Image of Adam Ashcraft

Senior Vice President and Head of Credit Risk Management
Risk Group
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

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Adam Ashcraft joined the Risk Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) in June 2009. In his current position, he manages a team responsible for measuring, mitigating, and reporting on the credit risk associated with actual and potential extensions of credit by the Bank. His team is working on developing the data, infrastructure, and analytics necessary for the System to have real-time views of credit risk independent of credit ratings.

Before joining the Risk Group, he was actively involved in the design and implementation of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Liquidity Facility (TALF). Adam joined the bank as a Research Economist in June 2001 after earning a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Economics. Over his career, he has published academic papers and served as a referee for the top economics and banking journals. His personal research has focused on impact of banks on the real economy and the impact of regulation on bank behavior.


I became interested in economics after participating in policy debate in High School. I noticed that it was difficult to argue either side of most public policy issues without touching on important economic issues, and that if you looked you could always find economists arguing either side. Looking back, it is clear to me that it would be hard for anyone to have influence in public policy or business without a solid understanding of economics.

Completing a degree in Economics is an important step in ensuring that you will not only have a job, but have one that you actually like. It will start by giving you the vocabulary to understand the business media. It will continue by teaching you frameworks through which to evaluate public policy and business decisions. It will help you develop expertise in tools which can be used for you to develop and evaluate hypotheses about the world around you. Finally, it will allow you to advance your analytical thinking skills, so you will be better prepared to work through situations for which classes could never prepare you

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Principal Economist
Federal Reserve Board in Washington D.C.

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Jesse Bricker is a Principal Economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC. Jesse is on a team of economists that help manage and develop the Survey of Consumer Finances, a large nationally-representative survey of household wealth. As a Fed economist, Jesse also helps inform the Board of Governors on economic events and conducts independent research. Some of Jesse’s research has been published in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity and the Journal of Urban Economics, and has been featured in popular press in the New York Times and the Financial Times, among others. Jesse has worked at the Fed since 2009 when he graduated from Syracuse University with a PhD in economics.


I can't thank the Miami economics department enough for introducing me to the field of economics. In Prof. Curme's intermediate micro course, I saw how interesting economics can be. Prof. Even's econometrics course was where applied micro methods finally clicked for me. As a math and stats major, I came to economics late in my undergrad life. The one-year MA program helped me crystalize the idea that I wanted to purse a doctorate in economics.

As I reflect on my time at Miami, I am grateful that the Miami economics department also allowed me the chance to learn economics from the experts: professors, rather than graduate students.

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Vice President and Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer

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Ms. Esler is a member of Ashland's executive leadership team where she has led human resources since 2004. She added responsibility for corporate communications in 2006. She is responsible for the global management of all aspects of human resources, including talent management and development, compensation and benefits, and labor and employee relations. Her communications responsibilities include corporate and financial communications, public relations and community relations. She joined Ashland in 1999.

Immediately prior to joining Ashland, Esler served as senior director of compensation, benefits and HRIS for PepsiCo Food Systems. She held various HR leadership roles within the PepsiCo organization starting in1990. Esler has also been employed as a compensation consultant with Mercer and started her working career at Dow Chemical as an HR specialist.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Esler is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and earned her master's degree in business administration from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. She currently serves on the board of trustees of the Cincinnati Museum Center, the board of trustees of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and the Economics Advisory Board of the Farmer School of Business at Miami University.

My plan when I entered Miami was to major in political science and then hopefully go on from there to pursue a law degree. My father, who had been a political science major, encouraged me to pursue a major in the business school believing that if I changed my mind, a business degree would give me more options. The economics major seemed the most closely aligned to political science, so that is how it started.


I spent the second semester of junior year in Washington, D.C. where I interned with a law firm. While it was a great experience, I also learned that I did not want to pursue a law degree. Turns out dear ole' dad was right! Now what? The area of labor economics had been particularly interesting to me and so when I returned to Miami for my senior year I took several more classes focused on labor.

