvement. The award itself is named after his parents Barbara and James Mangum who live in New Orleans.

Charles Mangum graduated from SMU 1986 with a BA in Economics and a BBA in Finance. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1990 and has had a highly successful career in investment and portfolio management.

Celebrating the Achievements of our Economics Graduates!

On May 11, 2024, we proudly celebrated a significant milestone for the Department of Economics as 142 bright minds were awarded their degrees. Among them were 133 undergraduates, 7 master’s students, and 2 PhD students, each marking the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and passion for the field of economics. Congratulations to each and every one of them as they embark on the next chapter. Their time here has equipped them with the analytical tools and critical thinking skills needed to navigate and influence the global economic landscape.

Watch a video of the ceremony here.