Sole Instructor of Record
  • Florida State University
    • Business Organization and Market Structure (Industrial Organization) - one section of 27 students, Summer 2017 (evaluations)
    • Principles of Microeconomics - one section of 45 students, Summer 2015 (evaluations)
Teaching Assistant
  • Florida State University
    • Government Regulation of Business - Fall 2017
    • Intermediate Microeconomics - Spring 2017
  • Marquette University
    • Introduction to Economics -  Fall 2010, Spring 2011

Teaching Experience and Preferences

While at Florida State, I have been the Instructor of Record for two courses. I was totally responsible for determining the content and materials for these courses. The first course I taught was Principles of Microeconomics (ECO 2023). It had an enrollment of 45 students. The second course I taught was Business Organization and Market Structure (ECO 3403), which is our course that deals with Industrial Organization. It had an enrollment of 27 students. Both courses were taught in six-week Summer sessions where the class met for 75 minutes each week day. My preferences lie in Industrial Organization, Regulation, Urban Economics, Public Economics, principles and intermediate level Microeconomics, and Econometrics, though I am confident I could teach any course at the undergraduate level given enough preparation time. I have a journal publication in the area of Monetary Economics that began as a masters thesis, so I do have some familiarity with Macroeconomics at the masters level that informs my teaching of Macroeconomic topics at the undergraduate level. My research greatly influences my teaching, so I welcome the opportunity to develop new courses in the curriculum to introduce students to topics such as network industries, technology and innovation, and energy economics. I am also comfortable with non-standard formats such as online, hybrid, and seminar courses.

Teaching Philosophy

Throughout my post-secondary career, I have benefited from exceptional teaching and mentoring that has inspired me in my path to becoming an effective instructor. As an effective instructor, I know how to make the material relevant and set up class in a way that makes students want to actively participate. I continuously assess student understanding and reiterate that a successful learning process involves trying, failing, and correcting mistakes. I explain where the material will help my students not only in a future career but in attaining a greater understanding of their world. As a result, my students are well-practiced on how to apply the economic way of thinking to their everyday life and earn an appreciation for how the study of economics complements any field they study.

Active student participation is central towards retaining and truly mastering course material. One way I encourage this is by running experiments to provide memorable connections to concepts. When I show students what it means to make gains from trade, I run the candy-trading game. During a discussion of supply and demand, I facilitate Vernon Smith's classic Pit Market. In upper division classes, experiments involving topics like network externalities become more complicated, but I can use a variety of virtual tools such as MobLab, FEELE, and Veconlab to smoothly integrate these.

I elicit active discussion by framing things in a way that is relevant to my students' lives. For example, my students do not usually have first-hand experience with business strategy, so when discussing competition and regulation, I start by talking about products they purchase and use. Many students have ordered from Amazon.com at least once (if not there are many other companies to substitute in). I ask: why did they purchase that item from Amazon and nowhere else? What characteristics of Amazon made it the more attractive option? What would another business have to do in order to get them to switch? What do they not like buying from Amazon? Now they are starting to think about competition as multidimensional. They are thinking about dominant and fringe competition. They are thinking about whether a firm is successful due to superior offerings or market power. This activity fosters retention of the material, but it also gets students to think critically about economic behavior beyond superficialities.

I assess my students' understanding and retention every class. For example, I open every lesson with two questions on the board relating to material that I will teach that day. Students take five minutes to write down their answers and turn them in to me. Their answers do not impact their grades, and the exercise serves three purposes. First, it is how I track attendance. Second, I better understand the baseline knowledge students are working with, whether that's from reading the material the day before, which I heavily emphasize in all of my classes, or from a past course. Third, it gives students a taste of the most significant material. My students know that the questions are fair game to incorporate into a test, so it also incentivizes attendance. On the best days, my questions provide an opportunity to think critically about real-world examples. The question ``Do you believe airlines price discriminate?" compels them to take what they learned from a previous discussion on airlines and apply it under the new lens of price discrimination. When our lecture or discussion later comes to the question material, I call on students to provide their answers. Because the questions often deal with unfamiliar material, many students probably answered incompletely or incorrectly at the beginning of class. However, once we work our way through discussion, their answers improve, and they can explicitly point to at least two new things that they have learned from that day's class.

I also facilitate discussions so that students feel safe to fail on the first try. Let's say we have just finished a discussion on long-run entry in perfect competition. I ask ``What happens when we prevent additional entry into the market?" I have not gone over entry barriers with them, but they should have the tools necessary to answer that question. Yet I am sometimes left facing a silent classroom. I understand that in being asked to apply a concept for the first time, some students have no idea where to begin, and others might have a guess but are afraid of giving a wrong answer in front of their peers. I remind my students that taking a chance is a risk from which they can grow. Whether it is me or a student who walks the class through to the correct answer, I reiterate that the learning process involves making mistakes to show where there are gaps in their knowledge. If they take the time to demonstrate they've filled in those gaps by providing a correct answer on an exam, then it doesn't really matter how they answered when they initially raised their hand.

Open-ended questions also provide a natural pivot towards real-world applications and the work economists do. Using simple models of competition and entry barriers, my classes have more sophisticated discussions on topics like the regulation of Uber or occupational licensing. I sometimes pull up published research that analyzes outcomes in the market for taxi service, or I show them an IGM poll of economists that measures whether there is widespread agreement or disagreement about the economic effects of medical licensing. Even if it the discussion is based on introductory principles, this demonstrates that what they have learned has relevance to big societal issues. It also demonstrates that our field of study is a living, evolving thing and not just a textbook exercise.

Students might major in economics because they enjoy learning it for its own sake, but they also might be looking for skills to apply to a career. Student enthusiasm for certain topics is naturally piqued when I reiterate where these applications exist. I know from my experience working in industry that exiting an introductory econometrics class with a mastery of simple linear regression and a deep understanding of economic causality can open up a lot of doors for in-demand careers and provide a foundation for life-long further study. In discussing an antitrust case study, I tell my students that if they enjoy these kinds of topics, degrees in economics coupled with effective communications skills can prepare them for rewarding careers in government, law, or consulting. At the end of my Industrial Organization course, one of my students told me that antitrust was a field she had never considered before but was now very interested in. I put her into contact with faculty who have relationships with alumni working in antitrust. I also believe it is important to maintain regular contact with program alumni to ensure course material is relevant for my students' future careers. From those interactions, I can get a sense of how alumni are applying their degrees and can facilitate intern and job opportunities between alumni and current students.

During my time at Florida State, my teaching experiences have been very fulfilling. Between my doctoral program's semester-long teaching workshop and my experience as the instructor of record for Principles of Microeconomics and Industrial Organization, I feel completely prepared to hit the ground running teaching full-time as a professor. In committing to the success of my students, I will always be open to learning about new teaching methods especially as technology and institutional needs change. I am looking very forward to getting in front of the class again and mentoring students through their college careers.