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ECO Advisory Board

adam ashcraftAdam Ashcraft, Head of Enterprise Scenario Generation Global Risk Analytics, Bank of America joined Bank of America in September 2018.  In his current role, he manages a team responsible for the design and implementation of scenarios leveraged across the Bank for risk management, largely focused on use for Enterprise Stress Testing, Allowance, and Corporate Planning.   Before joining BAC, Adam worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for 17 years as a Ph.D. Economist, Head of Credit Risk Management in the Risk Group, and as Co-Chair of the LISCC Liquidity Program.


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.



maria bertramMaria Bertram, Chief Product Officer, Janes has had a long career as a Chief Product Officer and Business Line leader in data, SaaS, and information businesses. Maria is currently the Chief Product Officer at Janes, the trusted source for defence and security intelligence. Prior to joining Janes, she led the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications business line at S&P Global Market Intelligence and the Product, Marketing, and Customer Success organizations for the Economic & Country Risk unit at IHS Markit. Maria has worked in the Technology, Energy, Pharmaceutical, Transportation, and Supply Chain industries. After getting her master's degree, Maria worked as an economic consultant helping ports and shipping lines plan for future infrastructure needs. In that capacity, Maria built international trade forecasting models and worked closely with customers to solve problems. Maria has a bachelor's degree in Economics and Foreign Affairs from Miami University (2002) and a Master's Degree in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University (2004) and credits Miami for giving her a strong foundation on which to start her career.



tisha dahoTrisha Daho, CEO/Founder, Empowered Leadership Cultivation has spent most of her career leading large, diverse teams toward the delivery of value for her clients at a Big 4 Accounting and Advisory firm, wherein she served as a partner. She has been pivotal in the discovery and sustainability of value in the billions of dollars for her clients. She has worked with executives and their teams in dozens of Fortune 500 companies in the majority of states. She has also created enormous value for entrepreneurs, high growth companies, and aspiring start-ups. She left the corporate arena to light up the world of culture, talent, and DEI. And hence, Empowered was born.

Having made partner in a Big 4 accounting firm in 9 years, Trisha was charged with building thriving practices from scratch in 4 different regions of the country. Through laser-focused strategies and the ability to scale talent and service delivery quickly, she was able to create growth businesses that have expanded exponentially. The leaders she’s cultivated have gone on to be partners, CFOs, CEOs, and much more. She also spearheaded the cultural and DEI initiatives related to creating more diversity in hiring, development, and ultimately, leadership building, in addition to ensuring a more inclusive workplace for women and diverse people for 16 years there.

With her own company, Empowered partners with leadership teams to create sustainable and measurable people results. Empowered helps organizations to create more fruitful talent acquisition and development strategies, accountability and measurement in leader performance, and the development of more inclusive cultures where all people thrive. The firm has offices in both Chicago and Paris.

Trisha regularly writes and speaks on a variety of topics, including authenticity in leadership, high impact teams, creating growth cultures, diversity and inclusion, the great resignation, industry insights, and many more. In her spare time, Trisha teaches kickboxing, fosters Labrador Retrievers, travels to faraway places, and watches lots of foreign films.


Miami University generally, and my economics degree specifically, allowed me to excel both in law school and at a Big 4 global accounting and advisory firm, where I made partner in 9 years. Over the years, it's both the analytical side of my profession and the communications/human behavior side of my profession that led me to become an entrepreneur and start my own firm, focusing on organizational culture, people, and diversity, equity, and inclusion both domestically and internationally in middle and large market professional services firms.



samantha dwinnellSamantha Dwinell, Human Capital Operating Partner, Blue Wolf Capital is an accomplished global human resources leader with demonstrated success delivering business results across private and public organizations in diverse industries. Over the past two decades, she has become a trusted business partner and member of the senior leadership team, driving significant changes and delivering innovative solutions to transform organizations.  As a recognized leader, Sam received OnCon’s Top 50 CHRO Award in 2023. Sam currently serves as Human Capital Operating Partner for Blue Wolf Capital—a mid-sized private equity firm—where she specializes in building strong leadership teams, stewarding performance-driven cultures, and strengthening HR practices across the entire portfolio of Blue Wolf companies.

Previously, Sam served as interim Chief People Officer for Stream Realty Partners—a national commercial real estate firm—and Chief People Officer for Sevita—a $2B PE-owned healthcare provider. At Sevita, Sam significantly improved employee engagement and enhanced recruiting efficiency by refreshing the company's values and restructuring the talent acquisition function. She also established repeatable M&A processes that enabled the company to successfully integrate over two dozen acquisitions. Prior to Sevita, Sam spent almost 20 years with Texas Instruments—a publicly-traded global semiconductor company—culminating as the Vice President of Talent Management. She was instrumental in creating an enterprise-wide talent review process and establishing TI’s first people analytics function, which leveraged HR data and analytics to improve key business outcomes. Sam also designed a high-potential talent development program that won a Brandon Hall Award for Best Results of a Learning Program. Throughout her career, Sam has been a passionate champion for diversity and inclusion.

At Sevita, she launched the company’s first diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives, which were recognized for three consecutive years by Forbes magazine. At TI, she transformed the diversity office into a key partner inside the talent management team, leading to a more inclusive company culture and increasing the representation of women in senior leadership roles.

Sam earned a master’s degree in Management and Organization Behavior from Benedictine University and a master’s degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois. She is actively involved in multiple boards and industry organizations, including the Industrial Advisory Council at UT-Dallas’s Jindal School of Management, the Board and Investment Committee for the Texas Women’s Foundation, the Miami University Economics Advisory Board, and previously on the Catalyst, Inc. Board of Advisors. She received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


Economics teaches and helps build critically important foundational skills –  such critical thinking, quantitative analysis, informed decision-making – that I use every day at work and in my personal life.  As part of the honors program and a sociology major, I somewhat haphazardly found myself in Dr. Mike Curme’s economics class.  And I loved it!  While sociology helped me understand the interactions of people and groups, economics provided a much needed balance to understanding business.  It’s probably no surprise then that I’ve built a successful career in Human Resources over the past 20 years.

