Director of Industrial Development, Economic Development Department, City of Auburn
Economics Ph.D. Student, Vanderbilt University
I began at Auburn as a Quantitative Economics major, not fully understanding what it actually meant to be an Economist. But, the Econ professors at Auburn encouraged and challenged each of us with in-depth discussions about all aspects of economics. We were taught to analyze, ask thoughtful questions, and use mathematics to interpret results. As a result, I have learned more than I ever anticipated. The professors helped to spark my real fascination with economics and have encouraged me to continue my education by entering the economics PhD program at Vanderbilt. While the Quantitative Economics program was challenging, I feel confident that it gave me the tools for success in the future. War Eagle!
Law Student, University of Mississippi
I am from Decatur, Alabama, and graduated with a degree in Quantitative Economics in May of 2019. During my time at Auburn, I served as the Student Government Association Vice President. I am currently pursuing a Juris Doctorate at the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Through my studies I gained an appreciation for the analytical aspects that uphold the social sciences. My degree challenged me to study the inner workings of human behavior, while simultaneously giving me real world experiences in problem solving. The variety of courses offered in the quantitative track allowed me to pursue my interests in mathematics, law, and society. I am confident that Auburn’s Economics Department has prepared me to think critically about the world around me as I begin to establish my career in the legal profession.
Economics Ph.D. Student, University of Colorado Boulder
Entering my undergraduate studies, I quickly decided that the Quantitative Economics major was right for me. The ability to predict human behavior with mathematical models intrigued me, and I began to schedule courses that would prepare me for graduate studies in Economics. For those interested in graduate school, I can not emphasize enough the importance of a rigorous mathematics background, and the quantitative track provided exactly that. Throughout my time at Auburn, the department's faculty guided me a direction that prepared me for graduate-level coursework and provided research opportunities that were invaluable for my acceptance into a graduate program.
Partnerships Project Manager, Wolfram Research
Troy Ferguson (Prattville- AL) currently works at Wolfram Research as a Partnerships Project Manager. While attending Auburn University he won Tigercage, a business plan competition, and formed his own startup that attempted to garner government clients. His studies gave him the theoretical underpinnings to work with machine learning models. Outside of the classroom, he was very active in on-campus involvement for students of all backgrounds.
"Auburn’s quantitative economics program is effectively a STEM program housed within the College of Liberal Arts yet fulfills the goals of an arts education more than any other program on campus. With the Bachelor of Science program, one can expect to be trained in both the communicative and quantitative skills necessary for economic analysis or comprehending any topic in social science. This program gives you an excellent base to further cultivate your own knowledge in diverse fields like data science, artificial intelligence, policy analysis, statistics, politics, finance, law and business.
I was drawn to the program because of the friendliness of the professors and the desire to become literate in the world around me. Through lectures, career advice and tailored feedback, the department provided me with the knowledge necessary to excel in interviews with several companies and organizations leading me to a job I deeply enjoy directly working with well-known companies in the technology sector. Being able to actually understand biases and assumptions in data and models is crucial in an era when ambiguous data is being used more and more as the underpinnings for critical decisions. Auburn’s Economics Department deeply engrains this heavily valued skill.”
Financial Consultant, Management Solutions
Like many students, I came to Auburn uncertain about what I saw myself doing after graduation. One thing that attracted me to the study of economics was the potential to acquire a versatile skill set. The economics curriculum cultivates your ability to think critically and problem solve, assets that are invaluable in all career fields. The quantitative track and courses like Econometrics especially prepared me for the highly analytical and data-oriented aspects of my current role in financial consulting. Studying economics has also changed the way I process information and approach daily life, always “thinking like an economist” with efficiency in mind.
What really distinguishes this department is the faculty, whose passion for the field create an interesting and enjoyable learning environment. I greatly appreciate my professors for taking a real interest in their students, offering mentorship, and providing a challenging yet supportive atmosphere that continuously engaged my intellectual curiosity.
Law Student, Harvard University
Jeremy Newman (Ridgewood, NJ) graduated with a double major in Economics (primary track) and Political Science in May of 2019. At Auburn, Jeremy served as President of his fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, as Opinions Editor of The Auburn Plainsman, and on the SGA’s Lobby Board. He is pursuing a Juris Doctorate at Harvard Law School.
"The study of economics has formed an invaluable base for my continuing education, and I credit this to the commitment, knowledge and zeal of the Auburn department in their instruction. Delving into the mathematical principles and models of economics and their qualitative and contemporary application helped develop my analytical and research skills while also showing the connection of the economics discipline to many sectors of academic thought. Working closely with Dr. Seals in Econometrics, I was giving the freedom and encouragement to explore novel and historical ideas for my research project, along with the necessary support to ensure I learned and applied the correct economics to produce a paper I was proud of. As I begin my pursuit of a J.D., I feel confident that the Auburn Economics Department has set me on a path for success."
Law Student, William & Mary Law School
Daniel Bruce graduated from Auburn in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He is currently studying law at The College of William and Mary School of Law.
