A Valpo Economics Major Takes You Far

 Economics Department Newsletter


What some Valpo Economics graduates have been doing:

Catherine Kus ’13 Baldwin – front desk agent, White House Hotel in Biloxi, Miss.

Lindsay Russell ’10 Boersma – Senior Research Analyst at Indiana University-Bloomington

Kurt Fetzer ’10 – Associate Actuarial Analyst for UnitedHealthOne

Reillie Acks ’09 – pursuing a master’s degree in development studies at the Graduate Institute of Geneva in Switzerland

Zachary Denny ’09 – consultant with West Monroe Partners LLC in Chicago

Ademiju Allen ’08 – Graduate student and Research Assistant, Rice University

Matthew Cavin ’08 – Senior Consultant for Deloitte Consulting, recently on assignment in Johannesburg, South Africa

Robert Schmidt ’06 – Sales and Property Tax Policy Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Elyssa Swango ’04 – Social Security Disability Adjudicator

Tim Boersma ’04 – Product Manager, Safety Meeting Outlines, Inc.

Jim Murray ’03 – Actuarial Analyst, Western-Southern Life Insurance Company

Ragen Hatcher Matthews ’00 – Deputy Prosecutor, Lake County Prosecutor’s Office

Joyce Burnett ’89 – Professor of Economics, Wabash College

Beverly Kline ’97 – Buyer, Macy’s

Joshua Berning ’96 – Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Masters of Agribusiness Program at the University of Georgia

Jennifer Dierking ’94 Johnson – Senior Investment Officer, MODOT & Patrol Employees Retirement System

Steve Wegner ’95 – Finance Manager of Sales and Marketing, Blue Bird Body Company

Doug Hooever ’93 – Principal and Technical Director, Mavrik Systems Consulting

Jeff Hehnke ’89 – Divisional Assistant Vice President, Great American Insurance Company

Kim Walesh ’86 – Director of Economic Development and Chief Strategist for the City of San Jose, Calif.

Stuart Vogelsmeier ’85 – a practicing lawyer in St. Louis

Tesa Stegner Handlen ’83 – Department Chair and Professor of Economics, Idaho State University

Debbie Maranger ’81 Menk  – Assistant Director of Sustainability & Economic Development Strategies at the Center for Automotive Research

Marty Smith ’75 – Vice President, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.

Dick Tyson ’72 – Economics Professor and Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin-Stout (retired)

Lorna Curtis ’72 Barnes – U.S. Dept. of Labor Information Technology and private industry

James Frances ’70 – Senior Investment Policy Officer and Economist, State Board of Administration of Florida (SBA)

Richard Schiming ’69 – Professor of Economics, Minnesota State University

Howard W. Lacey ’58 – Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus at Concordia University Texas in Austin

Econ Alumnus Teaches at Alma Mater

Bob SchmidtRobert Schmidt ’06 has been sharing his economic savvy with principles of economics students for the past two summers.

Professor Schmidt says the best memories have to be the first time the class or an individual grasps an economic concept.

“There’s nothing quite like knowing you’ve shown someone a new idea or way of thinking that they can use for the rest of their life,” Professor Schmidt says. “The economic way of thinking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but seeing the class understand a new thought process is quite memorable. The biggest difficulty lies in the bridge between my understanding of economics and the students’ view of economic issues. I’ve spent years formulating my way of thinking and some things come naturally to me. Trying to place myself in their shoes to make sure they understand economics can be challenging, but rather enjoyable.”

Professor Schmidt has also learned how difficult teaching can be.

“I’ve given plenty of lengthy presentations and answered questions from professionals and academics, but the inquisitive (and sometimes wandering) mind of a student really does keep me on my toes,” he says.

Professor Schmidt says that teaching at Valpo has increased his belief in the importance of economics in higher education. “Understanding economic concepts is critical for anyone, especially those working in government, business, and education.

“Again, the most enjoyable moments are those when either an individual or a whole class snaps into understanding a complex idea.”

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