I’m passionate about helping to build the next generation of leaders, particularly young girls like my daughter.  Through community involvement, such as engaging with Miami University, I hope that I can make even a small difference in the lives of others.



david koenigDavid Koenig, President and CEO, The DCRO Institute is the award-winning author of Governance Reimagined: Organizational Design, Risk, and Value Creation and The Board Member's Guide to Risk, and God's Portfolio: An Examination of the I, the We, the All (and then some). During his executive career, David created corporate risk management programs at three different companies and has managed complex financial portfolios in excess of tens of billions of dollars in size. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions, is the founder of the Directors and Chief Risk Officers group (the DCRO), the DCRO Institute, and a co-founder of the Professional Risk Managers International Association (PRMIA). He brings a particular skill as a Qualified Risk Director® and internationally recognized risk governance expert, helping companies navigate the intersection of risk-taking, innovation, and governance. LinkedIn


I think back on my days at Miami with fond memories of learning and being challenged in areas that have informed all my work, research, and writing. Winn Fields was of particular influence in the Econ department as he encouraged my graduate studies. Jerry Miller’s “zoo” left a strong impression, as did every encounter with him over my four years. The combination of Math/Econ/Stats was something that contributed to my acceptance to graduate school. It was put to use early in my career modeling option pricing in real-time in the 1980s and through all my work in risk management and risk governance. The simplest equation, and, in fact, the only equation in my first book, is driven by that combined learning. I am forever thankful to Miami and the faculty who took their time to teach and guide me as I found work that would be a joy for nearly all of my career.



jill kosonenJill Kosonen, Director, Kroll LLC, Chicago, Illinios specializes in transfer pricing and valuation for multinational enterprises, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and tax-exempt organizations. Ms. Kosonen has more than 20 years of experience in planning, documenting, and resolving a wide range of transfer pricing matters for many of the leading global life sciences, industrial, and consumer goods companies. She has participated in transfer pricing audits involving negotiations with the United States, Belgian, Canadian, Chinese, Irish, and Korean taxing authorities. Ms. Kosonen has provided economic analysis for the issuance of asset-backed securities including statistical sampling and estimation procedures and fair value determinations associated with credit risk retention requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Prior to joining Kroll, Ms. Kosonen was the head of the transfer pricing practice at Epsilon Economics, which was named as a leading US transfer pricing advisory firm for 2020 by International Tax Review / TP Week. Previously, Jill was an Associate Principal with Charles River Associates.

Ms. Kosonen received her B.S. in Business Economics from Miami University in 2002. She also completed studies in Luxembourg at the John E. Dolibois European Center of Miami University and in Russia at the Institute of Business Studies in Moscow in the summer of 2000. Jill is a co-chair of the International Tax committee and member of the Chicago Tax Club.  Jill is a member of the National Association of Business Economists. Jill is also passionate about her work with the Union League Boys and Girls Clubs as a Board of Trustees member.  Jill and her husband have two children.


Shortly after taking my first economics classes during my sophomore year, including Dr. Thomasson’s Health Economics class, I switched my major from accounting to business economics. I was instantly hooked!  Economics helped me to see and understand the world, business, and human behavior in a way that I’d never experienced up until my first few classes.  In hindsight, I think that economics also help me tap into my love of data and data visualization.  Economics challenged me to think instead of simply memorize rules.  After participating in the summer Luxembourg and Russia study abroad programs, I quickly declared an international business minor comprising many internationally-focused economics classes, such as international monetary policy.   As a student, I did not know exactly where economics would take me career wise, but I liked the challenge of finding opportunities in the field.   Fast forward to today -- I’ve spent my career in economics and finance, with nearly 20 years of experience in economic consulting working for multinationals.  I am very grateful to the economics professors, fellow students, and department at Miami for preparing me well for a life-long career in economics.



brian osgoodBrian Osgood, Executive Director, UBS has spent the last 40 years on Wall Street in sales and trading with a focus on exchange traded derivatives. I began my career by creating and implementing a bond arbitrage program for a Chicago based firm that I ran for 8 years before moving on to sales at Bear Stearns in 1990. After 10 years I moved on to UBS where I currently run the equity index sales and trading group in New York. We cover a broad spectrum of clients including Asset Managers, Hedge Funds and Insurance Companies helping them optimize portfolio performance using exchange traded derivative products across the globe and while we specialize in equity index products we trade across multiple asset classes around the world.


I was initially drawn to Economics as a major because of the broad range of independent thinking it required but it really came together in an advanced labor economics class in my junior year, 6 students and a professor just sitting and talking through issues, policy and theories for 90 minutes. It was during this time that I decided that continuing my studies beyond undergraduate was the path I was going to follow but even then I was uncertain where it would lead after that. Two years of course work and qualifying exams later I took off for New York to see what it had to offer. I'm not sure I knew what futures contracts were at that point but the combination of mathematics and analytics has kept me engaged and entertained for nearly 40 years.



jeff princeJeff Prince, Professor and Chair, Business Economics and Public Policy and Harold A. Poling Chair in Strategic Management, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University specializes in fields of research includeing industrial organization, applied econometrics, strategy, and regulation. He served as Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission during 2019 and 2020. At the FCC, he advised the Commission on economic policy, auction design, data analytics, and antitrust matters.

Professor Prince has been recognized for excellence in both his research and his teaching during his time at the Kelley School and while at Cornell. He is an author of multiple textbooks covering a range of core microeconomic and econometric principles in managerial economics and predictive analytics. His research focus is on technology markets and telecommunications, having published works on dynamic demand for computers, Internet adoption and usage, the inception of online/offline product competition, telecom bundling, the valuation of product features, and data privacy. His research also encompasses topics such as household-level risk aversion, airline quality competition, and regulation in healthcare and real estate markets. His works have appeared in top general interest journals in both economics and management, including the American Economic Review, the International Economic Review, Management Science, and the Academy of Management Journal. He has also published in top journals in industrial organization, including the Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, and the International Journal of Industrial Organization. He is currently a co-editor at the Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, and is on the board of editors at Information Economics and Policy.

Professor Prince has consulted for various clients on valuing antitrust, intellectual property, damages, and data privacy concerns. As part of this work, he has written numerous expert reports and provided oral expert testimony, through both deposition and trial, on many occasions.

Professor Prince received his BS in mathematics and statistics and BA in economics from Miami University in 1998 and his PhD in economics from Northwestern University in 2004.


I attended Miami University from 1994-1998. I could not have asked for a better training ground for the unpredictable, exciting, and ultimately fulfilling career that has followed. First and foremost, the quality of teaching at Miami has been second to none. Some of my most memorable experiences – and these are just a few of many – were with Professors Farmer and Holmes in the mathematics department, and Professors Platt, Curme, and Hart as part of my economics coursework. They all did more than just share their knowledge, they made typically challenging material not just approachable, but truly interesting. My economics professors were so good that, despite being fully intent on pursuing a career in mathematics, and hence only majoring in mathematics and statistics, I evolved from having economics as a thematic sequence, to a minor, to a major by my senior year. Like Christopher Walken with the cowbell, I just had to have more econ.

