Official Newsletter of The Colorado College Economics and Business Department
Issue No. 4
Letter from the Chair
As I write, students and faculty are wrapping-up another academic year and I am completing my last year as department chair I’m looking forward to passing along the chair responsibilities to Professor Aju Fenn who chair. I m Fenn, will be taking my place as department chair for the next three years, but it has been a wonderful privilege to serve the department and college, and the efforts and accomplishments of my faculty colleagues and our many extraordinary students have made my work wonderfully worthwhile. This newsletter highlights many student and faculty activities and accomplishments. You’ll see that our faculty members remain committed to offering our students outstanding educational experiences both in the classroom as well as in places as far afield as Chicago (Professor Esther Redmount) and Copenhagen (Mark Smith). Mark ill l b t ki S ith) M k will also be taking students in his Gl b l E i t d t i hi Global Environmental E t l Economics class t W hi t i l to Washington, DC during the third week of this block. New colleague, Pedro de Araujo, is completing his first year in the department, and he has already distinguished himself as a challenging and effective teacher. Julie Chesley and Kristina Lybecker, who were hired two years ago, have established themselves as “veterans” in the department. They are both terrific teachers, and they have enjoyed remarkable scholarly achievements this past year, with Julie seeing a book published and Kristina getting a number of papers published. We have missed Dan Johnson, who has been quite productive while on sabbatical all year, but we are looking forward to having him back next fall. Aju Fenn was on sabbatical during the fall semester and was very successful in getting a number of research projects completed and other papers published. Judy Laux has been working overtime all year, by teaching, by capably helping me as associate chair, and by serving the entire college as a member of the Faculty Executive Committee. The department wouldn’t be as great as it is if we didn’t have such terrific partners in Nancy Heinecke, Stormy Burns, and Kathy Lindeman. They are our first point of contact with students and students have come to know that they can count on great advice and a friendly smile. Beyond all the work they do to help us with our teaching and research, they also do so much to make our department an enjoyable and gratifying place to work. We have also been very fortunate to have had a highly capable paraprofessional this year in Jared Faciszewski. The newsletter provides many updates on the activities of our students. Under the very capable leadership of Rakhi Voria and Mike Scheuer, the Student Advisory Board assisted the department in so many ways, but the symposium organized by the SAB this y y p g y year, “Economic Outlook: 2009,” was one of the best ever sponsored p by the group. The Investment Club continues to be one of the best student organizations on the Colorado College campus. Nick Kreczko and the other officers did a great job of leading the group through one of the most difficult (but instructive) economic periods ever. Troy Deichen will be the next president of the Investment Club and I’m sure he will also more than capably lead the group. The Entrepreneurship Club begun last year by Trevor Isham and Jesse Marble has had another great year, with excellent attendance and student p participation due to the leadership of Sunny Finden and Max Hillman. p p y
We welcome your submissions to The Entrepreneur! Please fill out the last page of this issue and send to the address listed, or send electronic submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alums, we’d love to hear from you! Please send us your updated information so that we may better serve you. Thank you.
Letter from the Chair
A special thanks goes to you, our alumni, who contribute to the department in so many ways. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to join the Business Policy and Strategy class taught by Julie Chesley and Van Skilling on the day John Fleming came back to campus to speak to the class on Wal-Mart’s strategies, and I remember thinking, this is a better experience than M.B.A. students at the best business schools in the country get! And, that participation of many of our alumni in our classes was repeated many times throughout the year. Many of you also make yourselves available to our students who are seeking internship and job opportunities, and your advice, mentoring, and support, especially during a year that is proving to be so challenging for job seekers, is much appreciated. And, many of you have designated that y y y g your financial g gifts to the college be directed to the Department of g p Economics and Business. When you do this, your financial support comes directly to the department so it can be used to support the outstanding educational opportunities that are described in this newsletter. Thank you for this very tangible form of support. -Larry Stimpert, Chair of the Economics and Business Department
Spotlight on Professor Armando Lopez-Velasco
Armando R. Lopez-Velasco is a PhD candidate from the University of California Santa Barbara with fields of expertise in Macroeconomics, Finance and Econometrics. Econometrics He will be obtaining his degree during the summer. Armando was the Riley-scholar of the Economics and Business department during 2007 and 2008 and will continue teaching as a visiting professor in CC during 2009. Armando’s research is f ’ focused on the macroeconomic effects of demographic changes, like the effects of baby booms/busts on asset markets and social security, immigration policy and the political economy, among others. Armando has 2 daughters: Mimi, who was born in Santa Barbara California; and Mandy, who is a native Coloradan.