I've worked in the area of Human Resources for over 30 years now and I can honestly say I use my understanding of economics almost every day in my work. Quite frankly, economics is not a typical academic background for someone in my line of work. When people I work with learn that it is my educational background it helps me gain credibility as someone who understands numbers, analytics and conceptual thinking.

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Managing Director
Chief US Economist

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Michelle Girard is Managing Director and Chief US Economist at RBS. She joined the firm in early 2004. Michelle is responsible for helping the firm's customers understand the interest rate environment through evaluation of economic trends, forecasting and analyzing of economic indicators, and monitoring of Federal Reserve and Treasury actions. Michelle has makes frequent appearances on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business News, and her analyses have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Associated Press articles, and Business Week. Prior to joining the firm, Michelle was a Senior Vice President and Treasury Market Strategist with Prudential Securities. Before joining Prudential, she served as Chief Economist at Sanwa Securities (USA) Co. L.P., and prior to that, as an economist with Bear Stearns. Prior to joining Bear Stearns, Michelle worked as a research assistant for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.

Michelle graduated from Miami with a B.S. in Economics in 1987 and an M.A. in Economics in 1988.


My Economics degree from Miami University launched my career. The research that I did with Professor Nick Noble as an undergraduate/graduate student in Economics enabled me to land a job at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. After two years at the Fed, I accepted a position on Wall Street and moved to New York. I have worked as an economist in the financial industry ever since. Thanks to my studies and the incredible faculty in the Economics Department at Miami, I have been able to spend my career in an industry and a profession that I find dynamic, energizing, and rewarding. Not everyone can say they enjoy the work they do, but I truly can. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities that earning an Economics degree from Miami University have afforded me.

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Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Lane Bryant

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Scott is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Lane Bryant, a $1B+ retailer of women's apparel based in Columbus, OH (a subsidiary of Ascena Retail Group). He joined Lane Bryant in 1994 after starting his career at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati and is currently responsible for finance, accounting, real estate finance, compliance, and procurement. A native of Cleveland, Scott lived and studied in France in both high school and college. He currently serves on the board of the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus and the CAS and Department of Economics Advisory Boards at Miami University.

Scott graduated from Miami in 1990 with degrees in economics, French, and international studies. He and his wife, Kristy, live in Upper Arlington, have 2 kids (Jacob-17, Kate-13) and enjoy golf, cycling, and travel.


As I look back on what it's meant to have been an economics major, my first thought is of the line we used to use to justify ourselves on a daily basis within the business school: "In finance you learn what to think, in economics we learn how to think." Twenty-one years into my career, I still believe it's true.

The opportunity I had as an A&S econ major to mix business studies with history, political science, math/stats, etc. was truly the foundation for any success that followed. As the CFO of a $1B retailer, my career has been built not on being a great accountant, generating tremendous reporting, or on anything related to treasury management. My entire career has developed based on my ability to do a few things really well:

1. Analyze complex data to find true insights and then turn those insights into recommendations for decisions or new strategy - in other words, continuously make the organization smarter (20%)

2. Sell those recommendations to others so we can take action (40%)

3. Partner with diverse people across different functional areas - marketing, product development, merchandising, stores - to implement those ideas effectively (40%)

I can make a direct link between the kids of experience I had as an undergraduate econ major and my ability to do these things well enough to then start refining the skills along the way.

I can also specifically link my math/stats studies and Nick Noble's Econometrics class to a lot of early value I added in my career. In a retail business with 700 stores, the ever-present question is "What makes a good store good?" With a massive data warehouse of seemingly unlimited store performance data, regression analysis is our lifeblood, and I've established a team whose sole purpose is "test & learn." We test different product and inventory levels, different labor models, and different store merchandising strategies. And while it's graying at the edges, Nick Noble's Kinko's package remains a fixture on my office bookshelf�

I also know that my economics studies have played a very practical role in my life outside of work - from helping me to navigate the finances of buying our first house to understanding the complexities of the worldwide economic challenges we currently face. Life's full of challenges, but I can't think of a better foundation I could have had than the economics and broader liberal arts education - and experience - I had at Miami. With any luck, my kids will be just as fortunate in their college studies.