I decided to pursue an Economics degree in addition to Political Science originally as a fallback. Economics was a subject that interested me, and I figured that if law school did not work out, I could always get a corporate job doing economic analysis. However, my economics education prepared me more for law school than I ever imagined. The coursework was demanding and challenged me to develop my critical thinking and problem-solving skills. My professors were brilliant and encouraged me to not only become a better student but also a more engaged citizen. They instilled in me an ability to analyze human behavior from multiple points of view, as well as a love of researching topics of national importance. I am confident that my economics education prepared me well to face the challenges of law school and make an impact in the broader legal community upon graduation.
Medical Student, UAB School of Medicine
Economics, Biomedical Sciences Double Major 2019
When I first came to Auburn, I had no plans of pursuing an economics degree. I took a few economics classes because I enjoyed the subject and wanted a break from the pre-medicine track that I was on. As I took more economics classes, I decided to minor in it, and eventually majored in it because of how much I enjoyed the faculty. My economics professors, especially Dr. Seals, were instrumental in my success at Auburn University. Although I will be moving on to pursuing a medical degree at UAB, my time in the economics department not only made me more competitive during the application process but also prepared me for a completely different aspect of life outside of medicine. I know that my economics degree will continue to be a large part of my future. As Dr. Seals first said when he found out I was a pre-med student seeking an economics degree, “So, you not only want to be a doctor but be a rich doctor.”
Advanced Infrastructure Systems M.S. Student, Carnegie Mellon University
I always had an interest in understanding how systems operate from a basal level, whether that system involved human decision making or mechanistic processes. I chose to major in economics to better arm myself with the tools to analyze and understand the behavior of systems in the world around me. With the help of prescient guidance from certain faculty, I eventually narrowed my focus to quantitative economics, and finally, my independent interests lead me to specialize in the economics of infrastructure systems and transportation. The quantitative underpinnings and applied econometric analysis offered through the curriculum, as well as the excellent guidance from the economics faculty prepared me superbly for my admission, research, and study at Carnegie Mellon. Furthermore, as an economics specialist in an environment almost exclusively populated by engineers, I have the opportunity to innovate with novel, valuable, and effective outside perspectives and undertake research only available to me due to my unique skillset developed from majoring in economics at Auburn University. Overall, the demanding curriculum, hands-on approach, and invaluable guidance from the economics faculty combine to foster the creation of a toolset second to none for application in graduate school and the workforce.
Director of Industrial Development, Economic Development Department, City of Auburn
Little did I know when I decided to attend Auburn University and chose to major in economics that the program would play a key role in my academic and professional development. The economic classes I took challenged me to think critically, seek out pertinent and factual information, creatively apply data to solve problems, and always consider the flip side of the coin. The developmental challenges proposed in the classroom were not a result of a well-written textbook, but rather the outcome of engaged, brilliant, and hardworking professors. I was consistently pushed to be the best student I could be from past and present professors while receiving the support and tools I needed to realize success. With small class sizes, thought-provoking courses, and dedicated professors I believe that the economics program is one of the very best that Auburn has to offer.
Actuarial Analyst, Mercer
Gannon Padgett (Birmingham, AL) graduated with a degree in quantitative economics in 2018. During his time at Auburn, he spent his time as the Video Editor at The Auburn Plainsman and served as the president of the Auburn Film Club. He now works in New York City for Mercer as an actuarial analyst.
"When I came to Auburn, I wasn't sure what major I wanted to pursue. I knew I wanted to learn about mathematics, but I also wanted something more applied to real world issues. Quantitative Economics was the perfect fit for me, and the faculty at Auburn really helped me pursue that goal. Dr. Seals, Dr. Beard, Dr. Stern, and Dr. Vickers to name a few were particularly important in my development. One of my favorite classes (and most challenging) was econometrics, which is a class at the cornerstone of statistical analysis and economic theory. I am excited to take what I have learned in that class and at Auburn in general into my career as a consulting actuary. War eagle!"
Product Modeling Analyst, GEICO
George Miller graduated from Auburn in 2017 with a degree in Economics. At Auburn, he performed research for the Statistical Consulting Center and Economics Department and coached youth soccer. He works as a product modeling analyst for GEICO in Washington, DC. As a product modeling analyst, he generates insurance models using big data and researches the impact of policy changes.
“In my econometrics course, I not only learned advanced analytic techniques. I also learned how to vocalize my findings in ways that people lacking technical backgrounds can understand. I would not have made it to where I am without the Economics Department. The economics professors at Auburn are more than willing to offer assistance and guidance. I never expected to get to know my professors so well."
Research Assistant, American Enterprise Institute
RJ Martin is a research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy research firm in Washington, DC. His writing on education policy issues has been published in outlets such as the Washington Examiner, National Review, and The Hill. Before graduating from Auburn in 2017, he interned for Senator Tim Scott and Speaker Paul Ryan. He was also a 2016 nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship.
"The Auburn Economics program opened my mind to new ways of thinking about the world. The micro and macroeconomics courses provided an invaluable framework for understanding the role of public policy, while classes such as the Econometrics Stata Lab gave me a top-notch quantitative toolkit. In addition, working for three years as a research assistant in the Economics Department was invaluable preparation for my current job. So many of the skills I use now—from data analysis to synthesizing existing research to conceptualizing new research possibilities—I learned as a research assistant at Auburn. Along with undergraduate internships, I can't think of more valuable training for my career than what I had at Auburn as an economics student.”