EC390 Class Spends Block 7 at the Newberry Library in Chicago
Professor Esther Redmount spent Block 7 instructing students in Chicago at the famed Newberry Library in her course, Historical Inquiries into the Impact of Wealth on Society. The focus of the course was to explore how changes in the mode of p p g production affect the nature of work. As work changes, so does nong work time. While economists call this leisure, as the nature of work changes, so do home life, family values, social interactions, religious observance, and political participation. When wealth increases, and time use changes, new cultural traditions arise. The class as a whole spent time examining a number of case-studies, across time and place, in social and economics history, focusing on work and leisure, mass versus elite culture, wealth and poverty, production, marketing, consumption, imperialism, and decolonization. The first week of the course was spent concentrating on reading secondary sources that exemplified different topics and approaches. The remaining two and a half weeks were spent researching a student identified research topic using the rich collections of the Newberry Library and then writing an in depth research paper.
Spring Break 2009: Carbon in Copenhagen
While most Spring Breakers were throwing on their bikinis or tightening up their Chacos, four students in the economics department were putting on their business suits and attending the PointCarbon Carbon Market Insights conference in Copenhagen, Denmark with Professor Mark Smith. With the generous support of Venture Grants, Geoff Clemm, Sloan Danenhower, Emil Dimantchev, and myself, Riley Wyman, spent seven days in the Scandinavian city studying carbon markets, cap-and-trade policy, renewable energy, and more. With a rich history of sustainable policies and practices, Copenhagen served as a fitting backdrop to the conference. A world leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy resources, Copenhagen was chosen as the site for the United Nations “COP 15” Climate Change Conference in December 2009. g With that in mind, PointCarbon, too, chose Copenhagen in the hopes that the discussions and sessions could help inform the much talked about negotiations in December. Furthermore, Denmark has shown that economic growth and development is possible while simultaneously implementing more climate conscious policies and decreasing dependence on nonrenewable energy sources. The recycling containers and composting barrels throughout the city, the wind turbine in the parking lot of the conference center, and the fully developed biking culture served as constant reminders of Denmark’s commitment to reducing emissions despite their already relatively low energy consumption. Amidst the advanced technology and the vocal environmental protestors outside the conference, Copenhagen was a fascinating location to study the ever changing elements of ever-changing carbon markets. The conference itself brought together key leaders in the European carbon markets in an effort to discuss the future of international climate policy and address the impact of the financial crisis on those markets and agreements. The conference ran through four “streams”: Carbon Trading, Carbon and Energy, Voluntary Markets, and Carbon Projects. These covered the various elements of carbon markets and demonstrated the increasing complexity of a field that has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. The conference demonstrated the European Union’s impressive advancement and achievement in the arena, and p p , simultaneously showed how much work the United States has to do to catch up. A similar conference held by PointCarbon last week in San Diego demonstrated this disparity—as the discussions about the US market occurred within the context of policy and regulation, which is still being created. With the recent introduction of the Waxman-Markey bill in the United States Congress, the conference in Copenhagen provided important context and insight into the challenges facing the United States with the creation of
Carbon in Copenhagen, continued
carbon markets. PointCarbon was generous enough to wave the registration fee in return for our volunteering at the conference. This, along with the Venture Grant funds, gave the four of us the chance of a lifetime to interact with some of the key players in the market. Not just a week of offsets, energy portfolios, carbon sequestration, or financial derivatives, the week in Copenhagen was also full of exploration and lots of fun. A tour of the Carlsberg Brewery, a visit to the historical “Little Mermaid”, walking along the harbor, visits to art museums, castles, royal gardens, and even Sweden proved to make this experience both educational and pleasurable. We had dinner with a CC alum, Chris Zink, who was also attending the conference through his job at the Dutch energy company Enecco. The many quirks of Danish culture were quite fascinating—from babies everywhere being pushed in the Rolls Royces of baby carriages to socially unacceptable jaywalking, the Danes did not fail in continually challenging our cultural norms. Also, traveling with Mark is always q y g g , g y quite the experience, and p , this was no exception. Though clearly lacking in bikinis, sand, and little umbrellas in our drinks, our trip to Copenhagen made for an incredibly intellectually challenging, yet exciting and pleasurable vacation. -Riley Wyman Class of 2011