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Co-Founder, Head of Client Strategies
Stone Ridge Asset Management

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Erick’s career has had two primary chapters, technology and finance. The majority of the first ten years were spent in New York at Cisco Systems from the mid-90’s through 2003, where he managed Cisco’s business relationship with several global investment banks. The balance of his career has been spent in finance. He spent several years in sales and trading at Lehman Brothers, where he was a member of the equity structure products group. After Lehman, he spent six years running the structured products group at Deutsche Bank. After leaving Deutsche Bank in the summer of 2012, he was one of four founding members of Stone Ridge Asset Management, a New York based fund manager focused on alternative risk premium strategies.

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Stepan Family Associate Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame

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Daniel Hungerman is the Stepan Family Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame; he is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dan's work has been published in leading economics journals and, he has been funded by organizations such as the National Institute of Health and the John Templeton Foundation. His work has been cited in the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, CNN, Fox News, and National Public Radio. Dan also enjoys teaching at Notre Dame and in 2012 was recognized by the University for promoting excellence in undergraduate instruction. He received his PhD in Economics from Duke University in 2005.

Dan graduated from Miami with a B.A. in Economics in 2000. He now lives in Indiana.


Needless to say, as someone who now teaches economics for a living, my undergraduate major in economics means an enormous amount to me. It all started when I was a sophomore at Miami and took Gerry Miller's terrific principles class. I really had no plans to major in economics at the time. I liked the class, did well, and thought I would take some more econ classes. The department at Miami did a terrific job mentoring me, pointing me not just to the major but to grad school as well.

The instruction I got at Miami also opened my eyes to the fact that economics is not just a major with great career prospects, but also a major that combines creativity, imagination, and rigorous thinking in a rich and exciting way. At the moment, the students I teach seem very interested in the value of an economics degree for their careers. But I think economics is more than that-it gives insights to so many disparate parts of life, from how we have kids to how bank runs work to how much money we will spend on the day we die (a lot, potentially). Economics is the best!

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Vice President, Generic Pharmaceuticals
Cardinal Health

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Marty Igel is Vice President, Generic Pharmaceuticals at Cardinal Health. Marty Igel is responsible for strategy, business development and product pricing for Generic Pharmaceuticals business unit. He has also been the Director of Structured Finance and Investments, Director of Transfer Pricing and Economic Analysis, and the Director of Finance for Global Sourcing. Prior to joining Cardinal Health, he worked for 12 years in investment banking, public finance, asset securitization, structured finance, and mezzanine equity investment.

Marty graduated from Miami in 1987 with a B.S. in Economics. He now lives in Columbus Ohio.


I came to Miami intending to get an undergraduate degree and then go on to law school. It seemed to be a good idea to major in something business related, as I intended to be a corporate attorney. So, I decided to major in economics, because it sounded like a well-rounded business discipline.

Larry Chenault was my first econ professor in the fall of my sophomore year. From that class on, I knew that economics was right for me. It just all made sense. I was fascinated with understanding the inner workings of a firm and how all the parties involved made their decisions.

In short, economics taught me how to think. I didn't learn specific business skills in these classes (like how to put together a balance sheet). Instead, I learned something much more valuable - how to analyze and think critically. I often refer to this as the ability to �connect the dots'. It's the number one criterion I use when making hiring decisions for the groups that I manage.

This background has served me well in my career. Instead of going to law school, I started my career in investment banking. I specialized in a very technical field, and the ability to connect to dots enabled me to be successful.

After several years in investment banking, I moved to a corporate role at Cardinal Health. Once there, I've had the opportunity to take on several roles, all involving a heavy emphasis on analytics. Being able to understand complex situations and explain them to others has been invaluable in my career. I trace those abilities back to the days at Miami where I was trained to think critically and understand how everything fits together.