Law Student, University of Chicago
Sam Goldstein (Atlanta, GA) graduated from Auburn with a degree in quantitative economics in May of 2017. He is pursuing a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago and has found his time within the department invaluable.
"I credit many of the skills I acquired in college to my major. I came into school undecided, but decided on economics after taking my first microeconomics course my freshman year. My teacher challenged me to engage in a higher level of critical thinking than most first year courses, taking textbook material one additional step through application to current and past economic events. As I progressed, I found this wasn't an isolated occasion but rather common among courses in the department. Classes were designed to teach you concrete skills while you learned the material. One outstanding example is my econometrics course, which taught me to perform the same kind of literary research I will conduct in the legal field. My professors were not only invested in my learning of the subject at hand, but also in my happiness and future success. Teachers were approachable inside and outside of the classroom to discuss everything from course material to internship opportunists. I gained experience using my skills in a real-world environment through academic research under Dr. Alan Seals, one of many faculty members encouraging students to work with them directly. I even had several professors take the time to learn my name and interests despite never being my class instructor. I can't say that you get that level of commitment to students in every department."
Financial Analyst, O'Neal Steel, Inc.
Financial Analyst, O’Neal Steel, Inc.
Brice Bishop (Birmingham, AL) graduated with a degree in Economics in 2017. While at Auburn, Brice held various leadership roles within his fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi, including acting as Social Chair and Recruiting Chair.
He also worked at BB&T as a part-time teller, and eventual banker, outside of his classes. Upon graduation, Bryce interviewed at O’Neal Steel for a business intelligence analyst role with his econometrics predictive modeling paper in hand. While Brice received an email a week later stating that he did not get the job (only because of his lack of experience with Power BI), he was told that the company was so impressed by his econometrics paper that they passed his resume on to the accounting team, which was currently looking for a financial analyst.
Today, Brice uses predictive modeling daily so that O’Neal Steel can be prepared for future sales or cost fluctuations.
Director of Clinic Operations, MainStreet Family Urgent Care
Kate graduated from Auburn University in May 2017 with a dual degree in Industrial & System Engineering and Economics. She now works as Director of Clinic Operations for MainStreet Family Urgent Care, one of the largest urgent care companies in the state of Alabama. “I was wrapping up four years in Auburn’s engineering program when I decided that my college education was not complete. Although I greatly benefitted from my engineering studies, I felt that I was missing a certain level of “big picture” thinking. By adding an economics major, I was looking for ways to apply the rigorous statistics and mathematics coursework I had completed to subject matter that I felt more profoundly interested in. I found the economics department at Auburn to be everything I could have dreamed of. The small staff size and number of students meant that you were able to develop relationships with your professors that you could not in other programs or schools. Their attitudes, which reflected their genuine passion for the subject matter and interest in their students, made classes both effective and enjoyable. Upon graduation, I pursued a career in business operations. Now, as Director of Clinic Operations for an urgent care company, I manage 16 urgent care clinics throughout the state of Alabama. I am thankful for the economics department at Auburn for the skills it afforded me.”
Law Student, University of Chicago Law School
Savannah Silver (Huntsville, AL) graduated from Auburn University in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics (quantitative track). At Auburn, she was a Student Government Association Senator for the College of Liberal Arts and the Director of City Relations. She received the City of Auburn’s “Honorable Citizen Award” and spoke at the University’s 2015 freshman convocation. She is currently a law student at the University of Chicago Law School, where she is involved with the Federalist Society and the Christian Legal Society. At Auburn, she took Dr. Vickers’s “Law and Economics” class, which teaches students about Judge Richard Posner’s economics-based approach to the law. The class inspired her to apply to the University of Chicago Law School (where Judge Posner has taught for many years). Savannah believes her rigorous, quantitative-track economics degree from Auburn is what made her application stand out to the University of Chicago. After law school, Savannah will clerk for Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Law Student, Cornell University
David Dowling graduated from Auburn University in December of 2016 with a BS in economics. During his time at Auburn, he served as the Vice President of Auburn University Mock Trial and as the Chief Justice of the SGA Judicial Branch. David worked with Dr. Alan Seals for six semesters assisting with his research experiments, and helped write the appendix for one of Dr. Seals’ papers. David is currently a student at Cornell Law School, and plans to work in corporate law after graduation.
“I knew I wanted to major in economics before I came to Auburn as a freshman, and that decision was cemented when I met Dr. Stern, the department head, at an admitted students day. He encouraged me to pursue economics as a foundation for law school, and it has benefitted me immensely. I’ve always been attracted to the logical framework of economics—it’s rationale for the movements of markets and societies, with the ability to prove the theories mathematically. Dr. Vickers’ class, Law and Economics, showed me some of the ways my two great interests can come together, and how economic reasoning can help agents make the best choices in deciding matters of law. I encourage all future economics students to take a class with Dr. Seals and Dr. Vickers if they have not already retired to their respective private islands by the time you matriculate. The economic research I conducted with Dr. Seals has been the single best thing I did for my academic career at Auburn, and I would advise any student who is serious about learning and improving their future job marketability to get involved with a professor conducting research.”
