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John Abell

Professor of Economics
B.S., Centre College of Kentucky; M.S., Ph.D., University of Kentucky
(e-mail) (web site)

Professor Abell's research frequently takes him to San Lucas Tolimán, an indigenous community in Guatemala. The attraction is an array of community-based projects in the following areas: education, health care, housing, land development, job apprenticeship, honey bee farming, water systems, fuel efficient stoves, reforestation, experimental farming, and coffee. Moreover, these projects have a philosophical underpinning based on E.F. Schumacher's subsidiarity principle. By using local resources and by carrying out most stages of production right there in San Lucas, economic multiplier effects circulate locally, rather than leak away to Guatemala City or the United States.

Success stories from the developing world are few and far between. Professor Abell has been writing about San Lucas's programs that offer financial security, hope, and self-esteem for over a decade now. His approach to research is straight-forward. You jump right in and help lay a water line, help a family pick coffee, or build a fuel-efficient stove before you start writing about it. His overall approach to economics has been shaped by his years of travel to San Lucas and is consistent with the title of E.F. Schumacher's book, Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered. Even in his most technical courses, he tries not to stray too far from this basic idea.


Mark Harrison

Associate Professor of Economics/Business
B.S., Mississippi State University; M.S., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
(e-mail)

Academics is my second career. As an undergraduate, I majored (at various times) in philosophy, chemistry, computer science, and chemical engineering. I finished with a degree in chemical engineering . . . and then promptly went to work as a petroleum engineer. I spent 12 years in the oil business, including 10 wonderful years in the Philippines, serving as an engineering and management consultant to petroleum companies.

The oil business was kind to me, but at the ripe old age of 35 I wanted to try something new.So I returned to graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. I earned a Ph.D. in Economics . . . and then promptly began teaching business courses in MBA programs. Today I pursue a career in academics, teaching and writing on topics in business and economics.

In my spare time I enjoy residential architecture, travel, and SCUBA diving. In 1998 I designed and built a house in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and hope someday to design another one (and let someone else build it!). In 2007 I took up sailing and crewed on a 42-foot catamaran for a transatlantic voyage, from Hampton Roads to the Azores to Gibraltar. In 2009 I visited the Selolah Bisnis dan Manajemen at the Institut Teknologi Bandung in Indonesia as a Fulbright Scholar, and in 2010 I canoed in the Wabakimi Wilderness of Western Ontario, Canada. My next project: a trip to France with students from Randolph College.

Jeff Heinfeldt

Associate Professor of Economics/Business
B.S., M.B.A., Bowling Green State University; Ph.D., Kent State University
(e-mail)

I earned my BSBA and MBA degrees from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and received a Ph.D. in Finance from Kent State University, also in Ohio.

I have professional experience in the areas of banking and corporate accounting. I have taught a wide range of courses in the past: finance, accounting, management, and economics. The students and their education are my main priorities. In keeping with this focus on student education, I enjoy conducting research that is applied and pedagogical in nature. I am particularly interested in topics that improve the classroom experience for the students and enhance my teaching effectiveness. Specific areas of research have included financial education/pedagogy, stakeholder theory, and firm value.

As for outside interests and activities, my wife, Denise, and I enjoy sports (biking, jogging, tennis, etc.), travel and relaxing (when possible).

I sum up my thoughts on business, and specifically finance, education as follows: I believe financial education is of value to students whether they pursue a career in the discipline or not. In particular, basic financial literacy is an important life skill. As a teacher, I would like students to gain an understanding of, and an appreciation for, finance and to have had a positive experience along the way.

Elizabeth Perry-Sizemore

Division Head - Social and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Economics
B.A., Randolph-Macon Woman's College; M.A., Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
(e-mail)

Elizabeth Perry-Sizemore is Assistant Dean at Randolph College (founded as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College), where she is also Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2004. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College

Dr. Perry-Sizemore is the past director of the competitive and college-wide Student/Faculty Summer Research Program. She is the student research module coordinator for the National Science Foundation-funded Starting Point: Teaching Economics, a pedagogic portal project developed by economists in collaboration with the Science Education Resource Center of Carleton College. She is an elected Social Sciences Councilor with the Council on Undergraduate Research and a faculty advisor to the online student-refereed journal Illinois Wesleyan Undergraduate Economic Review (IWUER). Dr. Perry-Sizemore also serves on the board of the Virginia Association of Economists.

Dr. Perry-Sizemore advises independent undergraduate research projects in a number of her classrooms, but also engages in student/faculty community-based research collaborations with undergraduate students through paid summer research positions, independent studies, experiential learning opportunities, and her service learning public economics course. Currently, she and several students are examining the neighborhood effects of a local non-profit’s efforts to restore condemned residences in Lynchburg, Virginia. A number of her students have presented their work to the local community and at regional conferences. Others serve as student editors to the IWUER.

Dr. Perry-Sizemore is currently studying the effects of undergraduate research experiences on both liberal learning and critical thinking skills. She also studies the effects of state-supported postsecondary merit aid programs on student achievement and institutional quality.

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