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Founder and CEO of Vocatio

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Patrick is currently the Founder and CEO of Vocatio, an angel funded and emerging startup in the Education-to-Employment domain., a vocationally themed media network and talent marketplace to help students 16-24 yrs old navigate their way through school to a passionate and purposeful career of their choice. What is Vocatio? ( To date the reception from students, their parents, educators and employers from early testing has been outstanding. The company is a previous member of the prestigious GSV Labs Ed-Tech program in San Francisco, winner of the Duke University Startup Showcase and winner of VentureTech PeopleOps Innovation Challenge.

As an increasingly sought after public speaker and workshop presenter, Patrick has been invited to speak to more than 75 college and corporate audiences on a variety of topics such as independent filmmaking, digital media, social entrepreneurship, political activism and diversity matters.

Since 2002, Patrick has operated as an entrepreneur and independent management consultant on several diverse new media, technology and software industry related projects for such clients as Atlanta Gas & Light, Promethean, Turner Entertainment, Manheim/AutoTrader, Coca Cola and BellSouth (now AT&T). Prior to 2002, he was a Partner with Siebel Systems (now Oracle), a Principal at Diamond Technology Partners (acquired by PwC) and Senior Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Patrick received his M.B.A. from Duke University and his B.A. in Economics and minor in Political Science from Miami University. Patrick is married to Michele Cacdac Jones and together they have a daughter, Savanna. In his spare time he enjoys the beach, basketball and golf.


I chose to study Economics and Political Science at Miami because I was passionately interested in the intersection of both. I was able to extend that passion from the classroom to on campus via my involvement in College Republicans and the Presidential Campaign of 1988 (Bush v Dukakis) and a few local campaigns (including John Boehner’s first congressional campaign). I had my first political internship as a rising Junior with the Georgia Republican Party which in turn led them to inviting me back as a rising Senior to an elevated internship role. Subsequently I ended up with a full-time job offer from the GA GOP heading into my Senior year at Miami.

Since then, along my career journey I’ve been able to work for a Civil rights icon, get my MBA at Duke, produce an award-winning indie film and projects for TV and the web, build a successful career in consulting and digital marketing, and been an entrepreneur. What’s been a critical part of my career journey and success have been the great infrastructure friends I made at Miami and by extension the tremendous network of alumni. If there’s anything simple yet critical I would tell students today, is to "not let your books get in the way of your education” and to maximize not only the classroom by the experiences and relationships outside of the classroom that a fine university like Miami can provide.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Economics is a tremendously flexible and vital learning framework for just about anything you want to do and accomplish in life. Now go make it happen!

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Associate Professor of Economics
Northwestern University

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Lynne Kiesling is an Associate Professor of Instruction in the Department of Economics at Northwestern University. At Northwestern she is also a Faculty Affiliate in the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth, a Faculty Member in the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), and a Faculty Affiliate in the Center for the Study of Industrial Organization (CSIO).

Lynne is the author or co-author of many academic journal articles, book chapters, policy studies, and public interest comments, most of which analyze electricity policy and market design issues relating to regulation and technological change. Her publications include Deregulation, Innovation, and Market Liberalization: Electricity Regulation in a Continually Evolving Environment (Routledge, 2008). Her specialization is industrial organization, regulatory policy and market design in the electricity industry. In particular, she examines the interaction of market design and innovation in the development of retail markets, products and services and the economics of "smart grid" technologies.

As a noted expert in smart grid economics, regulatory and market design, and retail competition, Lynne speaks to various academic, industrial, and regulatory groups about regulatory policy, institutional change, and economic analysis of electric power market design. She has served as a peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, and for academic journals including Energy Journal, Public Choice, Review of Economics and Statistics, and Energy Policy. She has provided expert testimony in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and the New York Public Service Commission. She also teaches economics workshops for regulators using experimental economics, including the annual Institute for Regulatory Law and Economics workshop.

