Hello! Hope you’ve had a wonderful summer and early fall. We’re back at full-speed, enjoying the teaching and research activities that so well characterize our ever-more vibrant department. I’ve been eager to write, and happy that I now have the chance to tell you of many new initiatives that we’ve launched since I last reached out last Spring.
Teaching is of course our core mission, and our success in this area is a source of tremendous departmental pride. I am delighted to report that we have brought on a new Director for Undergraduate Programs in Economics, Dr. Jason Dunick, under whose leadership we are confident our major will continue to grow and thrive. Dr. Dunick enters a department where innovative teaching is a long-standing tradition. For example, Professor Kevin McCabe teaches the economics of the Metaverse, entirely using Virtual World technology. The students love it, so much so that Professor McCabe has now begun teaching a summer workshop in this area. Another outstanding example are the extraordinary internet-based courses offered by Professors Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok through their Marginal Revolution University. If you haven’t yet had a chance, please do take a moment to check these out [please insert link to MRU here]. This may be the future of education, and the future may be here!
MRU is just one of the many important ways that our teaching extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. We also offer regular Community Forums, where selected economics department faculty offer lectures – free and open to the public - on topics of general interest to the local community. Also, we have recently initiated a new series which we call “Points of View”, an open debate among Mason scholars that focuses on topics of contemporary policy relevance. Moreover, we have also begun running high-school and undergraduate summer workshops in economics. For those who might be interested, I encourage you please to visit economicsknowledge.com. We were thrilled to welcome nearly two-dozen undergraduates from Shanghai to George Mason University during June and July of 2012. We had a great time teaching them in our international program, and they seemed to very much enjoy the learning experience! All of these educational activities, it should be noted, are excellently organized by Ms. Dafina Mulaj, our talented Development and Special Programs Coordinator. Many thanks Dafina!
Our faculty members are not only wonderful teachers, but also exceptional research scholars. Indeed, I am delighted to report that our excellence has yet again been publicly recognized: our own David Levy has been named a Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society. The HES bestows this honor only on those who have contributed a lifetime of study to the history of economics. It is not awarded every year, and we are tremendously proud of David for having brought this honor to our department. Congratulations David!
So many good things are happening at George Mason Economics! We’ll keep on doing what we’re doing, and strive to do even more and even better. I look forward to reporting back to you again in the Spring.
My warmest wishes that you and yours enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!
I remain cordially yours,
Daniel Houser, Chairman