Junior Associate, Anzalone Liszt Grove Research
Dana Trentalange (Tampa, FL) graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in economics in 2015 and went on to earn a Graduate Foundations certificate in political science from Columbia University. At Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, she is responsible for creating messages for testing, analyzing self and opposition research, guiding strategic messaging, and targeting recommendations for Democratic candidates, non-profits, unions, and advocacy groups across the nation. As a junior pollster, she assists partners connect clients’ big ideas with tangible, strategic, and effective campaign, policy, and media plans. In previous positions she served as a regional field organizer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in Alabama, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. As an RFO, she assisted in the development of state-and-countywide volunteer training, engaged with traditionally underserved communities to promote Senator Sanders at major political rallies, and triaged individual volunteer requests at several campaign offices. Dana currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Law Student, Stanford University
Larry Liu graduated from Auburn in May 2015 with degrees in chemical engineering and economics (quantitative track). He worked as an engineer for ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Baytown, TX, as a run engineer for the polypropylene pilot plant, where he guided day-to-day operations and identified long-term improvements for the pilot plant. His economics education has been invaluable. His work often required the use of regression in modelling and statistics to understand experimental data, such as the development of models to understand the response of product properties to varying process conditions. More generally, an economics education has helped give Larry insights about the business and has informed his more particular understanding about oil and gas markets. As a student, Larry also found that the study of economics improved his quantitative skills in engineering, and vice versa, e.g. in identifying common themes in the study of the dynamics of macroeconomic phenomena and the study of process control in engineering.
Valuation Associate, Commercial Real Estate Agency
I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Economics and am currently working as a Valuation Associate for CBRE in Richmond, Virginia. As an economics student at Auburn I developed strong skills in problem solving and critical thinking. I focused my econometric study on the impact hydraulic fracing has on nearby property values. My fascination with my econometric report along with a prior internship as a Multifamily Analyst at a commercial real estate practice in Washington, D.C. led me to my position as a Valuation Associate at CBRE. As a Valuation Associate, I assist in the preparation of detailed written commercial real estate appraisal reports. Each report involves an in depth study of the market and submarket area, a detailed analysis of recent comparable sales to derive value, and an analysis of operating history to forecast future performance. When necessary, I am able to utilize the Argus software to prepare detailed a cash flow analysis. I am also constantly in contact with investment sales brokers, mortgage brokers, commercial property managers, and other real estate representatives to continually understand a constantly changing market.
My undergraduate economics studies at Auburn were not only crucial during the job-hiring process, but have continued to be applicable and valuable as I have transitioned into the real world. My studies, however, did not end at my undergraduate graduation in May of 2015 as I am now working towards my General Appraisal licensure via the Appraisal Institute. As of March 2016, I have successfully completed the Basic Principles, Basic Procedures, Income Capitalization I, and Income Capitalization II courses as the first four of the ten classes required for licensure. All in all, I am pleased with my current position as a young professional and owe much of my success to my time at Auburn University.
Attorney, Houston, Texas
Guy Bily graduated from Auburn University in May 2015. Immediately after graduation, he worked an office job for a construction company. In this role, he estimated (budgeting, calculating, & purchasing all construction material required for a new home by analyzing architectural and engineering plans) and permitted new home construction in Houston, Texas. His economics education was extremely helpful in these endeavors. After a year, he decided to attend law school at South Texas College of Law – Houston. Bily graduated in 2019 and passed the Texas bar exam on his first attempt. Now actively practicing law in the Houston area, his economics education has proved itself to be valuable in yet another completely different field. Approaching legal problems from an economic lens, depending on the client and situation, has proven to be extremely effective in reducing legal fees and expediting the legal process. More generally, Bily looks back fondly at his time in the economics department at Auburn. Despite not being an economist, in every endeavor in his professional life, his economics education has come in handy. He feels well prepared for the future, whatever it may bring.
Law Student, University of Texas at Austin
Eleanor Hudson (Nashville, TN) graduated from Auburn University in May 2015 with a BS in Economics and a BA in Political Science. At Auburn, she was the president of the College of Liberal Arts Student Eminent Society and a member of the Economics Club. Eleanor was also a research assistant for Dr. Alan Seals in the Department of Economics. She moved to Washington, DC, in August where she works at the Federal Trade Commission in the Bureau of Competition. At the FTC, she works with anti-trust attorneys and economists who investigate mergers for anti-trust and anti-competitive concerns.
"I decided to become an Economics major after taking Honors Principles of Micro and Honors Principles of Macro during my sophomore year. Being an Economics major at Auburn taught me how to think analytically and objectively, and how to evaluate the cost of individual and social choices. The students in the economics department are driven and focused, and the small class sizes made it possible to discuss complex problems and explore economic issues more deeply. I had the privilege of learning from engaging and dedicated professors who took the study of economics outside of the classroom, and challenged me to think about everyday social problems in economic terms. My education has led me to an interesting and rewarding job in a combination of law and economics practice and research."
Financial Planning Analyst, Americas Styrenics LLC
Haley McConnell (Hazel Green, Alabama) graduated from Auburn University in May of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Business. During her time at Auburn University, Haley co-led the economics club and worked in the accounting and finance department at the Auburn University Hotel. After graduating from Auburn, she began working full-time as a budget analyst and auditor. Currently Haley works in Houston, Texas as a financial planning analyst for Americas Styrenics, a joint venture company owned by Chevron Chemical and Trinseo. There Haley develops strategic statistical business analyses to increase profit margins and company efficiency. She researches economic trends between international manufacturing and trade, monitors performance, and analyzes causes of unexpected variances. She consistently uses her economics degree in the development of models and analytical spreadsheets for company review. In addition, she plans to further her education by pursing a master of business administration degree in the coming year.
