PhD in Economics

Rachael Behr, 2022

Rachael Behr

Describe your dissertation, thesis, or capstone (if you completed one):

My dissertation is on the political economy of COVID-19, focusing on the social, entrepreneurial, and political implications of the pandemic.

How did you choose your specific area of study?

As a student of political economy, I am interested in exploring societal issues at the intersection of politics and economics. The COVID-19 pandemic was a natural outlet for such interests, and allowed me to explore social, entrepreneurial, and political implications of the pandemic.

Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?

I am most proud of successfully teaching several courses here at GMU, including environmental economics, intermediate microeconomics, and intermediate macroeconomics. I received excellent evaluations, and I believe this is not only a reflection of my teaching, but also of my students' dedication to course content. I truly is a two-way street and I felt extremely privileged to be able to teach such bright, driven, and curious students.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?

Dr. Virgil H. Storr is my advisor and mentor, and he has been such an incredible role model. He pours so much time, care, and energy into his students, and he cares about his students as whole persons. Virgil made not only my academic career a viable and successful one, but he made me a more reflective, thoughtful human being.

What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?

Be best friends with your cohort. Have study sessions, happy hours, late night cram sessions, and dinners together. They are a mighty force in getting you through your degree and they become your best friends.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

I am heading to Xavier University as a Teaching Professor of Economics.