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.


Alyssa Wong receives Faculty Senate Award

Each year, the SMU Faculty Senate recognizes several outstanding staff members across campus who make an incredible difference for faculty.  This year, Economic Department Advisor Alyssa Wong was presented with this honor. Alyssa was nominated by faculty in the department, and received her award during the Faculty Senate meeting on April 17th.  Congratulations Alyssa! We’re so grateful you’re a member of our department.

2024 Caren Prothro Faculty Service Award given to Wheaton-Paramo


Beth Wheaton-Paramo was be honored with the 2024 Caren Prothro Faculty Service Award at the Dedman College Faculty Meeting on May 6, 2024 The award is given annually to a full-time faculty member in Dedman College for a record of exceptional service to SMU and the DFW community.  The 2024 Award is shared by Wheaton-Paramo and Professor Darryl Dickson-Carr, a faculty member in the English Department.