Investment Club Manages Risk and Makes Adjustments
The second half of the 08/09 school year has been quite exciting for the Colorado College Investment Club. We have continued to follow economic and financial news, including the bailout of the Big 3 and various financial firms. Club members also reviewed the bailout plans, including a comprehensive analysis of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to determine which US economic sectors would receive the most bailout money and present good potential growth opportunities. In these tough economic times the club is fortunate enough to be able to completely rebuild its portfolio, an exciting opportunity. A bottom up approach was taken to teach members which of the securities they are interested in present good investments using common financial ratios, current events and potential economic trends. Additionally, the visiting professor teaching Investments, Allan Roth, attended a meeting to help the club design the p p g portfolio from the top down. His focus was on minimizing investment costs by p g y taking a passive strategy using broad indexes. Taking this opportunity to reinvest and considering both portfolio designs, the club voted on each of our individual holdings to determine how much cash we have to invest. At the time of writing, the cash had not been invested yet, but the strategy is to invest in ETFs of the various sectors the club believes will out perform the rest of the market. The portfolio will also include broad indexes of US and international markets for proper diversification and bond indexes as a shock absorber. The club decided to over-weight equities over bonds and US over International equities because we believe the US will recover fastest and with it, equity prices. Within the US more capital was allocated to Healthcare, Consumer Goods and Energy than other sectors. The club believes these sectors will exhibit the strongest growth for many reasons, including the aging of baby-boomers increasing demand for medical goods, movement toward renewable energy and a downshift in consumer expenditure over the next few years as disposable income falls. The club is poised for strong gains when the economy recovers and should be very exciting to follow next year when we will see our actions’ results. Unfortunately our plan to manage money for Cutler Publications never materialized this year as budget cuts year, required their extra cash be used for operations. Nevertheless, good progress was made that can be resumed when funds are available. As the global economy evolves, the club will be able to track where growth has been greatest in order to reweight the portfolio to capture extra returns. We are in the middle of unprecedented economic conditions and it has been exciting for the club to be able to follow along so closely and establish solid foundations for future years. -Nick Kreczko ’09
Economics & Business Student Advisory Board
The Colorado College Economics & Business Student Advisory Board has accomplished several of its different objectives over the course of the school year. While the Student Advisory Board set out several goals for the year, its primary goals were to host a variety of speakers, reach out to other departments by publicizing speakers and events with a broad appeal, broaden networking events, and network internally with other groups across campus for charity work. The Student Advisory Board is hosting their annual symposium on Thursday, April 23rd. This year’s Thursday year s symposium topic is “Economic Outlook: 2009” and various notable Colorado speakers from different sectors will speak on different topics in this broad scheme. The panel speakers will include Bill Hybl, CEO of the El Pomar Foundation, Purnima Voria, CEO of the National US India Chamber of Commerce, Cynthia Honssinger, Former Chief Governor of Colorado, and Sue Wyman, President of the Jivaro Group. The panelists will discuss the future of the coming year in terms of the non-profit perspective, global perspective, and financial perspective. Students decided to hold such a broad panel thi year i order t b d th appeal of thi year’s symposium i order t cater t th campus as a l this in d to broaden the l f this ’ i in d to t to the whole. The Student Advisory Board put a Relay for Life team together that will consist of professors, staff, and students from the Economics and Business Department as well. The team plans on participating in the event on May 1st and students are raising funds individually in order to support this major Colorado College cause. To celebrate the success of another great year, the Student Advisory Board is hosting an end of the year happy