Rising senior Fatima-Ezzahra Boumahdi ’21 has been accepted into the highly competitive American Economic Association’s Summer Scholars Program (AEASP), marking the third consecutive year that an Oglethorpe student has been selected.
AEASP is an eight-week program hosted at Michigan State University. The fellowship provides summer development programs to women and minorities majoring in economics, with the goal of increasing participation of underrepresented groups in economics PhD programs. As many as 20% of the PhDs awarded to minorities in economics over the past 20 years are graduates of the program. The AEASP is an all-inclusive package covering tuition, fees, living expenses, transportation, books, and program excursion costs, and includes a stipend.
“Fatima is a great choice for this program based on her strong academic background, her work ethic, and commitment to pursuing a PhD in Economics,” said Dr. Cassandra Copeland, professor of economics. “She is a hardworking student and a leader in our Economics program. She has a desire to investigate issues in economics on a deeper level.”
An Economics major, Boumahdi was first introduced to the program by Dr. Copeland, and credits both her and economics professor Dr. Peter Kower for their guidance, preparation for life after graduation, and encouragement to pursue a PhD.
“Oglethorpe and my classes have given me a fundamental understanding of economics as well as skills that have made me a better student and scholar,” Boumahdi said. “Oglethorpe has also helped me develop my interpersonal skills through its active campus community.”
As the first junior among the Oglethorpe students selected for the program, Boumahdi will have the benefit of returning for her senior year with a greater depth of understanding of topics in the discipline, including a “more advanced look into mathematics behind economic theory.” She also will be uniquely positioned to serve as an onsite resource for future program candidates at Oglethorpe.
An Honors student who consistently earns Dean’s List, Boumahdi is currently developing her Honors thesis on the representation of women and minorities in voter turnout. She also works as an economics tutor in Oglethorpe’s A_LAB, has served as the President of the Oglethorpe University Economics Club for the past two years and Vice President of the Data Analytics Club, and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society in 2019. In 2018, she interned at Ecolink, a metro Atlanta company.
After her time at Oglethorpe, Boumahdi plans to pursue a PhD in Economics and enter a career in academia, where she wants to teach and conduct research.
“I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and what it has in store for me!” Boumhadi said. “It will help prepare me for graduate school and will show me what to expect when it comes to coursework and research.”