With 25 years of hindsight, adding economics to my mathematics and statistics major proved to be an outstanding decision. The subjects are strong complements, and the combination of skills opens up a wide and exciting range of opportunities for those who can run that gauntlet. While it was clear even while I was at Miami that I was getting excellent preparation, I’m even more appreciative of my educational experience today. I am thrilled to have an opportunity as an advisory board member to contribute to the continuing tradition of excellence in economics education at Miami.



laure rediferLaure Redifer, Division Chief, International Monetary Fund currently leads the budget for the IMF’s global training program. She has previously negotiated several IMF programs and led numerous IMF country teams in conducting diagnostics and providing policy advice to member country governments. Prior to working on IMF staff, she served as an advisor to the IMF executive director. Before joining the IMF, she worked for the US Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget. Highlights of her career include working on the Asian financial crisis, serving as the US Treasury Representative to Germany during the lead-up to the Euro introduction, and working as a NAFTA negotiator. Laure earned a Master’s degree in Economics from Miami University in 1988, and Bachelors’ degrees in Economics and International Studies from Miami University in 1987.


I arrived in Miami in 1983 to join its emerging international studies program. After enrolling in Rich Hart's honors macroeconomics course, I became passionate about economics. My undergraduate years at Miami were filled with various activities, such as participating in the Honors Program, Student Government, and serving as a Resident Advisor (RA). The bonds I formed with my economics professors, with special mention to Dennis Sullivan and Homer Erekson, have endured over time, as have my connections with my fellow Bishop Hall residents.

As a graduate student and teaching assistant, my academic challenges deepened, but I received tremendous support from my professors, especially from Mark McBride. Once again, I forged lifelong friendships with my fellow students. These experiences at Miami were profoundly influential, thanks to the friendships and the sense of purpose instilled by my professors and peers.

Throughout my career, I've traveled the world, and the people I met at Miami rank among the best of them. They are dedicated to making a positive impact on the world. The profound sense of purpose and community remains the most valuable takeaway from my time at Miami.



katy rouseKaty Rouse, Professor of Economics, Elon University in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business at Elon University in Elon, NC. Katy is an applied microeconomist with scholarship interests in the economics of education and health economics. Katy has published several papers on the effects of schools switching from traditional to multi-track year-round calendars. Her research on this topic has attracted attention from a wide range of media outlets, including The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Wall Street Journal, and WUNC North Carolina Public Radio. Her recent research explores the relationships between physical education, child bodyweight and human capital outcomes. While at Elon, she has taught Business Economics, Intermediate Microeconomic Theory, Health Economics, Principles of Economics, and an upper-level capstone course she created called “Understanding Educational Disparities in the United States”.

Katy earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009 and a B.A. in Economics from Miami in 2002. Prior to entering graduate school in the fall of 2004, Katy worked for almost two years as an analyst for InteCap, Inc. (now part of Charles River Associates) in Chicago, IL.


My first economics class was Honors Principles of Microeconomics with Jerry Miller. When I enrolled in that course, I was still struggling to find a college major. I signed up primarily because I needed to take a course designated as honors. I didn’t know anything about the discipline and had no idea that class would eventually lead me to a career I love. Jerry Miller was an incredible teacher, and I absolutely loved that class. The next semester I signed up for Honors Principles of Macro with Rich Hart. After a successful first exam, Professor Hart pulled me aside, asked me my major, and said, “I think you should switch to economics.” The rest, they say, is history. I went on to do well in my courses and was encouraged to write a departmental honors thesis. I took a small workshop with Dennis Sullivan where I learned about economics research and refined my writing and presentation skills. Then, in my final semester, I worked one-on-one with Melissa Thomasson to write my thesis, and I presented the final product to a room full of professors. Coming full circle, also in my senior year, I worked as a supplemental instructor for that first economics class I loved so much – Jerry Miller’s Principles of Micro. That role allowed me to experience the joys of college teaching.

I am so grateful for the professors and mentors I had at Miami. If I hadn’t taken that first class with Jerry Miller or been tapped on the shoulder by Rich Hart, I may never have found a major I loved. The experiential learning experiences of writing an undergraduate thesis and working as a supplemental instructor led me to the desire to pursue graduate study. As a college professor myself, I now try to emulate my Miami professors who made such an impact on my life. I work hard to create engaging classes and to illustrate the many applications of the field and the benefits of learning to “think like an economist”. I reach out to promising students to encourage them to pursue the major. I have mentored many senior theses and university honors projects. I feel so fortunate to have found a career that I love, and I owe that to the economics department at Miami.



charlotte smithCharlotte Smith, Director Global Sales Process, FIS is a 2016 Miami University MECO graduate, now working in Sales Enablement for the merchant payments line of business of FIS, the world’s largest fintech, and leader in banking, investments, and payments. Charlotte leads a small, growing team responsible for process enhancements to enable FIS’s sales teams to sell faster and deliver an optimal customer experience. Over the previous year she was responsible for the global integration of three lines of business into one following the $11B merger of rival payments companies. Prior to this, Charlotte spent two years in FIS’s leadership, rotational program called FLDP. During her time in the FLDP program, Charlotte held roles in Risk, Information Security, and Compliance. The rotational program helped her develop the ability to be agile in the face of constant change, whether that be in the form of a new content area, manager, team, set of expectations or goals every six months. This has allowed her to adapt quickly as priorities of the business shift and that continues to carry her forward in the ever-changing world of payments.


In my role with FIS, I have been responsible for the global integration of three lines of business into one following a large acquisition. The integration work has been challenging and yet fascinating as we’ve solved numerous complex problems to design a global sales process that accommodates a variety of unique requirements. My experience in the rigorous MA Econ program was invaluable to the development of my ability to think critically, synthesize complex information, and solve problems with limited instruction. If I think about my day-to-day in the corporate world, those are three of the leading skills I leverage in order to progress my career.



bryce stephensBryce Stephens, Managing Director, FTI Consulting has deep expertise in compliance with consumer financial protection laws and regulations. Dr. Stephens is an expert in large-scale data construction and analysis, economic and statistical analysis, and statistical sampling. He has worked on a variety of engagements involving fraud and breach of contract in adherence to mortgage underwriting standards and fair lending and fair housing compliance. Dr. Stephens' work in fair lending and fair housing includes advising on regulatory expectations, briefing on policy developments, conducting statistical analysis to identify potential fair lending and fair housing risks, supporting clients under investigation, preparing for potential litigation, and responding to regulatory in-reach.

Prior to joining FTI, Dr. Stephens served as a Section Chief in the Office of Research at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There, he conducted fair lending analysis of consumer loan products in the context of supervisory examinations and enforcement actions. He advised on the technical aspects and strategic direction of fair lending-related rulemakings and policy initiatives, including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), small business lending data collection (as required by Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act), and the Bureau’s efforts to curb the practice of dealer markup in auto lending. He also served as a subject matter expert on technical and compliance issues related to the use of alternative data and machine learning models.