hour for professors, staff, and students in mid-May. This event will be a congratulatory celebration for graduating seniors who have been such a tremendous asset to the department during their years at CC. Michael Scheuer, current co-chair of the Student Advisory Board, will be graduating in May with a degree in mathematical economics. Upon graduation, Michael plans on working in Denver at St. Charles Capital. Rakhi Voria, also a current co-chair of the Student Advisory Board is a rising junior at CC. Rakhi has chosen to step down from her position, as she will be studying abroad at the London School of Economics for the coming year. As the year comes to a close, two new co-chairs were elected to serve as the 2009-2010 Student Advisory Board, Nate Danforth and Benjamin Gross. The Economics and Business Student Advisory Board would like to thank the Schlessman Fund for providing it with the financial support necessary to thrive this year. The Schlessman Fund is an endowment to the Economics and Business Department from the Schlessman Family Foundation to support activities related to p y pp the study of business. Everything that the Student Advisory Board accomplished this year was supported by the Schlessman Fund. -Rakhi Voria, Class of 2011
Entrepreneurship Club Gets Real World Exposure
This semester has been filled with wonderful speakers and outstanding discussion. Over the course of this year, it has been amazing to see how much E-Club has grown, which translates into a whole new level of learning for students. To gain a sense of the year we’ve had, I’d like to discuss some of the highlights that stand out in my mind. First was the unique opportunity we had to discuss a potential business sale. The E-Club officers were approached by a small business owner, who after graduating college opened a youth hostel in Panama. The owner of this hostel was interested in selling his business, and due to his interaction with Colorado College g , g students over the last few years, the owner of this hostel got in contact with our club. As a result, we spent numerous club meetings discussing the potential purchase of the hostel. While some students were more serious about pursuing the hostel than others, it provided the opportunity to learn basics about a business acquisition. This included actively asking questions of the owner, as well as a thorough analysis of the financial statement (with assistance from Larry Stimpert of course). Overall, it was invaluable experience for many. On another note, we were proud to host Jesse Marble as a guest h tJ M bl t speaker this year. Jesse created the E-Club his senior year at CC, and is now working for an Internet startup in Colorado Springs. Jesse’s job with Code Baby allowed Jesse to share with us how his understanding of business has been transformed by working with a business in the start up phase. Jesse made it clear that his thoughts on business and entrepreneurship have been turned upside-down, and at the same time, Colorado College instilled him with many skills that are important in his career. Another outstanding speaker that we have heard from is Jason Choo. Jason, another CC grad currently lives in Singapore and is the chairman of Lonsdale Capital, an investment-banking firm. Jason was able to share with us his experience at CC, as well as his outlook on the current economic situation. Other speakers include Jess Arnsteen, founder of BuyWell, a free trade and organic coffee company, and Richard Skorman, CC grad and owner of Poor Richards. As a whole, these speakers, most of whom are CC alum, provided outstanding insight from the perspective of a former CC student. In addition to this, all of these entrepreneurs have a wealth of experience and knowledge which helped get students thinking about their personal goals, and how they will achieve these. Finishing up the year, we will be holding the 2nd annual Business Plan Contest. For this, students, many who took the Entrepreneurship class with Carlos From, will submit a business plan to be graded by a panel of judges. In addition to submitting a plan, students will present a 10-15 minute “pitch” geared toward convincing potential investors. investors It’s been an outstanding year, and I look forward to continued success of the E-Club in the future. For any parents or alumni who are interested in helping the club in any way (speaking, judging b-plan contest, or anything else) please doesn’t hesitate to get in touch. Max Hillman and Sunny Finden: Co-Chairs
Student Thesis Highlights
Dan Reddy is a Senior Economics Major from Cincinnati, Ohio. My thesis explores the role of mentorship in entrepreneurial venture. I conducted seventeen interviews with a variety of entrepreneurs from around the country. Through my research I have discovered the significance placed on mentorship, revealed three models these relationships can take, and identified some of the primary benefits of mentorship among entrepreneurs. I hope to publish my research, as the study of mentorship has not previously been applied to entrepreneurship in this way.
