Welcome to our 2022 newsletter, where we offer you a break from the onslaught of sensationalist headlines and click-bait.
Every Fall we like to connect with those who have shared a bit of their journey with us in the past. We hope to remind you of good memories of your university days. Thank you for providing that opportunity and your time to us.
For a department, one of the big pieces of news are changes in its members. After reporting on retirements last year, this time around we get to celebrate and welcome a few new faces, both staff and faculty. Call them “human resources,” or “talent,” or “work force,” our members ARE the department and our most important asset!
As we celebrated graduation this year (in person!) there was relief among graduands, but also a bit of being ‘lost’ for some. Relief that the multi-year goal and challenge that had predominated life has come to a successful conclusion. But also a bit of ‘now what?’ An economics degree is not training for one particular job, but provides broadly applicable skills that can be brought to bear on a wide diversity of jobs and careers. Co-op placements provide great exposure to day-to-day job requirements and skills in a variety of settings. But while there are some ‘economist’ jobs, predominantly the career entry is something with a different title.
Our alumni -- you -- have navigated this transition, have found answers and paths. You are an incredible source of inspiration and spirit and courage to those about to graduate or who have just graduated. You are in a unique position to educate us on what works and does not, what is missing and what can be dropped. Those are just some of the reasons we cherish our alumni contacts and value alumni visits to classrooms and the department.
This information flow depends on us staying connected, to share experiences and knowledge, through reaching out to support each other. So thank you for reading, and please do stay in touch!
All the best,
Inside this issue
The Waterloo Arts Distinguished Lecture this fall 2022 was given recently by Paul Beaudry, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada. Dr. Beaudry’s lecture was entitled “Pandemic macroeconomics: What we’ve learned, and what may lie ahead” which spoke meaningfully to the agility of policymakers in times of external shock. Integrally involved in Canada’s monetary policy decisions and with expertise overseeing our central bank’s financial system activities, Dr. Beaudry also serves as the Bank of Canada’s G7 and G20 Deputy. His perspective on lessons learned and the road ahead were fascinating.
A recording of the talk will be posted soon here.
Last January 2022, the Economic Department and Faculty of Arts were delighted to host the first ever virtual Arts Distinguished Lecture, delivered by Dr. Hilary Hoynes, Professor of Economic and Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley and entitled “Suffering, the Safety Net and Disparities during COVID-19.” Dr. Hoynes’ research documents the differential experience across social strata spanning employment, educational and nutritional impacts from the pandemic, and the extraordinary policy response in the United States, with insights for how to continue to support families and children. The presentation was a timely, insightful and enlightening conclusion to the Distinguished Lecture’s pandemic hiatus. To watch the presentation, please visit the 2022 Distinguished Lecture page and follow the links to the lecture posted on YouTube. Thank you Jolyon Burton, BA '00, and Bloom Burton & Co for Sponsoring the 2023 Faculty of Arts Distinguished Lecture in Economics.
Last January the University of Waterloo Economics Society teamed up with the Department of Economics to host the Alumni Career Panel which brought three terrific guests back to their alma mater, virtually, to share their experiences and talk about the interesting things that they did with their economics degree. Rosalie Wyonch (MA '16) talked about her policy research work at the C.D. Howe Institute. Raveel Afzaal (BA '08) shared how his degree and passion for green energy led him to Next Hydrogen, where he is President and CEO. And Brenda Hoffman (BA '86), Senior Vice President at NASDAQ discussed her journey to the world’s second-largest stock exchange by market capitalization, where she is responsible for some of the most important functional aspects of the trading space. Hearing what these Warriors had to say about the opportunities that an economics degree opens up is a great antidote to concern about recessions and job markets, because there’s no doubt that economics is a great degree for a changing world!
By Barb Bloemhof
In normal times, graduation at the University of Waterloo is a joyful week when the campus puts on its best clothes and welcomes the family and friends of the graduating class to help us celebrate the achievements of our newest alumni. Normal, of course, left town two years ago when the decision to postpone in-person gatherings was made. What we knew for sure was that, when it was safe to do so, we would invite alumni from the classes of 2020 and 2021 to join us back on campus where we would celebrate their achievements together.