“My sophomore year I took my first microeconomics class with Dr. Seals, and I fell in love with economics. At the time, I could not understand majoring in economics if I wasn’t going into politics or law. But I met with Dr. Seals, and he explained the many career options for economics majors. Economics has given me an edge in my career because it has given me many tools to excel in the financial world. The analytical framework of economics taught me critical thinking and analytical skills. The small class sizes helped me get to know my professors and fellow peers, and even years after graduation, Professor Finck wrote a recommendation for the job I have now. My education has propelled me forward in my career and given me an opportunity at a rewarding job that I love. I owe much of my success to my time at Auburn University and the Economics Department.”
2L J.D. Candidate, Pennsylvania State University School of Law
"Currently, I am a 2L J.D. Candidate at the Pennsylvania State University School of Law. This summer I will be working in Washington, D.C. for the American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging. My time with the ABA will consist of legal research geared toward legislative policy issues and possible publication in their annual journal. Upon graduation, I hope to work for a government agency or practice law in the private sector of Washington, D.C. The Auburn experience, especially studying in the Economics Department, was crucial in my preparation for the rigors of law school. The Auburn's Economics department challenges their students to excel in the classroom environment and is comprised of a tight-knit community which easily provides students the valuable opportunity to the seek help and guidance from willing professors. Whether it's receiving one-on-one help with a particular subject from a professor on a weekday afternoon, or enjoying pizza and discussing summer internships or career advice from your favorite teacher during our Economics Club meetings at Little Italy Pizzeria, the facility is accessible and always there to elevate their students to the next level. War Eagle."
Derivatives Trader, Akuna Capital
Nicholas Romero graduated from Auburn University in May 2013 with dual degrees in Economics and Mathematics. After graduating from Auburn, he spent the next two years in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a Master's degree in Economics. He now works in Chicago as a Derivatives Trader for Akuna Capital where he trades options on the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 Indices.
"The Auburn economics program is unique in that it prepares students exceptionally well for all career paths following graduation. I've seen my colleagues go on to be successful in all fields, including law school, PhD programs, and the financial industry like myself. This exceptional preparation derives from two qualities of the department - the dedication to pushing students to succeed and the department's focus on a well-rounded curriculum. Throughout my time at Auburn, multiple professors encouraged me to get the most of out of my education through undergraduate research, graduate level classes, and economic theory discussions. This not only helped me develop my economic intuition, but also allowed me to master the mathematical tools necessary to survive in today's job market. I would highly recommend the Economics Department to any incoming student that wants to get the most out of his or her Auburn education."
Advisory Associate, PwC Consulting
Associate in PwC's Advisory practice consulting on digital, cloud transformation, and technology strategy for industrial products & services, energy, and automotive companies.
Ken graduated Auburn in May 2012, with a BS in Economics and History. His decision to major in Economics was two-fold. First, the curriculum provided a fascinating yet challenging view into the difficulties facing the every-day workforce. Second, was the quality of professors that took the time to arm their students with the necessary tools to be successful in any working situation. During his tenure, Ken became an active member in the Auburn Economics Club, where he developed a fond appreciation for his fellow students and professors. He especially enjoyed taking what was being learned in the classroom and applying those competences to deduct working solutions. Upon graduating Auburn, Ken went on to work for Jones Lang LaSalle in Dallas and then PwC in New York City, where he currently serves as a Consultant in their Advisory practice, focusing on cloud and technology strategy for industrial services and energy companies.
“The Economics program at Auburn has helped me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I developed an effective mixture of qualitative and quantitative skills that has propelled me forward in my professional career.”
Real Estate Manager, DistributionNOW
Alexandra decided to major in economics after taking one of Dr. Ault's classes, International Economics. Dr. Ault convinced her to change her major with the promise that she would get a first class education. In addition to getting a first class education, she made lasting friendships, and had influential professors that she continues to quote today. She frequently quotes Dr. Ault's infamous saying, "Being informed just raises your blood pressure." Her favorite classes were Dr. Ault's Public Choice, Dr. Beard's Industrial Organization, and Dr. Seal's Econometrics. All of these professors encouraged thought, hard work, and gave continuous support. She especially enjoyed being involved in the Economics Club and has fond memories of the meetings at Little Italy. Being an economics major was worth every hour she spent where all hope goes to die, the Haley Center basement. She is grateful for Dr. Ault taking the time to explain the value of a major in economics. Alexandra is currently the real estate manager for a distribution company in Houston, Texas, managing approximately 350 properties globally.
Performance and Strategy Manager, Exponential
I was born and raised in Pelham, Alabama and attended Auburn from 2008-2012. My sophomore year, I decided to pursue a bachelor's degree in economics. My decision to do so was two-fold: a degree in economics provided me with valuable quantitative and qualitative skills applicable to the widest range of industries, and it also introduced to me a new way of perceiving the world we live in and the incentives that explain why people behave the way they do. I was an active member in the Auburn Economics Club as well as university intramurals and the Jewish Student Organization. Upon graduating from Auburn, I was accepted to and enrolled in the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill's PhD program in Economics. It was there that I continued learning more about the theory and practice of economics, conducted research on criminal behavior, worked as a graduate teaching assistant, participated in intramurals, and even found time to host weekly trivia at a local student bar. Over the course of my first two years at UNC, my focus shifted away from academia and more toward real world applications of the skills I had acquired. I left in 2014 with a MS in economics and moved to Baltimore to take a job for a digital advertising company called Exponential. As a Performance and Strategy Manager, I oversee and manage digital advertising campaigns, perform analytics for ongoing campaigns, and consult with advertisers to help them achieve their campaign goals.
