Over winter break, five economics students, along with faculty members Dr. Cassandra Copeland and Dr. Peter Kower, attended the annual conference of the American Economic Association. The national conference, primarily attended by professionals and graduate students, was held in Atlanta January 4-6 and featured panels, job fairs, and other networking opportunities.
Student attendees included economics majors Fatima-Ezzahra Boumahdi, Elizabeth (Addison) Furst, Mason Rodericks, and Parish Studebaker, and economics minor Kathryn Thompson. Dennis Kelly, Dean of Oglethorpe’s Hammack School of Business, provided financial support for the students’ registration and transportation fees.
A highlight of the meeting was a panel discussion with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and former chairs Dr. Janet Yellen and Dr. Ben Bernanke. Their discussion, focused on the current practice and future of monetary policy and the role of the Federal Reserve, made national news.
For students, the experience provided valuable insight into the discipline and gave them additional resources for future education and career goals.
“This conference was invaluable in helping me clarify my graduate school thoughts,” said Rodericks. “I attended a session on preparing for graduate school. It helped me confirm what I need to be focusing on and really gave a clearer picture for where my course priorities should lie.”
He added, “I also very much enjoyed a session I attended which was focused on common pool resources—specifically, one presentation regarding the effect refugees have on the extraction of resources in developing countries in Africa. The paper and presenter gave me a clearer picture of what research in economics can and should be and the types of important topics that are being advanced as a result.”
“I was overwhelmed by how enthusiastic and engaged the students were during the conference,” said Dr. Copeland. “I was so proud of all of them for seeking out sessions of particular interest to them and asking interesting questions.”