This past June, 8,320 graduates and returning alumni brought over 18,500 guests to celebrate convocation – in person! Each of the 20 separate events opened with a drummed song of celebration and Indigenous Knowledge Keeper Myeengun Henry’s words of greeting. The Honour Songs were performed by Scott Norton, Scott Stevens, David Villada, Mark Brown, Mike Duke, Perry Stevens, Kelly Welch and Awryawna Issacs. With the Two Row Wampum taking its place of honour on stage with the ceremonial mace, these convocation events provided all of our alumni with a truly moving embodiment of the path to reconciliation that we walk together.
This year’s graduands also heard an address by economist and honourary degree recipient Dr. John Helliwell, who spoke about what he’d learned from studying happiness for the past two decades and led everyone assembled in singing “The More We Get Together,” a traditional children’s song based on a 17th century Viennese melody and popularized by Raffi. Truly a convocation to remember!
Our mission at the UW Economics Society is to provide UW students with an infrastructure and the necessary tools for collaborative engagement, support, and learning. Our events integrate social and academic features to enhance the student experience.
During the past year, the UW Economics Society has hosted a number of successful and interesting virtual events: alumni career panels, prof mixers, trivia nights, and our very popular investment and financial literacy workshops. We have continued to collaborate with the Economics Department to provide our “ECON-nection” Mentorship Program, which supports 2A students with school and co-op search. Additionally, we’ve expanded our Marketing Team to reach more UW students, which enabled us to spread the word about our initiatives through innovative and informational content on our social media, like our short form videos and Trivia Thursdays on Instagram.
As restrictions have come down, we’ve reconnected in person, starting with the Arts Trivial Pursuit held in collaboration with the Arts Undergrad Office in April, which attracted over 70 students. More recently, our much anticipated stock contest was restarted in Spring Term 2022, and you will find leader board updates included alongside our usual roundup of topical economic issues in UWES’s bi-weekly newsletters throughout the term. A new, larger Research Team has provided more diverse content including original articles on our website.
And new this year, the UWES has strengthened its partnerships with other student societies and departments to present events like the Networking Workshop with UW FARMSA and the Financial Literacy Presentation with the Stocks Club. Our Policy Case Competition collaboration with the Laurier Economics Club in January and February 2022 was the first of its kind, but hopefully it won’t be the last!
It’s been great hosting most of our Spring 2022 events in-person as we transition back into in-person activities in the Fall 2022 term!
We can’t wait to see everyone back on campus in the next year! Feel free to connect with us and stay tuned with our activities by following us on our Facebook page, Instagram, website, and our virtual student lounge on Discord.
If you have any questions, concerns, feedback, or ideas, please bring them up to us. You can email us at: email@example.com
Parn Narang & Vicky Chen, Co-Presidents of University of Waterloo Economics Society (UWES)
It is a pleasure to honour an in-course student who demonstrates outstanding academic performance early in their studies. Since Fall 2020, thanks to the remarkable gift of the 2017 Arts Alumni Achievement Award winner and outstanding alumni mentor, Jacqueline Armstrong Gates (BA '91, Political Science), the department has named an annual scholarship recipient in recognition of their superior cumulative academic excellence. We thank Ms. Armstrong Gates for her generosity in support of this year’s deserving student!
Thanks to the generosity of Alan Uffelmann (BA ’86 – Economics), the department is able to make an award to a full-time undergraduate economics student who is studying towards any program we offer. Scholarships can be a confirmation to a young mind of the value of their efforts, and can sometimes make all the difference to our students. We are grateful to be able to award this year’s recipient with this welcome funding for their studies.
The Kenneth Stollery Memorial Graduate Award was established in memory of professor Ken Stollery, a long time professor of the department of economics, who passed away in 2005. Awarded to graduate students enrolled in either the Masters or PhD program in the department of economics, recipients are chosen on the basis of academic excellence and other criteria. The award is made possible by donations in his name made by family and friends, alumni, faculty and staff. Thanks to their generosity, we are able to congratulate two of our students who were this year’s recipients!
The Nihar and Mina Bose Graduate Scholarship in Economics was created in 2018 through the generosity of Professor Sukesh Ghosh and Mrs. Nandita Ghosh in honour of Professor Ghosh’s late uncle and aunt, Nihar and Mina Bose. The scholarship awards a graduate student in the Department of Economics based on academic achievement and financial need. Congratulations to this year’s recipient.
We are extremely proud of our Masters and Doctoral students! At the recent 2021-2022 Graduate Awards Ceremony, held over lunch at the Grad House, we were pleased to be able to recognize some of our students’ outstanding achievements in the core areas of economic investigation. Kudos to all the winners!