Greg Gilbert came to Auburn University in 2008 from his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. After his first two years at Auburn, Greg declared his major in economics, becoming fascinated with the curriculum following his completion of the intermediate micro coursework. Finding the challenge of the major compelling, he became engrossed in the experience, spending the final two years of college completing his studies and becoming involved in the department through the Economics Club where he build lasting friendships and connections. After completing his bachelors degree in economics in 2012, Greg was hired by Matrix L.L.C., an established management consulting firm with offices in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Atlanta. Matrix specializes in developing strategic research and enhancing decision-making for their clients in both the private and public sector throughout the southeast. As an associate consultant, Greg brought the critical-thinking and analysis skills developed from his economics curriculum to the team at Matrix, becoming a valued part of their problem solving team. After one year in the private sector, Greg left Matrix to return to Auburn to pursue his Masters degree in economics. During his graduate curriculum, Greg was a graduate teaching assistant for Professor Alex Richter, instructing a supplementary instruction course for Dr. Richter's intermediate macro course. After completing his coursework in the summer of 2015, Greg was invited to be a graduate instructor, teaching two sections of the principles of macro course during his last summer semester. Greg received his masters degree in August, 2015. He now resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where he has returned to Matrix and is currently leading the development of new and effective research methods, incorporating experimental design to study consumer behavior and revealed preferences.
"My time in the economics program at Auburn has been invaluable in helping me become the man I am today. The biggest asset of the department is the passion the faculty have for their students. You can feel that they want to do everything they can to help you succeed and grow as a student." "They teach you the most important thing you could learn in college: they teach you how to THINK! The most important skill anyone can get from college is the ability to see through the fog and approach any problem with confidence and drive. This is what I learned from my time in the econ program at Auburn."
Economics PhD student, Columbia University
Danna Thomas graduated from Auburn in May 2012 with a B.S. Mathematics and a B.S. Economics. She currently is a fourth year Economics PhD student at Columbia University. Her primary interests are in Public Finance and Industrial Organization. Her current research focuses on recreational marijuana markets though she wishes to clarify that this does not field research as some may assume.
"Auburn Economics is a great program for those with graduate and professional school aspirations. First, the undergraduate program is flexible, enabling students to take classes in other academic areas that are helpful in MA/PhD programs. I was able to get a degree in mathematics concurrent to my degree in economics. Secondly, the professors are knowledgeable and are willing to take the time to mentor undergraduates. Their encouragement was an important factor in my decision to apply to more selective graduate programs. Most importantly, the professors emphasize building economic intuition and logical thinking, not just technical proficiency, which makes AU Econ uniquely positioned to educate not only fledgling economists but also students that wish to study law, public policy, business, etc. This emphasis on "thinking like an economist" is what I feel prepared me most for graduate school."
Blair Druhan Bullock
Judicial Law Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Blair Druhan Bullock graduated with a B.S. in Economics from Auburn University in May 2009. While at Auburn, Blair was inspired by the way her economics professors explained and analyzed problems. Following graduation, Blair entered Vanderbilt's Ph.D. in Law and Economics program. Vanderbilt's joint degree program allowed Blair to follow in her professors' footsteps, while also pursuing her childhood dream of attending law school. Blair was the Executive Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review, and her student publication was recognized nationally with a Burton Award. Blair graduated with her J.D. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in May 2015. Her dissertation explores the role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in enforcing employment discrimination laws by empirically analyzing a dataset of all discrimination charges filed with the agency. Blair is currently a judicial law clerk for Judge Stephen A. Higginson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Law Student, University of Virginia
When I came to Auburn as a freshman I was an engineering major. However, after taking my first course in the economics department, Dr. Michael Stern's Principles of Macroeconomics, I transferred into the economics department. I wanted a program with scientific rigor that focused on issues that interested me. Through the economics curriculum, I was able to study policy issues that interested me and learn mathematical tools to evaluate and critique different policies. Unlike many other majors which focus on rote memorization, the economics curriculum focuses on teaching analytical tools and problem solving. At the end of my last year at Auburn, I had offers from a number of law schools and graduate programs in economics. I ultimately chose to go to law school at the University of Virginia. I have found that my undergraduate experience has been particularly valuable to my success in law school. Economics touches every class from contracts to torts to criminal law. In my papers and on my exams, I am able to rely on my economics background and explain legal rules using economic tools such as cost benefit analysis.
