Beth Wheaton wins 2020 Mangum Teaching Award

Beth Wheaton was the very deserving winner of the 2020 Mangum Teaching Award. This highly-sought after award, endowed through a million dollar gift from distinguished alum Charles Mangum, is given annually to a non-tenured recipient in the Department of Economics who is extraordinary at student involvement. It is intended to promote and reward the art of teaching.

Beth currently teaches Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics and The Economics of Human Rights. But she has taught at SMU for over 14 years, and enjoys educating students more generally on how to use economics effectively in the areas of human rights, the environment, labor and international issues. She published the first textbook on the economics of human rights in 2019, and is currently working to build the Human Trafficking Institute at SMU. Her self-described greatest commitment in life is working with students, community members, colleagues, and friends to put their unique talents and varied interests into action to create cataclysmic social change.

Students describe Beth as organized, insightful, considerate, and passionate about her work. They appreciate her willingness to meet with them outside of class and give them the encouragement they need to succeed not just in college, but in life in general.

Dr. Wheaton was one of my favorite teaching professionals I’ve ever had. She truly wanted her students to learn, and it was very obvious that she was passionate about what she taught. Her class was very challenging, but she made sure to provide her students with everything they needed to succeed and left it to them to put in the work. A good teacher pushes their students to become the best version of themselves, and that is exactly what she did.

— Anonymous student

I had an incredible experience in Dr. Wheaton’s Environmental Economics class last semester. Her ability to facilitate honest and open discussions when responding to questions is a great quality.

— Anonymous student

I believe Elizabeth Wheaton is the best professor in the economics department. Always helps her students and has them engaged in the material and asking questions. She was very willing to work with me when I was having issues outside the classroom and really made a difference in my senior year.

— Anonymous student

Professor Wheaton as a person and as a professor is someone that I strive to be more like. She presents herself as a good role model. She helps those of us who want to move forward in economics but she also imparts wisdom on those of us who will go on to use economics or critical thinking in another field.

— Anonymous student


Describing the meaning of receiving the Mangum Award, Beth said “Teaching SMU Economics undergraduate students for 14 years has been a reward in itself, including teaching the first classes in the Economics of Human Rights from my newly published textbook.  My experience at SMU has now been enhanced by being awarded the Mangum Family Teaching Award in Economics.  I am thankful to the Mangum Family and to my colleagues for this distinction”.


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