My first course in economics at Miami was Jerry Miller’s Principles of Microeconomics. I remember being so excited about using math and models to study social phenomena. I continued my studies in economics at Miami and later in graduate school and have always appreciated the way that my training in economics has shaped my worldview. Studying economics taught me how to think and reason, which have been invaluable to me over the course of my career.



liesa taylorLiesa Taylor, Organization Effectiveness Consultant and Founder, HuWork has over a 20-year career in corporate HR and management consulting, the focus of Liesa’s work has always been helping enterprise leaders align people and teams to business strategy. With experience working in and advising global, Fortune 500 organizations and leaders, Liesa guides companies through strategic transformations while creating more human, inclusive, and meaningful workplaces where people and businesses thrive.

Liesa has taught OD/HR as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Denver, has spoken to groups large and small, and has been published in Forbes. Liesa has an MBA from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in Economics, summa cum laude, from Miami University.


During my undergraduate years at Miami, I studied economics and was drawn to its logic and structure. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up and consulting offered experience in different areas, so I started my career at Deloitte. There I discovered my passion for the people side of the business through my “extracurricular work” recruiting and training new consultants.

Because I remained an economist at heart, I decided to continue my education in Stanford’s MBA program. I wanted people-focused classes like interpersonal dynamics and organizational behavior together with more advanced courses in economics, strategy, finance, and operations. Following this, I spent more than 10 years in HR business partner roles at Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard and capped my corporate career as the VP of HR for HP marketing and communications. Since then, I have worked as a consultant.

I work across industries including tech, apparel, CPG, utilities, foundations, mining, and agriculture answering questions like:

  • What's holding my organization back from peak performance?
  • How can I reduce the risk of leadership turnover?
  • How can I structure board conversations about leadership, succession, or culture?
  • How should we assess employee performance?
  • How can I bring my organization values to life throughout the employee experience?
  • How can I delight new employees with interactive and effective onboarding?
  • How should I structure my team?

I have always been an advisor, a connector, a mentor, and a teacher, and have been lucky enough to bring these qualities to life in my consulting work, teaching in the strategic HR management program at the University of Denver, and writing articles for Forbes.


Former Members

jess brickerJesse Bricker, Principal Economist, Federal Reserve Board in Washington D.C

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.



jeffrey brownJeffrey R. Brown, Professor of Finance, Josef and Marot Lakonishok Professor of Business, Dean of the Gies College of Business, University of Illinois

Jeff Brown is the Josef and Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business and the Dean of the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois. His work has appears in leading economics and finance journals. Jeff began his career as a brand manager for Procter and Gamble. He earned his master's degree in public policy from Harvard in 1995 and his PhD in economics from MIT in 1999. Jeff served at the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2001-2002 and has taught at the Kennedy School of Government. Among his many other activities, Jeff is also a member of the Board of Trustees for TIAA and Co-Director of the Disability and Retirement Research Center for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Jeff graduated from Miami in 1990 with a B.A. in Economics. He now lives in Champaign, Illinois.


An intro micro-economics course at Miami quite literally changed my life. Under the skillful (and entertaining!) tutelage of Prof. Dennis Sullivan, I discovered that economics is a powerful lens through which to understand the world. After graduating from Miami and spending several years in the business world, I earned a Ph.D. in economics from MIT. I now spend my career doing what I love: creating and disseminating economic knowledge. It is my training as an economist that enables me to simultaneously teach, conduct research, consult with financial services companies, serve on corporate and non-profit boards, and advise state and national elected officials on economic policy. I cannot imagine doing anything else, and it all started at Miami.



michael bryanMichael Bryan, Vice President, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Michael Bryan is a vice president and senior economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He is responsible for organizing the Atlanta Fed's monetary policy process. Mike previously served as vice president in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, where he specialized in business analysis with an emphasis on measuring and tracking inflation trends. He has served as an economist in the Research Division of the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., was a visiting scholar at the Bank of Japan's Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies in Tokyo, and at the Swedish Riksbank in Stockholm. Mike teaches at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago and has previously served on the faculties of Cleveland State University, Baldwin-Wallace College, and Case Western Reserve University, all in Cleveland. He joined the Atlanta Fed in 2008.

A native of Cleveland, Mr. Bryan graduated from Miami in 1978 with a B.S. in Business and earned a master's degree in economics from Case Western Reserve University.


When I began my undergraduate studies, I didn't look at the world critically. I was critical of the world, I'm sure, but I didn't have a tool set for working through worldly problems. My thoughts were largely informed by intuition and the opinion of others.

My intermediate microeconomics class began to change all that. Microeconomics gave me a concrete framework for problem solving. Who are the essential players and what is their motivation? Regardless of the issue, if your thinking hasn't been framed by these questions, you've left yourself open to serious errors in judgment.

Here's an example from my professional experience. When I graduated from Miami in 1978 and joined the Federal Reserve, macroeconomics and microeconomics had almost nothing in common other than the word "economics." We knew at that time that monetary policy was contributing to the poor economic climate and we had a good idea what the problem was: our models lacked microeconomic foundations. Specifically, our models didn't have agents whose behavior was influenced by their expectations. That omission in our models gave us a false sense of stability regarding our economic policies.

As we began to incorporate expectations into our models, other shortcomings were revealed and micro-principles seeped in from all directions. In the past twenty years or so we've seen a gradual re-synthesis of macroeconomics and microeconomics and it's pretty clear that economic policy is the better for it. Today, monetary policy is as much about the management of expectations as it is anything else.

It's fair to ask whether the recent financial crisis is an indictment of our macroeconomic models. We clearly missed something big: our models didn't have a thoughtful role for banking and finance. In our models, "banks" were merely passive conduits. They didn't really do anything, at least nothing important for the behavior of the business cycle or the conduct of economic policy. We had no way to think about issues like how leverage might be destabilizing, how information asymmetries could systemically disrupt credit allocation, or how risk might be transmitted across borders. Of course, these are the very forces that seem to have turned an economic slowdown into a financial crisis.

So while our models now have microeconomic foundations, they don't yet include the micro-foundations of banking and finance. That shortcoming is being redressed, and again, I'm sure economic policy will be the better for it. Don't buy into the cynicism that the recent financial crisis tolls the end of our reliance on economic models. After all, what's the alternative? Intuition? The opinion of others? I think the recent financial crisis creates even more opportunity for a new generation of economists to deepen our understanding of the world and improve economic policy. But don't take my word for it. Think it through for yourself.



leslie creedonLesli A. Creedon, Associate Director and Chief Advancement Officer, Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Leslie A. Creedon is the Associate Director and Chief Advancement Officer at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. As head of advancement, Leslie oversees all fundraising initiatives for the Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. From 2003 to 2007, she served as the executive director of Partnership Development at the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C. There, Leslie designed, implemented, and led its first fundraising strategy with a focus on international partnering and donations. She worked with UN agencies around the globe and represented the foundation at international conferences and events, cultivating relationships with major corporate, foundation, individual and government donors and partners. Leslie has also served as the vice president of External Affairs at Resources for the Future, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to energy, environmental and natural resource issues in Washington. She has also held fundraising and communications positions at the Brookings Institution, the Aspen Institute, and the Economic Policy Institute.