Francesca Desmarais is a Senior International Political Economy Major from Crested Butte, Colorado The 21st century will be marked by an ever increasing urban world. Projections predict this trend to be largest in developing nations where formal housing markets are inadequate for meeting the increasing demand for urban housing. This unmet housing demand results in slums, exacerbates the housing crisis, and necessitates sustainable solutions. Past policies of slum clearance, modernist apartment projects, housing provision, self-help, sites and services, and in-situ upgrading have not succeeded at solving the crisis. My thesis considers the central role that architectural elements play in slum housing communities. Considering architectural elements in addition to the conventional elements of financing mechanisms and land tenure augments the understanding of what a successful housing project is. Analyzing six successful international slum housing projects for both conventional and architectural elements, my thesis highlights the importance of vernacular architecture as a determinant of a successful project. Appropriate, vernacular (local and indigenous) architecture will best serve the beneficiary community’s built environment needs and lead to sustainable housing solutions Including slum communities in the design process solutions. is also central to success.
Matt Payne is a Senior Economics Major from Boise, Idaho Water scarcity presents an obstacle to economic development in the western United States. Insufficient water supplies are available for agriculture, industrial, recreational, recreational and municipal uses Many western states recognizing water uses. states, shortage problems, use water markets as a resource allocation mechanism in an attempt to maximize economic gains and accommodate increasing demand for water resulting from rising populations. However, incomplete price information for water rights prevents water markets from working efficiently. My thesis project addresses this problem of incomplete price information for the water market in Colorado’s South Platte basin. The Ordinary Least Squares method was applied to a dataset of water transactions to develop a hedonic pricing model for estimating th value of water in th S th Pl tt basin. I concluded th t reliable ti ti the l f t i the South Platte b i l d d that li bl water supplies located near municipalities attract higher prices than variable water supplies situated downstream from cities. In addition, economies of scale and water price appreciation exist in Colorado’s South Platte basin.
Economics Department at CC: Where Opportunities Keep Growing
Jayash Paudel is a Junior Mathematical-Economics Major
My bonding with the economics department goes back to my freshman year. Two months after I started college, I finally scheduled an appointment with my academic advisor to help me with the courses for the upcoming year. With no concrete idea on what his expectations were, I stopped by his office. He welcomed me, and showed keen interest on what my tentative plans were. This pleasantly surprised me, and I decided to t k t take a couple of introductory economics courses my freshman year. He gave me a general outlook on what l fi t d t i f h H l tl k h t the department offers, which motivated me to consider economics as my major. I have been fortunate enough to take some really wonderful economics classes at CC. When I took global environmental economics last year with Prof. Mark Smith, I learned how closely economic organization and environmental quality are interlinked with each other. It was not only the content of the course that intrigued me, but also a week-long field trip in Washington DC that broadened my mind in terms of the complexities of the sound environmental policy-making in the US. I had an opportunity to visit think tanks and meet several policy makers and hear their perspectives on the environmental policy the US needs to adopt to address li k dh h i i h i l li h d d dd global climate change today. Under a well-structured rigorous block plan, it is extremely difficult to organize field trips, and it is even more difficult when we are meeting several busy people in a single day. However, the energy with which Matt Banks, a CC alum from the class of 1997, and Prof. Smith organized this trip and led the class was incredible. This course definitely gave me an enlightening perspective on where the US lies in coming up with a sound environmental policy. We have had different clubs within the economics department for several years now. I am fortunate enough to be involved with the Student Advisory Board and the Investment Club. The advisory board is a perfect platform for economics students to decide what events we want to organize in a regular year, and make an effort to bring inspiring speakers with different perspectives on campus for the annual symposium. One of the regular events the board does every semester is the networking event. This is a great opportunity for students from the economics department to meet some CC alums, share their academic endeavors and future plans, and get some ideas on career development. I still remember the networking event the department organized in downtown p g Denver during the fall semester of 2007. That’s when I got to meet Kishen Mangat, a CC alumn from the class of 1996. I spent twenty minutes talking with Kishen about mountaineering in Nepal, and my extra-curricular activities on campus. This networking event turned out to be really fruitful; Kishen asked me if I would be interested in working with him at his firm for the g upcoming summer. What better a place could there be than the one started by a CC alum?