Achievement in Econometrics
Sirui (Merry) Ma
Achievement in Microeconomic Theory
Achievement in Macroeconomics
Sirui (Merry) Ma
Congratulations to all our undergraduates! This year, awards were conferred at a virtual Undergraduate Convocation Celebration, where our faculty recognized the achievements of the Economics graduating class of 2022.
Departmental Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement (Arts)
Each academic year, the Faculty of Arts asks each department to select one of their top graduating students as the recipient of the Department Award. The 2021-2022 Economics Department Award Recipient is Amit Shteyer who graduated in June from the Bachelor of Arts (Honours Mathematical Economics).
Mathematical Economics Award
This award is presented to honour top graduating students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in the Honours Mathematical Economics major. The two 2021-2022 Honours Mathematical Economics Award Recipients are Gioia Myers and Chloe Zu, both of whom were graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Mathematical Economics).
Honours Economics Award
This year, two awards were presented to top graduating student who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in the Honours Economics major. The 2021-2022 Honours Economics Award Recipients are Hameedat Busari and Kevin Gylys, both graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours Economics).
Senior Honours Essay Award
This award is presented to a student in an Honours Economics program who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in the Senior Honours Essay (ECON 472). The 2021-2022 Senior Honours Essay Award Recipient is Matthew Azevedo (who is graduating with a Bachelor of Science Joint Honours Physics and Astronomy and Economics with Intensive Specialization). The title of the winning paper is “Investigating the Impacts of Ontario’s Renewable Expansion on Electricity Wholesale Prices.”
As we transition back to more in-person events, we have a there have been lots of new faces in the department. We are very happy to welcome three new faculty members, Predrag Rajsic, Keisuke Teeple and Stephanie Villers to our department. Dr. Rajsic is an expert in environmental economics, regulation and business finance, while Dr. Teeple’s research is in economic theory and behavioural finance. Ms. Villers is completing her PhD in Management, on the topic of marketing that challenges misinformation and fosters inclusivity.
If you’ve come in for undergraduate advising lately you may have met Brittany Woodhall, who joined the department in the last academic year. More recently, it’s great to have Zoe Clemens joining us while Lynn Skelly is on secondment. Welcome both!
We would like to thank our generous alumni donors for their support in covering travel costs to the 56th annual Canadian Economics Association conference, as these meetings were held in person in Ottawa this year. John Baker attended and presented his paper entitled “Business Cycles, Immigration and Labour Markets: Analysis of a Policy Experiment.” John’s doctoral work is supervised by Dr. Lam.
Aidi Yu presented her paper “Urban Growth Boundary and Housing Affordability: Theory and Evidence from the Southern Ontario Greenbelt” virtually at the 2022 Environmental Studies Association of Canada Annual Conference in May. Aidi’s doctoral work is supervised by Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Stacey.
PhD candidate Iuliia Nesterova received an invitation to attend the prestigious Lindau Noble Laureate Meetings last August. This is a gathering of noble laureates that convene to meet, teach and inspire the new generation of scholars, and it is an excellent place to share what Waterloo students are researching!
If you would like to contribute to future travel funding for graduate students, please contact Professor Lutz-Alexander Busch or Phoebe Wong – and thank you in advance for making this important experience accessible to young scholars.
By Corey Van de Waal
Test your economics knowledge with this Economics Word Find. Find all the listed words in the game grid.
We've filled two in for you.
When you are done, form a 16 letter (3 word) message from the unused letters. Print the message on the Answer line. Good luck!
(Hint: A PRIZE WORTH COVETING)
Download and print out the .pdf version here: Puzzle (PDF) . The first three correctly solved puzzles will win a prize, so don’t forget to fill in your contact details!
(Contest is closed to members of the department’s faculty and staff and their families – sorry!)
- The seminar webpage shows all upcoming and past visiting speakers. Everyone is welcome to attend our seminars – please email for details of how to join our virtual seminars.
- Have exciting news to share? We’d love to hear what you are up to!
- Interested in giving a talk? We also love welcoming our alumnae/i to our classes! (And with remote learning, it’s simple!)
- Want to be involved in networking or economic events? Please just ask!
- Want to contribute to our activities? Your donations help fund awards and lectures that make a difference. Please consider reaching out to support us – and thank you!