Leslie graduated from Miami in 1989 with a B.A. in Economics. She now lives in Washington, D.C.


I credit Dennis Sullivan for my career--he was the person who exposed me to the non-profit world and to careers in development by encouraging me to volunteer in the Oxford community alongside him and introducing me to professional fundraisers who helped me network and identify appropriate training programs and job opportunities. Throughout my career in non-profit fundraising, communications, and management, I've utilized my economics degree in a variety of ways. First, my econ background and interest in economics and policy have drawn me, intellectually, and given me a leg up in the job market to work for highly respected thinks tanks, most notably Brookings and Resource for the Future. Second, I have been well prepared to understand, appreciate and translate for donors and constituents the work of these organizations (economics and environmental economics) because of my degree. I don't think I would have been as successful in selling and closing gifts to support academic research as I have been without this technical background. Third, my econ background has provided me with a solid understanding of finance and financial markets, the fields of many of my donors, as well as of business operations, equipping me to be in senior-level management positions.

When I was a senior at Miami, the overwhelming majority of the careers highlighted as employment options were in the for-profit world. Also, the on-campus interview "bidding" process favored B.S. degree students (and I have a B.A. in economics). I hope that the school is now doing a better job of exposing students to the wide variety of career options available to them, especially in the non-profit arena.



susan eslerSusan Esler, Vice President and Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer, Ashland

Ms. Esler retired in late 2015 after more than 30 years working in human resources and communications leadership roles with several Fortune 500 organizations. Her final role was with Ashland Inc. where she was the Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer and a member of the executive leadership team. In that role, she had responsibility 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 included corporate and financial communications, public relations and community relations. She joined Ashland in 1999.

Immediately prior to joining Ashland, Susan 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. Susan was 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., she is a graduate of Miami University, and earned her master’s degree in business administration from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She currently serves on the boards of trustees of the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Susan is a Board Certified Coach (BCC) and in this capacity enjoys working with individuals to identify their goals and develop their plans to achieve a balanced life. She also recently completed the requirements for yoga instructor certification.

Susan lives in Cincinnati with her husband Steve Skibo and their rescue dog Pete. She has one adult son.


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 economics 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 pursued a challenging area of study and who understands numbers, analytics and conceptual thinking.



shibani faehnleShibani Faehnle, Sr. Initiative Development Manager, KeyBank; Founder and CEO,; Founding Partner, SheInTheCLE

Shibani Faehnle joined KeyBank in 2005 and is currently a Business Development Strategist with the Community Bank. Prior to that, she was the Interim Intern Program Manager for the Corporate Bank. Her past experiences at Key include Vice President with the Private Loan Management Group of KeyBanc Capital Markets, focusing on the Gaming Travel & Leisure, Healthy & Active, and Food & Wine sectors within the Consumer Markets segment. In addition, Shibani covered Technology as well as Waste Management.

Prior to joining the firm, she was a Commercial Credit Analyst at Sky Financial Group, subsequent to completing a management training program at Sky. She also worked as an Account Manager at CDW.

Shibani holds a B.S. in Business Economics from Miami University. In 2003, she received a M.A. in Economics, also from Miami University. Shibani graduated from The Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders Program in 2015.

Shibani is a board member for the Young Professionals Advisory Council for Miami University’s Farmer School of Business. She is also a board member for the inaugural class of BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence Young Professionals Ambassadors Program. She leads Key’s Young Professional Business Networking and Impact Group. She is a former board member and current active volunteer for Secondhand Mutts and The Circle- Cleveland Orchestra’s Young Professionals. Shibani is a founding partner of, a nationally recognized blog. She is also the founder of, an online jewelry boutique and blog, which was awarded Editor’s Choice for Best Online Boutique by Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland 2016. She was also honored as Crain’s Cleveland Business Forty Under 40 in 2016. She is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, women’s leadership, and young professionals leadership. Shibani is a native of Mumbai, India and has called Cleveland, Ohio home since 2004.



michelle girardMichelle Girard, Managing Director, Co-Head Global Economics, Head of Strategic Coordination and Business Operations, US, Natwest Markets

Michelle Girard serves as Co-Head of Global Economics and Head of Strategic Coordination & Business Operations in the US. As Co-Head of Global Economics and a Managing Director for NatWest Markets, she oversees economists in the US, China, and India, forecasting growth, inflation, monetary and fiscal policy, and interest rates for the global and regional economies. Michelle analyzes developments in international trade and geopolitics, and has studied the implications of longer-term trends in demographics and technology. Collaborating with market strategists across the globe, Michelle provides synergistic analysis for NatWest Markets customer base on market-moving developments. Michelle is also a regular speaker and commentator on the economic outlook on various print, radio, and television news media including CNBC, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg TV & Radio, and Yahoo! Finance.

In her role as Head of Strategic Coordination and Business Operations, US, Michelle looks after the US operational and business control functions to ensure a well-controlled environment that is within the bank’s risk appetite. She works closely with both the NatWest Markets and NatWest Group leadership teams to coordinate the bank’s global strategic objectives.

As a member of the US Management Committee, Michelle works with other senior leaders to set and implement business strategy in the region. Alongside the US Chief Information Officer, Michelle focuses on innovation efforts in the region, examining Fintech partnerships and other growth opportunities at the intersection of business and technology. As an Executive Co-Sponsor of the US Energized Employee network, Michelle leads initiatives in diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, recognition, and well-being. She is a founding member of the NatWest Markets Women’s Network SteerCo and has taken an active role in helping to create and strengthen the talent development offerings for women across the organization.

Prior to joining the bank, Michelle held roles as Co-Head of the Fixed Income Strategy & Research Group at Prudential Securities, Chief Economist at Sanwa Securities (USA) and Economist with Bear Stearns. Michelle began her professional career as a Research Assistant for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC.

She received her MA and BS (magna cum laude) from Miami University


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.




james gilliganJames Gilligan, Private Investor

Jim Gilligan joined Invesco in this position in 2010. Previously, he served as Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Asset Management and Van Kampen Investments. Jim was the lead portfolio manager of the Van Kampen Growth and Income and the Kampen Equity and Income strategy for 19 years. He managed a number of other investment products over the years including the Van Kampen American Value Fund. He entered the investment industry when he joined American Capital Asset Management as a securities analyst in 1985. Prior to that, he was an auditor for Gulf Oil. Jim holds an MBA with a concentration in accounting from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a CFA charterholder and a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the Houston Society of Financial Analysts.