Lynne teaches undergraduate courses in principles of economics, energy economics, environmental economics, antitrust and regulation, and the history of economic thought, and she writes about economics as the editor/owner at the website Knowledge Problem. Lynne is a member of the academic advisory board of the Institute of Regulatory Law & Economics, Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, a member of the academic advisory board of the Institute of Economic Affairs (UK), and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Lynne also served (2005-2010) as a member (and is currently an emerita member) of the GridWise Architecture Council, a group of 13 experts volunteering their time to articulate the guiding principles for an intelligent, transactive, energy system of the future, and to guide and promote measures to transform the nation's electricity system into a more reliable, affordable, secure network in which users collaborate with suppliers in an information- and value-rich market environment.

Lynne has a Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University and a B.S. in Economics from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Her previous appointments include Assistant Professor, College of William and Mary, Manager, Price Waterhouse/PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Director of Economic Policy, Reason Foundation, and Research Scholar, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science at George Mason University.

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Rhapsody Insights LLC

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Margaret Layding is a market researcher with expertise in business analytics and planning. Her experience includes forecasting, marketing ROI work, media planning, pricing and competitive analysis for companies and products around the world. Margaret started her career at Procter & Gamble, where she worked on global brands including Pampers and Crest (1994 - 2007). She was later the Director of business analytics at Mars Chocolate (2007 -2010). Since 2010 she has owned her own business, Rhapsody Insights LLC, where she consults to clients with a variety of business analysis needs.

Margaret graduated from Miami in 1993 with a B.S. in Economics. She now lives in Clinton, New Jersey.


Economics is the perfect mix of math, logic, psychology, and future planning skills. Over the years, the Econ majors I’ve met and worked with have consistently been broad thinkers who can integrate ideas from multiple areas. One of my favorite professors at Miami, Dr. Mike Curme, took that “big picture” approach when teaching his Econ 315 class and that’s when I knew I had found the perfect major.

The principles you learn and the skills you develop in the study of Economics touch every area of life, business and personal. With today's global mindset, big data, and advances in information technology, it’s a very exciting time to put that knowledge to practice!

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Bethesda, Inc

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Jill Miller is president of Bethesda Inc., Cincinnati based co-sponsor of TriHealth and major funder of health care transformation. Miller joined Bethesda Inc. in 2014 as Bethesda Inc.’s first executive director and was promoted to President in 2016. As president, Miller is responsible for supporting Bethesda Inc.’s joint operating agreement with Catholic Health Initiatives in support of TriHealth, support and oversight of Bethesda Inc. governed entities, corporate governance, community engagement, grant-making and financial management.

Miller joined Bethesda Inc. after founding and serving as executive director of the Joey Votto Foundation. She is a former development director at Ronald McDonald House of Greater Cincinnati, and has worked in the financial and insurance industries with Omnicare, First Financial, and Cincinnati Financial.

Miller holds a Business Economics degree from Miami University and MBA from Xavier University. She is a member of Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Leadership Cincinnati Class 39 and member of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 2016 Forty Under 40 class.

Miller serves on the board of Family Nurturing Center, United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Health Impact Council, The Health Collaborative’s Communications and Development Committee and Green Light Fund Cincinnati’s Selection Advisory Council.


Professor Melissa Thomasson is the reason I majored in business economics and participated in the honors economics program my senior year. She challenged me to think critically and differently about the world around me. However upon graduation in 2003, my career path was unclear and the economy was weak due to the early 2000 recession. I knew I did not want to go into public policy, work at a central bank or attend graduate school (I prefer economic theory over econometrics), but unfortunately was not exposed to many other career options, especially in the nonprofit sector. Thus, I decided just to get my feet wet and accepted a position as an insurance underwriter.

I have had many "tours of duty" over the past thirteen years, serving as a budget analyst, financial analyst, professional fundraiser, nonprofit entrepreneur, and grant maker. My relationship building skills and sincere interest in people have allowed me to build a strong professional network which allows me to take on more risk. I have benefited from several mentors through the years, each contributing to my development and success. I recently was asked to write my six word memoir: Take a chance, never give up.