Investment Portfolio Analyst, Regions Financial Corporation
Nicholas has worked as a Fixed Income Analyst in the Investment Portfolio Group at Regions Financial for over a year. The group manages ~$24 billion in securities on the bank's balance sheet. Nicholas's focus is on the credit sector, conducting research and surveillance in the CMBS and Corporate Bond space, in addition to providing financial reporting for the Treasury department. Nicholas has worked at Regions for over two years, beginning his career in a rotational program geared towards providing diversified exposure across the different segments of Corporate Finance. Nicholas graduated from Auburn University, Summa Cum Laude, with a B.S. in Economics. At Auburn, Nicholas served as both President of the Economics Club and Vice President of the College of Business. Nicholas was also inducted in Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and several other Honor Societies.
"A degree in Economics from Auburn University provides a different kind of education. While various majors are geared towards specific vocations, Economics enables you with a multitude of choices. Whether you choose to pursue graduate school or a career in the public or private sector, the most powerful skill set gained from this degree is the ability to think critically. One aspect of my job requires following and understanding the financial markets. In order to fully begin how to comprehend everything happening in the world, you must first understand cause and effect with respect to market forces at play. The principles and foundations you learn in both your micro and macro classes are, in my opinion, the most applicable concepts one can choose to exercise in the real world. Technical skills can easily be learned on the job if one has been taught the ability to think critically. Learning should never simply be constrained to any single curriculum. Instead, at Auburn, the Economics department places the emphasis on the development of the students, and the relationships formed transcend the concrete limitations of a single classroom. As an "econ" major, and equipped with a dedicated faculty that serve as an invaluable resource at your disposal, remember to ask questions, think outside the box, and most importantly, use your brain!"
Research Associate, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
I grew up in a small community north of Florence, Alabama, and graduated high school without a clue about my future. I jumped from major to major during my freshman and sophomore years at Auburn before meeting Dr. Alan Seals. He proved to me that the only path fitting to both my skills and my interests was the economics quantitative track. Through the required math classes, the macro and micro sequences, and econometrics, I developed a toolkit for success in the field of economics. I am now working as a research associate for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. My duties include assisting economists in conducting research and in analyzing current economic trends. I also work with other bank employees to author and coauthor bank publications that range in topic from regional agriculture trends to global saving activity. In completing these tasks, I put to use the statistical software knowledge, econometric techniques, and theoretical concepts taught to me by the Auburn economics faculty.
Looking forward, my time spent with the Auburn economics professors has motivated me to eventually become an economist. While my résumé continues to grow, my economics degree serves as the foundation of an application that I believe will be intriguing to some of the best economics PhD programs in the world.
Assistant Professor of Economics, Hunan University, China
Assistant Professor of Economics, Centre College
Assistant Professor of Economics, St. Lawrence University
Assistant Professor of Economics,
Dr. D. Bharat has joined as an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He received his PhD. in Economics from Auburn University in 2018, and before joining IIT Roorkee he worked as an assistant professor of Economics at Bennett University. Dr. Bharat's research interest is in innovation, human capital, and economic growth.
His research has been published in The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics and Economics Bulletin. He has presented in several conferences like North American Econometric Summer Meeting, Southern Economic Association Conference, and ISI Delhi Conference on Growth and Development.
He has also taught courses on Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Growth and Development, and International Economics.
Ghislain Nono Gueye
Assistant Professor of Economics, Louisiana Tech University
Ghislain Nono Gueye is originally from Côte d'Ivoire (West Africa). After completing his bachelor's degree in economics in Central University in Ghana (West Africa) in 2010, he came to Auburn University for a master's degree in economics in the spring of 2011. Two years later, he transitioned to the department's Ph.D. program and chose International Trade and Financial Economics as his field courses. He published the first chapter of his dissertation in an elite journal before completing his Ph.D. in the summer of 2017. He is currently an assistant professor of economics at Louisiana Tech University and his primary research interests are in time series dynamics and open macroeconomics. He is also very active in the field of data science as he teaches a seminar joined by students and professors.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, College of Wooster
Dr.Jia graduated from Auburn University with the degree of Ph.D in Applied Economics in the Summer of 2017. She is currently working as an visiting assistant professor of economics at the College of Wooster. Her primary research interests include fiscal policy analysis, consumer sentiment, international economics, public finance, and applied econometrics. Lately, she is also working on some economic projects relate to health economics and consumer behavior. So far, she has been teaching undergraduate economics courses for more than 5 years. As a research adviser for senior students in College of Wooster, she guided five economics research papers last year, one of the papers won the “2018 International Paper Prize in Business Economics” (funded by the Henry J. Copeland fund). She has presented her research work in annual conferences of Western Economics Association, Southern Economics Association, Midwest Econometrics Group, etc. She is also the member of National Economics Education Delegation (NEED), American Economics Association, Southern Economics Association, Western Economics Association, and the Investment Club of College of Wooster.
Assistant Professor of Economics, Columbus State University
Received Ph.D. from Auburn University in 2016, Assistant Professor (tenure track), Columbus State University.
Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance, Bryan College
Jonathan Newman earned his PhD in Economics from Auburn in 2016. He is currently Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. He writes for the Mises Institute and the Foundation for Economic Education and has developed online courses for the Foundation for Economic Education. His research interests are methodology, pedagogy, business cycles, and history of economic thought. His most recent publications are "Contemporary Debates on Opportunity Cost Theory and Pedagogy", a chapter in The Economic Theory of Costs: Foundations and New Directions, published by Routledge in 2018, and "A Stock Market Tumble is the Correction We Need", an article at FEE.org and republished by Newsweek and Newsweek Japan.
