GT School of Economics 2021 Year in Review

School of Economics Year in Review

Posted December 20, 2021

2021 was a special year here in the School of Economics — we celebrated the 50th anniversary of our first Bachelor's degrees awarded in 1971!

We began the year by honoring the first three graduates, Phillip Jones, Philip Cheaney, and William "Bill" Thompson, Jr., at our virtual Ivan Allen College Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Happily, we were able to gather together again for some in-person events too. On homecoming weekend, we hosted our annual Alumni Homecoming Tailgate and Board of Advisors for the School of Economics (BASE) meeting. 

We also launched a new Endowment for Excellence in Economics and met our $50,000 matching goal from generous gifts from the SOE community! Then, 2021 gave us more to celebrate with 63 graduating students in the spring and fall Commencement ceremonies. Professor Tibor Besedes was named the next Mary S. and Richard B. Inman, Jr. Professor of Economics and we awarded two new Faculty Excellence Awards to Professor Haizheng Li and Associate Professor Shatakshee Dhongde. 

Economists from around the country shared their work with us through our Fall Seminar Speaker Series, and School Chair Laura Taylor hosted a virtual conversation with Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo. Finally, our faculty shared their own research, insights, and expertise in publications such as Resource Radio, Axios, WSB-TV, WABE, The Indicator, the AJC, Healthcare Purchasing News, WebMD, HealthDay, US News, Cancer Network, Radiology Business, and more.


On our website, the most popular stories from 2021 were: 

  1. First-ever Study on Bicycling in Georgia Shows $496 Million Economic Impact
  2. Olympian, Econ Alumna, and Cancer Survivor Chaunté Lowe Is Using Her Platform for Good
  3. Georgia Tech's School of Economics Celebrates Its Success and 50 Years of Granting Degrees
  4. Belton: Inflation Will Get Worse Before it Gets Better
  5. Congratulations, Graduates! Meet the Spring Class of 2021
  6. Rooftop Solar Increases Electricity Use, Raising Questions for Utilities and Policymakers, Georgia Tech Study Finds
  7. New Study Reveals Racial, Ethnic Disparities in Use of Increasingly Popular Prostate Cancer Test
  8. What was Life Like at Georgia Tech 50 Years Ago?
  9. $50,000 Endowment Celebrates 50 Years of Economics at Tech
  10. Besedes, Dhongde, and Li Receive Mary S. and Richard B. Inman, Jr. Professorship and Faculty Excellence Awards


Our most read featured person profiles were: 

  1. Assistant Professor Karen Yan
  2. Master's student Nupur Kothari
  3. '04 alum Sebastian Urbina
  4. Fifth-year student Denis Schwirtz 
  5. New BASE member Ayo Aladesanmi


And the most clicked research articles were: 

  1. How Hospitals Can Improve Their Public Quality Metrics: A Decision-Theoretic Model
  2. Location Choices of Undocumented Migrants: Does Access to Higher Education Matter?
  3. School of Economics Study Examines Impact of Trade Liberalization on Wage Gap, Work Patterns
  4. Recessions, Unemployment, and Mental Health
  5. Are Fossil Fuel Resources Important for Economic Development?


So, what's next for the School of Economics?

Future milestones include the anniversaries of:

  • The first woman to graduate from the School of Economics (Dale C. Ricker in 1974)
  • The first M.S. in Economics (Vance Stein in 1974) 
  • The first Black student to graduate from the School of Economics (Charles R. Floyd in 1978)
  •  And the first Ph.D. in Economics (Kenneth L. Hamilton in 1979)

Thank you to all of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the School for another fantastic year in the School of Economics! We hope you have a happy holiday season and a healthy and joyful New Year.

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