Every year, the Bryan School makes three awards for excellence in teaching, one each to tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty, and non-tenure track faculty. In May 2016, all three awards went to members of the Economics Department.
Kenneth Snowden received the award for tenured faculty. Ken teaches in both the undergrad and graduate programs. His graduate course in macroeconomics is one option available to students in the MA in Applied Economics program for satisfying the advanced theory requirement for that degree. Ken’s undergraduate course in Money and Economics Activity is a favorite among Bryan School undergrads and includes ongoing assignments for students to track the activities of the Federal Reserve Board and discuss the Fed’s reasoning behind policy decisions.
Ken also has a long tenure as Director of Graduate Studies and was one of the driving forces behind creating the highly successful PhD in Economics program.
Ken’s research interests recently have focused on in-depth studies of the evolution of mortgage banking in the United States. His recent book, Well-Worth Saving: How the New Deal Safeguarded Home Ownership, co-authored with Price Fishback and Jonathan Rose, is worth checking out (University of Chicago Press, 2013).
Dora Gicheva received the award for tenure-track faculty. Dora also teaches in both the undergraduate program and the graduate program. Her graduate courses have included Econometric Methods (an MA core course), Advanced Mathematical Economics (a PhD core course), and Labor Economics. She has offered courses in Principles of Microeconomics, Labor Economics, and a second course in Economics and Business Statistics at the undergraduate level.
Dora’s research interests focus on labor issues — particularly employer-employee relations and the career success of broad groups of workers, such as young professionals or females. In 2015, she was named a Dean and Tracy Priddy Dean’s Notable Scholar by the Bryan School.
The award for teaching excellence by non-tenure-track faculty went to Jeffrey Sarbaum. Jeff is a major contributor to the undergraduate program for both economics majors and Bryan School students in general. He teaches courses in Principles of Microeconomics, Economics of Global Sustainable Society, and International Economy at the undergraduate level and regularly offers a graduate course in The Global Economy for the Master in Liberal Studies program.
Jeff is a UNCG pioneer in the area of online teaching. In 2009, he developed the department’s first fully online course, a version of ECO 201 (Principles of Microeconomics) that required students to play a game and review videos on their way to learning micro principles. His online courses in International Economy and Global Sustainable Society are popular with Bryan School undergrads and sell out quickly each semester.
Most recently, Jeff oversaw the development of a new type of course for the department using the “emporium” method of delivery. This is a hybrid course that uses online videos and text to present information and test students’ understanding of the principles of microeconomics. Students also attend instructional sessions one hour each week at which they can ask questions of an instructor and work together on group assignments to firm up their understanding of each week’s concepts. The emporium model debuted in Spring 2016 and early feedback suggests students like the blend of online and face to face instruction.
Jeff’s research focuses on economics education. An upcoming issue of The Journal of Economics and Finance Education will include two articles he co-authored with Jean Rosales, both discussing ways to provide students with context for economic concepts that helps increase retention of material.