Jim graduated from Miami in 1978 with degrees in Economics and Finance and now lives in Houston.


I was an Economics/Finance major at Miami. I can't remember why I chose economics, except I had a very good Econ teacher in high school that introduced the basics and also had us participate in a stock picking contest which, eventually, steered me to career in investments. I was not much of a student in college but I thought, as I still do, that studying Economics would provide a more liberal education and lead to better long term "thinking".

As I have progressed in life and my career, economics, and particularly behavioral economics/finance, have interested me more and more. Although many would like economics to be a predictable science, it has proven to policy makers and prognosticators time and time again that, because of the multitude of known and unknown variables, it is impossible, or at least nearly impossible, to accurately predict or formulate effective policy. But because of this unpredictability, a tremendous amount of thought is brought to fore and, while there may not be totally correct answers, the whole process is a lot more interesting than the more concrete business disciplines.

The period that we are now experiencing, from Greenspan to the current Yellen regime at the Fed, could prove to be one of the most outstanding learning experiences in the field in quite a while. Couple that with the experiences in Japan over the last 30 years and their experiment now to gain "breakout velocity" and China's incredible attempt to bring itself into the developed world without the common volatility that this entails, and you see incredibly fertile ground for study for at least a generation.



scott glaserScott Glaser, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Lane Bryant and Catherines

Scott is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ascena Retail Group’s Plus Fashion Segment.  Based in Columbus, OH, Ascena’s Lane BryantCacique, and Catherines brands combine to do over $1.3B in revenue across 1,000 stores and e-commerce. Scott first joined Lane Bryant in 1994 after starting his career at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati and is currently responsible for the finance, accounting, and e-commerce functions. 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, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Business Advisory Council, and is the President of Miami University’s Alumni Advisory Board.

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, Miami class of 2019, and Kate) and enjoys 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." Thirty 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 kinds 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 econometrics classes to a lot of early value I added in my career. In a retail business with over 1,000 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 we have a team whose sole purpose is to "test & learn."  We test different products and inventory levels, different labor models, and different store merchandising strategies. We look at how the presence of a store in a given trade area affects our e-commerce sales from customers in that trade area. Our industry is changing so much these days, and the analytics that come from my team are critical to our making the right decisions as we keep pace with that change.

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.



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

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.



lisa guirlLisa Tintera Guirl, Macroforecasting

Lisa Tintera Guirl spent most of her career as an economist at Macroeconomic Advisers (MA), formerly Laurence H. Meyer and Associates, an economic consulting firm focused on macro modeling and forecasting of the US economy and policy analysis. Her most recent role there was developing a new product that provides banks with consistent alternative economic scenarios that they are required to use in stress testing their portfolios in order comply with Dodd Frank. Lisa also been responsible for writing daily, weekly, and monthly economic briefings, and aided in the continual development of the Washington University Macro Model. Most recently, Lisa has been with Conway Investment Research providing a macroeconomic overlay to their investment strategy, advising the team on macroeconomic issues and writing the monthly economic newsletter, Keeping Connected. Lisa currently serves as Treasurer of the Conway School Association as the chair of the school's capital campaign, and sits on the Board of Directors of Bellerive Country Club.

Lisa graduated from Miami with both a B.S. and a B.A. in Economics in 1991 and an M.A. from Miami in 1991. She now lives in St. Louis.

I initially became an econ major because I loved history and was good at math but struggled in finding a meaningful application of it. Economics provided a framework to use math to develop policy. I was lucky enough to spend a year in Luxembourg just as the European Union was coming of age study the economics of the EU, the ECB, and the ECU. One of the best things that I ever did was stay at Miami and earn my Master’s degree in economics. That year gave me an extra skill set that helped me land my first job at what was then Laurence H. Meyer and Associates—a macroeconomic forecasting firm. I was the third Miami grad they had hired---they knew that Miami had a strong program. I spent years analyzing, writing about, and advising clients on the macro effects of policy….the very reason I studied economics to begin with!



alicia howreyAlicia Howrey, Economist, Business Council of Alberta

Alicia Howrey is a graduate student at the University of Georgia in the Master’s of Arts in Teaching program which is a 15 month program to be qualified to teach economics at the high school level. Previously, she worked at Nielsen as an Analyst and Associate Client Manager on the Procter & Gamble account. Alicia began her career in 2011 as an Analyst working on P&G's Fabric Care portfolio which includes household brands like Tide and Gain detergent and then worked as an Associate Client Manager on P&G's ever-growing Personal Health Care business including OTC medications such as NyQuil and Prilosec. Her team was responsible for addressing a broad range of business issues such as determining the most effective pricing strategy by brand to targeting high-opportunity consumers and effectively tracking the health of the business. She developed and led the Client Service team’s ongoing training program to encourage continued development of all associates on the team and was also actively engaged in Nielsen’s Employee Resource Group for women “WIN”.

Alicia graduated from Miami with a B.A. in Economics in 2011.


After reading Levitt's newly popular book Freakonomics Senior year of High School, I knew I was hooked and declared my major at Miami University shortly thereafter, without a single economics course under my belt. Fortunately, I found the same intrigue and passion in my economics courses at Miami as I had in Levitt's book, learning about the seemingly hidden side of everything. I had never felt so equally challenged and encouraged academically as I did in my economics courses. 4 years and countless macro and microeconomics lectures at FSB later, I accepted a job with Nielsen as an Analyst on the Procter & Gamble account in Cincinnati. I could not have found a company more engrained in what I loved about economics. Understanding what consumers purchase, how, and why, i.e. the fundamentals of economics, is at the heart of what Nielsen does. As we address business questions related to targeting consumers, pricing, and competition, economics is always top of mind, guiding the way I think through the issue and determine solutions. I’ve found economics to be an effective framework for problem-solving. The way economics teaches you to analyze a problem - assessing the costs and benefits, dissecting the decision-making process - is a highly valued skill. I now find the same intrigue, passion, and challenge in my work as I once did in class, using the guiding principles of economics as the foundation for endless curiosity and learning.




dan hungermanDan Hungerman, Stepan Family Associate Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

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!



marty igelMarty Igel, Vice President, Generic Pharmaceuticals, Cardinal Health

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.



troy jacksonTroy Jackson, Vice President, Commercial Excellence Asia Pacific, ASSA Abloy

Troy Jackson began his career with Procter & Gamble learning the basics of marketing and market research on household brands like Crest and Cover Girl Cosmetics. He now works with Philips (PHG) leading a portfolio of Global Brand Licensing partners for the Americas. He has been with Philips for the last 5 years managing global product portfolios from consumer electronics to strategic brand alliances including the award winning Philips O'Neill headphones partnership. In these roles, Troy has made many appearances with the global press for product launches and marketing campaign announcements while working both in the US and working abroad from Hong Kong. Prior to joining Philips, Troy was VP of Marketing and Product for a venture backed technology startup that was acquired by a leading internet service provider company. Earlier in Troy's career, he managed a number of credit product portfolios for Bank of America.