Personally, I want to leave a legacy of random acts of kindness and inspire my two daughters to do the same. I want my daughters to send Thinking of You cards for no reason. I want them to compliment the person working the drive-thru window and thank the janitor who cleans the floors. I want them to help someone up when they have been knocked down and offer forgiveness when they are wronged. I try to live each day by Maya Angelou's quote: People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

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Vice President and General Counsel
Honeywell Aerospace

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Harriet Mountcastle-Walsh is Vice President & General Counsel for Honeywell Aerospace, a $15.7B strategic business group of Honeywell International based in Phoenix, AZ. Harriet leads the Law, Contracts & Export Compliance function - a staff of 280 legal, contracts, and international trade compliance professionals in 13 countries and 35 locations. She has overseen the transactional support of over $137B in global program wins and has focused the function on partnering for growth, thought leadership and enterprise risk management. Before joining Honeywell in 2000, she was a partner in the D.C. law firm of Howrey, Simon, Arnold, & White specializing in complex litigation, corporate transactions and regulatory compliance.

Harriet earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1990 and graduated in 1987 from Miami with an A.B. in Economics and minors in Political Science and French. After college, she served as a White House intern for then Vice President George W. Bush, and following law school, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Eric G. Bruggink of the U.S. Federal Court of Claims.

Harriet is active in the Arizona Women's Leadership Forum and is Chairperson for Honeywell's Political Action Committee in Arizona. Most recently, she launched the Honeywell Aero Women's Council with over 1,000 members and 11 global chapters. She and her husband Joe have 4 children.


I always knew I wanted to go to law school and thought a degree in Political Science was the best path for me, until I took Dan Seiver's Micro Economics class. After getting a getting an A on the first exam, Dan asked me to consider economics as a major. He may have regretted that decision after I got a D- on his next quiz! But it was too late, I was already hooked on a major that was as close as I could get to the business school while still being an Arts and Sciences major, which I thought at the time was still my best shot at law school. I later learned regression analysis from Nick Noble and about Big Business from James Brock. Little did I know that when I took his Economic Justice course and selected food stamps as the topic for my term paper I instantly made Dennis Sullivan's short list of students that really know how to jump into the deep end! As I look back, I now realize these classes gave me the principles and background that I needed to transition from a law firm partnership to a public company general counsel to a vice president role. I am truly thankful for these experiences, the commitment of terrific professors, and an education that has provided the foundation for a rewarding corporate career.

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Vice President of Strategy and Analytics

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Stephanie Schumacher began her career at Macy's (then Federated Department Stores) working as an economic analyst before holding a variety of positions in finance. Stephanie has spent a majority of her career in Capital Planning, a group responsible for managing the company's $1+ billion capital budget. In 2010 she was promoted to Vice President of Capital and Financial Planning, managing all capital and expense decisions for Macy's merchant organization, and relocated to New York City. Stephanie was appointed to her most recent position in 2014, and now focuses on corporate financial planning and forecasting. She is also the acting finance liaison for the newly acquired Bluemercury, a leading luxury beauty retailer. Stephanie currently resides in Cincinnati with her husband Luke and two sons, Axel and Oscar.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Stephanie graduated from Miami with a B.S.B. in Business-Economics in 2001 and an M.A. in Economics in 2002.


I majored in economics because it taught me how to think, and I liked that I didn't have to rely on memorization to do well on tests. My first job at Macy's was a dream come true, working as a business economist in the exciting retail industry, where consumer behavior is paramount. But as my interests expanded to finance, I realized that my economics training was still a huge asset. The common thread in all of my positions is that they are very analytical, and being able to analyze data is imperative in retail. Econometrics taught me how to set up a good test, but since real life is not a perfect laboratory, we spend a lot of time trying to interpret test results in the absence of ideal controls. So while I don't use the complex methods I learned in the master's program, I rely on the principles of those methods every day. I also think that economics as a social science has helped me to understand what motivates behavior and to work more effectively with different types of people. This is extremely important in the business world. Great analysis is useless unless you can explain it, build partnerships, and convince others to endorse it. I truly love what I do and majoring in economics at Miami is what started it all.