Category: Economics

Graduate Student Spotlight: Creating the Future of Natural Resource Economics in Mining

Josephine Amponsem, a master’s student in Applied Natural Resource Economics in the School of Business and Economics at Michigan Tech, is working alongside Emanuel Oliveira, assistant professor of economics, building a socioeconomic database with more than one million observations on factors impacting entrepreneurship. In addition to collating and cleaning data, Amponsem is using Stata, an econometric software for analyzing huge amounts of economic data.

Amponsem is also gaining hands-on experience working with Latika Gupta, assistant professor of economics, collecting and mapping data on energy efficiency in the steel industry. “We ask ourselves what is the data telling us, and how can it be used to make economic decisions,” Amponsem says.

Michigan Tech graduate student Josephine Amponsem
School of Business and Economics graduate student Josephine Amponsem takes a research break outside the Academic Office Building.

Originally from Ghana, West Africa, where she earned her undergraduate degree in materials engineering, Amponsem has professional experience working as a metallurgist in the mining industry. Her passion for natural resource management is rooted in her home country’s illegal gold mining crisis and management of recently discovered oil beneath the sea.

In the traditionally male-dominated field, Josephine was the only female on her 11-member team. Every day she set out to validate her work through determination and focus. Despite the challenges, she loved the environment and had an eye toward managerial positions.

The obstacles she faced at the mine grew more dire with the news that it would soon shut down. “I thought, ‘What am I going to do next? What are my opportunities?’” Her former manager suggested she pursue a US education to differentiate herself.

With her strong interest in natural resources economics, she Googled “mineral economics” and investigated more about the first school to populate: Michigan Tech.

“I discovered Michigan Tech has one of the strongest and best-funded programs in the world. In my master’s program in the School of Business and Economics, I am learning how companies are run. I am learning decision-making tools, the economics of managing natural resources, and environmental issues that are being looked at worldwide. The key issues impacting almost every industry.”

Amponsem is on track to complete her thesis looking at the socio-economic effects of illegal mining in rural Ghana in spring 2018. Her ultimate desire is to make an impact. She may pursue a corporate managerial job back home and isn’t ruling out a PhD.

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Lecture by Dr. Paul Nelson

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Dr. Paul Nelson gave a lecture on Thursday, November 16 entitled “The Current State of Competition in the United States” organized by the Economics Club with the support of the SBE. More than 100 people were in attendance including students, faculty, and members of the local community.  Dr. Nelson’s lecture described the rise of oligopolies over the last few decades and how innovation is pretty much the main hope to disrupt them.

For more information, visit the Daily Mining Gazette.

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Need a course? Make it easier with advanced search

Find classes to meet your general education requirements.  Using the “Attribute Search” will help you find classes available for a particular semester.

Advanced functions are available to search for classes on this site here

After you select the term (Spring 2017, Summer 2017) you will go to the search functions (see picture below)

  1. SUBJECT:  Select multiple subjects by using the “Ctrl” + right click function or you can select all subjects with a left mouse click and highlight all subjects by dragging down.
  2. CAMPUS:  If wanting online courses select “MTU Online” in “Campus” search.   NOTE most online options are available in Summer terms.
  3. PART OF TERM:  AKA Track A (1st Half of Term) or Track B (2nd Half of Term) is helpful especially in Summer to select the track you would wish to take a class.
  4. ATTRIBUTE TYPE:  Finally…need a course to fulfill a particular General Education requirement (attribute) such as a HUFA (Humanities and Fine Arts) course? This can provide a list of courses available to fulfill a requirement for a particular semester.  TIP:  Select multiple subjects or subjects you are interested in
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Economics Student Returns from Washington DC

Jerrid Burdue (a third year economics student) just returned from presenting his winning iOME essay in Washington DC.  Faculty adviser, Dr. Emanuel Xavier-Oliveira and the Interim Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Dr. Dean Johnson accompanied Burdue on his trip.  Jerrid discussed his proposal for improving the savings of millennials with Senator Stabenow, and met with Senator Peters to talk over his currently pending bill, THE COMPETES BILL.  This bill would increase funding for STEM research.  Burdue, Oliveira and Johnson discussed ways the School of Business and Economics could assist with the implementation of the bill. The group was also able to spend extended time with Senator Peter’s key staffers that work with retirement savings where they discussed the importance of the commercialization of this research.

While in Washington, Jerrid was also featured on a panel to discuss millennial savings patterns and habits.  Other panelists included representatives from the Department of Labor, the Treasury Department, and Congressional staff from both republic and democratic parties.

Gary Peters Debbie Stabenow

Read more about Burdue, and see his essay here.

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SBE Student Wins National Essay Competition

By Mark Wilcox

A promotion used at his financial institution, provided the inspiration a Michigan Technological University undergraduate needed to take the top prize in a prestigious national essay competition.

For the past four years, teams from Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics had advanced to the finals of the iOme Challenge. In 2012 the SBE team took home Honorable Mention and a $2,000 prize. Finally this year, a Husky has emerged as the champion.

Jerrid Burdue has been named winner of the iOme Challenge for his essay and innovative video focused on federal government proposals related to education requirements, the myRA program, Social Security taxes and the Saver’s Credit.

As a result of the win, the third-year student from Niles, Michigan, was awarded the top prize of $5,000 and will travel to Washington, D.C. later this month to present his essay at the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) Forum.

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Jerrid Burdue

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