Troy graduated from Miami with a B.S. in Economics in 1996 and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. While at Miami University, he studied on our Luxembourg campus. He now lives in Hong Kong.


"IT DEPENDS." This is the answer to most economics questions and is also the answer to most of life's questions. I didn't have the foresight at the time, but economics was exactly the major that I needed for my career. I knew I wanted to be in business and eventually manage a business one day. I didn't want to get typecast as an accountant or a financial analyst or an operations guy. I wanted to be exposed to all the levers of a business and to be able to figure out the impact of investing in one area vs. another. Economics teaches you how to think and how to evaluate the impact of one variable on all the rest. This is the same thought process that you need for business and for life.



patrick jonesPatrick Jones, Founder and CEO of Vocatio

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!



lynne kieslingLynne Kiesling, Visiting Professor in Engineering and Public Policy, Co-Director of the Institution for Regulatory Law and Economics, Faculty Affiliate in the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation Carnegie Mellon University, President, Knowledge Problem LLC

Lynne Kiesling is an economist focusing on regulation, market design, and the economics of digitization and smart grid technologies in the electricity industry. She is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Co-Director of the Institute for Regulatory Law & Economics, and a Faculty Affiliate in the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, at Carnegie Mellon University. She also provides advisory and analytical services as the President of Knowledge Problem LLC, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Masters of Science in Energy and Sustainability program at Northwestern University. She served as a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Smart Grid Advisory Committee, and is an emerita member of the GridWise Architecture Council. Her academic background includes a B.S. in Economics from Miami University (Ohio) and a Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.




margaret laydingMargaret Layding, Principal, Rhapsody Insights LLC

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!



jill millerJill Miller, President and CEO, Bethesda, Inc

Jill Miller is President and CEO of Bethesda Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that is both co-sponsor of TriHealth, a leading integrated health care system in Southwest Ohio, and creator of bi3,  grantmaking initiative to transform the health and well being of all people in Greater Cincinnati. 

Since 2010, bi3 has granted more than $56 million, making it one of Ohio’s largest health-based grantmakers. Under Jill’s leadership, bi3 invests in innovative ideas that have the potential to lead to breakthrough change in health practices – focusing on maternal/infant health, behavioral health, and addressing the social determinants of health.  With a goal of reducing health disparities, achieving health equity is central to bi3’s mission.

Under her leadership, bi3 fueled new care models to reduce infant mortality, improve access to care, address social determinants of health, enhance end-of-life care, and improve health equity.  Addressing these issues are essential for creating significant improvement in community health and in healthcare delivery.  Jill has shared the work of bi3 locally, regionally and nationally through various speaking engagements. 

Earlier in her career, Jill founded and led the Joey Votto Foundation, where she managed and facilitated grants, created new grassroots programs, and built meaningful relationships with community partners. She served as development director at Ronald McDonald House, where she exceeded fundraising goals, facilitated organizational change, and led efforts to empower board members and community volunteers. Jill also has held leadership roles in the financial and insurance industries.

In 2020, Jill served as Chair of the Funders Collaborative that helped guide the decision-making processes associated with the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.  The Fund rapidly mobilized to provide community grants to support the most vulnerable in our community.  Jill also serves on Miami University’s Economics Advisory Board and Bethesda Foundation Board of Trustees.  

She is a 2016 YWCA Rising Star, a member of Leadership Cincinnati Class 39 and the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 2016 Forty Under 40 class. Jill holds a Business Economics degree from Miami University and MBA from Xavier University.  


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.



greg moodyGreg Moody, Executive in Residence, The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Greg Moody is an Executive-in-Residence at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs where he teaches, conducts research, and provides leadership training for state and local elected officials through the State of Ohio Leadership Institute. He joined the faculty after 24 years of public service in state and federal government.

Prior to his appointment, Greg served as the executive director of Ohio Governor John Kasich’s Office of Health Transformation. His team gained national attention for its creativity in coordinating multiple state agencies and diverse private sector partners to improve overall health system performance.

Greg began his public service career studying the impact of Medicaid on federal spending for the U.S. House Budget Committee under then-Chairman Kasich. He also served as chief of staff for Dean Bernadine Healy at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and executive assistant for Ohio Governor Bob Taft.

Greg has a Masters in Philosophy from George Washington University and a Bachelors in Economics from Miami University.


I marvel at the power of economics to describe the world, and how the world defies those descriptions. This tension was on full display in one of my favorite classes, Dr. James Brock’s Bigness Complex, about how economic scale can deliver efficiency but also rig rules and subvert competition. Only a few years into my confident stance that economics could explain just about anything, that class said instead that other forces – political, social, cultural – also are at work in the world and sometimes powerful enough to upend economic theory. I started thinking in terms of public policy, always grounded in the economics I learned at Miami, but also trying to understand the other untidy forces that compete to claim “this is real." My path put me in the room where some amazing public policy happened, but that’s just one path. I listen in wonder as others describe their paths, how they found Miami, the course they took through Laws Hall (in my day) or the Farmer School of Business, and the mixture of purpose and happenstance that reveals their path in the world. Whatever your path, I hope along the way you find peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.



harriet mountcastle walshHarriet Mountcastle-Walsh, Vice President and General Counsel, Honeywell Aerospace

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.



martin myersMartin H. Myers, Partner, Covington and Burling LLP

Marty Myers is a partner in the law firm of Covington and Burling in San Francisco. He was formally a partner with Jones Day. Marty is nationally recognized for his success in obtaining large insurance recoveries for complex losses in many industries, with a particular emphasis on the technology sector. While best known for representing technology companies, Marty has successfully recovered insurance money for clients in industries including real estate and construction, natural resource extraction, entertainment, and financial services. Marty frequently advises policyholders on complex insurance underwriting, loss prevention, and risk transfer situations. He is among the world's leading practitioners in mergers and acquisition-related insurance, including tax loss, representation, and warranty and environmental policies. Marty was counsel in the placement of the largest tax loss insurance program in history. Marty also has been lead defense counsel in several notable securities and corporate litigation matters. He has obtained dismissals of clients and established important principles of California law through several published decisions.

Marty graduated from Miami with a B.A. in Economics in 1984 and holds a law degree from the University of Michigan. He lives in Berkeley, near the University of California campus.


Being an economics major at Miami changed the way I see the world. The training I received in economics provided me with primary tools to better assess and critically evaluate nearly every aspect of my life. Most important, it taught me how to ask the right questions and how best to evaluate the information I receive. At Miami, I began using econometrics to model aspects of human behavior, intending to develop ways of using such information to influence government policy. I found decision and game theory incredibly interesting and useful, in part for the same purposes.