Associate Professor, University of Houston-Victoria
Nazif Durmaz is an associate professor of economics at University of Houston-Victoria. He received a PhD in applied economics from Auburn University in 2011. He mainly teaches capital markets, business finance, managerial economics, and business and economics statistics. His research interests are in international economics and trade, empirical financial economics, and open economy macroeconomics.
Lecturer, Auburn University
Macy Finck (Louisville, KY) graduated from Auburn University with a PhD in economics in 2007, and has been teaching at Auburn as a graduate assistant, instructor or lecturer since 2001. Macy primarily teaches Economics of Sports and large auditorium sections of Principles of Microeconomics, but also teaches Principles of Macroeconomics and Intermediate Microeconomics on occasion. He also developed and teaches Principles of Microeconomics as a distance learning course. He was awarded the Auburn University Department of Economics Student Teacher of the Year award in 2001 and 2004. He was featured in the Princeton Review Top 300 Professors in 2012 and gave the Auburn University Final Lecture that same year. Macy has also served as the keynote speaker for the Auburn University Ring Ceremony since 2015.
Thomas McQuade earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Monash University (Australia) in 1971 and a Ph.D. in Economics from Auburn in 2000. He is an independent researcher living in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his research interests include the organizational structure of social systems such as markets and science, the interaction of government and science, and the theories of complex adaptive systems and spontaneous social order.
Professor of Economics, American University of Sharjah
Hugo Toledo is Professor of Economics at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He joined AUS in 2001 as an Assistant Professor of Economics, and served as Associate Professor and Department Head from 2006 to 2013. In 2006, he was the recipient of the First Dubai Economic Research Award for his research on the UAE labor market. He has published in journals such as Applied Economics, Review of Development Economics, the International Review of Economics and Finance, the International Trade Journal, the International Journal of Human Resource Management, and the Journal of Economic Studies, among others.
His current research interests look at directional predictability of exchange rates and income redistribution with free trade. He has presented papers at peer-reviewed international conferences in the US, Canada, Spain, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand.
George S. Ford
Chief Economist, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Public Policy Studies
Dr. George S. Ford is the Chief Economist of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Public Policy Studies, an internationally-respected Washington-based non-profit public policy think-tank. Since leaving Auburn University he has worked in both the public and private sectors, including positions at the Federal Communications Commission and multiple private communications providers. Dr. Ford has conducted numerous technical business and economic studies – an effort which has resulted in over sixty academically published academic journal articles, many more unpublished works, and many internal business reports, some of which drove significant investments in telecommunications infrastructure. Dr. Ford has authored over one hundred reports released by the Phoenix Center, and ranks among the top 1% of authors on the Social Science Research Network. In addition to his publication record, Dr. Ford regularly testifies on economic matters in forums such as the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Judges, the Canadian Royalty Board, and numerous state regulatory agencies. Over the years, he has advised governments, both domestic and foreign, consulted to large companies, and delivered academic papers and public addresses at conferences around the world. Dr. Ford is a respected expert in the areas of government regulation, the technology industry, intellectual property, and economic development, advising governments and private parties on issues involving economics, econometrics and business and regulatory strategy.
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Oil and Natural Gas, U.S. Department of Energy
Dr. Paula Gant is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy. As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Gant administers domestic and international oil and gas programs, including policy analysis, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) import and export authorization. Dr. Gant's work at DOE is focused on realizing the promise presented by America's abundant natural gas and oil resources which hinges on prudent production, environmental stewardship and efficient use. The Department of Energy's research efforts seek to deploy the best available science, analysis and technologies to ensure a more secure energy future by leveraging our domestic natural gas and oil resources and protecting our air, land, and communities. Dr. Gant previously worked for the American Gas Association and Duke Energy. She has also served on the faculties of Louisiana State University and the University of Louisville. Paula is a native of Louisiana. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from McNeese State University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Auburn University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her family.
Senior Fellow, Mises Institute
Mark Thornton is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute. He serves as the Book Review Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. His publications include The Economics of Prohibition (1991), Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (2004), The Quotable Mises (2005), The Bastiat Collection (2007), An Essay on Economic Theory (2010), and The Bastiat Reader (2014). Dr. Thornton served as the editor of the Austrian Economics Newsletter and was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Libertarian Studies and several other academic journals. He has served as a member of the graduate faculties of Auburn University and Columbus State University. He has also taught economics at Auburn University at Montgomery and Trinity University in Texas. Mark served as Assistant Superintendent of Banking and economic adviser to Governor Fob James of Alabama (1997-1999), and he was awarded the University Research Award at Columbus State University in 2002. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and received his PhD in economics from Auburn University. In 2014, he debated in opposition to the "War on Drugs" at Oxford Union.
"The Auburn University Economics Department has a tradition of excellence that dates back for more than a century. Like the University's mission, the Department has always had a strong commitment to understanding the world in practical and honest terms. It commitment to teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels has resulted in a steady stream of graduates who are important contributors to state and national--governmental, educational, legal and business institutions. Its faculty and graduates have long been known for their practical research, known as "applied microeconomics." The Department is widely known throughout the world due to the accomplishments of its faculty and students and its association with the Mises Institute, as well as its association with the Colleges of Agriculture and Forestry."
Last Updated: March 28, 2019