I attended law school, and discovered that the skills I had developed at Miami - especially the ability to see the world through the lens of economic decision-making - were fundamental to success in law school. Rather than pursue a career influencing government policy, however, I discovered that I also greatly enjoy courtroom advocacy. Over the years, quite unexpectedly, I also discovered an area of law practice particularly well suited to the critical analytic skills that developed during my years at Miami: insurance recovery. I represent corporate policyholders in major disputes with insurers over losses of many types - catastrophic property damage/business interruption, intellectual property and other liabilities. I routinely deploy my econometric modeling skills to analysis of losses and recovery valuation (to the amazement or consternation of forensic experts). The decision and game theory principles I learned allow me to advise clients on key strategic decisions, and to anticipate and defeat positions taken by litigation opponents. In short, the way the Miami Econ Department taught me to understand the world has provided the critical lens that allows me to succeed as a lawyer.

Professional success is a very important aspect of the "dismal science" training I received at Miami. But more important, the lens that training has provided allows me to be a much more engaged, inquisitive, happy and effective husband, father, friend and participant in economic and government affairs.



sale shrallowDale Shrallow, Senior Tax Counsel, AbbVie

Dale currently works for AbbVie as Senior Tax Counsel. He was formerly the Associate General Tax Counsel, and Director of Tax Research and Planning at BP America. Prior to joining BP, Dale practiced at Squire, Sanders, & Dempsey in Cleveland. He advises his clients on a wide range of federal, state, and international tax issues, including acquisitions and dispositions, corporate restructuring, and financial products. Dale earned his JD at the Ohio State College of Law where he was the Associate Editor of The Ohio State Law Journal. He is also a certified public accountant. Dale has served as a mentor in the Menttium program for mentoring professional women in the corporate arena, and as mentor in BP's "Emerging Leaders" program for high potential tax professionals.

Dale graduated from Miami in 1975 with a B.A. in Economics. He now lives in Chicago.


When I think about my time as an Economics major, one person comes immediately to mind-Jerry Miller. I took my first course with him during Winter quarter of my freshman year (a large lecture class of course), and I was totally blown away. Two things struck me about the class. First, how absolutely intriguing and interesting the material was, and second, Jerry's unwavering passion. I was fascinated about what Jerry had to say. At the same time, his "unconventional" style made his class all the more interesting.

I went on to take several more classes with Jerry, including a graduate class my senior year. Jerry imparted to me critical thinking skills that no doubt have helped me as a lawyer. He constantly challenged his students and manifested (rightly so!) his impatience with "lazy" thinking. For this I am very grateful.



stephanie schumacherStephanie Schumacher, Vice President, Finance, Macys

Stephanie Schumacher began her career at Macy's (then Federated Department Stores) in Cincinnati working as an economic analyst.  She held a variety of positions in finance including Corporate FP&A and Capital Planning, a team responsible for managing the company’s $1B+ capital budget. After two stints in New York, she returned to Cincinnati in 2014 and is currently a Vice President heading the company’s Capital Planning, Area Research, and Technology Finance teams. 

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 and studying consumer behavior. 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 to interpret results. 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.




karen simpsonKaren Simpson, Treasurer, Operation Giveback

Karen Simpson currently works with various non-profit agencies on programs to help people out of poverty, primarily focusing on efforts on financial literacy training and personal financial counseling. Previously, she worked at Arthur Anderson, GE, and Fabri-centers in various roles performing analysis and development of information systems for manufacturing, retailing and financial applications. In addition, while at Miami University, Karen was an intern at the Federal Reserve Board collecting and compiling data for industrial production.

Karen received her B.S. in Business Economics from Miami University in 1981 and lives in Cincinnati.


Economics is a fascinating discipline combining the concrete, quantitative analysis of revenues and costs with the behavioral analysis of how people think and respond to economic forces. The intellectual rigor and breadth of thought required has provided an excellent foundation in every stage of my career, from the quantitative analysis I used at the Federal Reserve Board for informing macroeconomic policy to the business analysis at Arthur Andersen and GE used to maximize competitiveness. Currently, in my work in the nonprofit sector, it informs both the quantitative and behavioral issues involved in tackling the challenges of generational poverty.



brian smithBrian Smith, Global Chief Operating Officer, Mediabrands Insights

Brian’s mix of curiosity and analytics has helped him gain over 20 years of experience driving growth and innovation for some of the world’s leading brands. Brian leads ThinkVine’s product and service teams, helping to ensure that the company's services and technology continue to evolve along with the needs of our customers. Prior to joining ThinkVine, he served as a Principal at The Connell Group, developing brand strategies and innovation plans for clients including Johnson & Johnson, and The Hershey Company. Before that, Smith held senior roles at Nielsen, The Cambridge Group, and BASES where he led transformative client initiatives for major consumer packaged goods companies globally, including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Coca Cola, General Mills, Energizer, and ConAgra. Mr. Smith began his career at Procter & Gamble, guiding innovation and strategy for Crisco, Folgers, Millstone, Scope, Fixodent, and Crest; he also led the commercial team that developed Whitestrips. Brian holds a BA in Economics from Miami University.



drew spataDrew Spata, Head Economist, Macy's  

Drew Spata has been the Economist for Macy’s Inc since 2016. He is a former member of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Economic Advisory Group, and is currently part of the Federal Reserve of Cleveland Business Advisory Council. Prior to being Chief Economist he was a part of the small economics department with the company for eight years. Responsibilities include understanding and forecasting long and short term economic trends as they relate to the company as well as the retail industry as a whole. Internally runs research programs to understand projects and changes the company has made to better serve our customers. All of this comes together to build financial models and guidance for the Macy’s managements teams. Prior to his time in Cincinnati, he lived in Seattle, WA. Working for an operating division of Macy’s was part of the Gross Margin and Expense team there for three years. He received his Bachelors of Science in Economics from Miami University in 2001, and Master of Arts in Economics from Miami University in 2002. After graduating he stayed on as a Visiting Professor in Economics at Miami for two years. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife (also a graduate of Miami) and two daughters Lily and EV.


I came into Miami without much understanding what I wanted to pursue except that I knew I wanted to be in the business school. Between my first Finance class and first Economics class I was hooked. When one of my professors described Economics as Applied Finance that was all it took for me. When I then found out that Economics was also applied mathematics and statistics I was ready to go. I have always enjoyed the thought process and approach to problems that economics teachings dictate. They have served me well and always lead me to extra questions or to pursue unique solutions. Teaching Economics for two years really gave me an appreciation of the discovery of the subject all over again. As students began to understand new concepts or look at situations differently I found great joy in the subject in a new way.

Farmer School of Business Department of Economics

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