Economics Department at CC: Where Opportunities Keep Growing
Jayash’s Experiences, continued
I started my finance internship at BroadHop Inc. as soon as the semester ended, and worked with Kishen for twelve weeks. BroadHop is a Denver-based firm of 25 employees that globally develops and markets management software for broadband service providers. I had visited Kishen’s office before the summer for an hour to acquaint myself with the culture of his firm, and meet the people I would be working with. This made me really comfortable the first day of my work. Moreover, my coursework in finance that dealt with issues in open economy settings and analytical skills needed to examine such issues helped me gain a perfect transition from school to the real world, as far as my nature of work was concerned. Kishen was kind enough to structure the internship in such a way that would give me sufficient exposure to different spheres of running a business, such as accounting, financial analysis, customer service, marketing and administration. I performed financial analysis on product modeling, inventory forecast and business performance metrics, reviewed and reconciled quarterly budgets and ran monthly accounting reports, entered new customer records, product inventory and shipping details into the customer management system, prepared research analysis on the developments in the telecommunications industry and attended regular company meetings. In addition, I conducted independent research on the potential customer targets when launching a specific product, and I presented these key considerations to all BroadHop employees. I learned how to work in a business environment, held responsibility p p y p y for large segments of a team project and enhanced my quantitative skills through analysis of primary and secondary research data. After I gained insight on how a small, growing company functions at BroadHop, I decided to expand my horizon of learning how different cultures interplay in making business decisions. This encouraged me to study abroad at Maastricht University in the Netherlands during the fall semester of my junior year. With no prior foreign experience except in the US, I had a perfect opportunity to study the ancient history of Europe, and gain enlightening p p g g perspective on the underlying differences between the US and Europe. The courses I took in y g p Maastricht used substantial quantitative analysis to strengthen the economic theories. This taught me why economics majors need to have a strong background in calculus and matrix algebra. The semester in the Netherlands was a great learning experience with its incredible multi-cultural environment. In conclusion, I believe the economics department provides aspiring students with several wonderful opportunities, pertaining to academics, networking and career development. The opportunity to get in touch with outstanding faculty in the department enhances the value of liberal arts education. The department gives us the environment to build a close relationship with the academic advisor Consequently this motivates advisor. Consequently, students like me to contribute something significant to the department. Moreover, the generous alums come to several ‘food for economic thought’ programs at regular intervals, and help students learn a lot outside of the class. CC alums have a huge influence upon the minds of the economics majors, and this makes the resources within the department even more valuable. The opportunities in the economics department keep growing day by day thanks to the motivating faculty and staff, and the inspiring alums.
The Final Word
Upcoming Events in the Department
•Skilling Award Presentations and IPE Thesis Presentations, April 29 and May 6, 12:15, Palmer 121 •Baccalaureate Reception, May 17, 4:00, Gaylord Hall
Visitors to Vi it t the Department
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Look for the fourth edition of The Entrepreneur in the spring of 2009! If there is something you feel should be added to the next issue, please email your comments, suggestions and questions to jared.faciszewski@ColoradoCollege.edu. Also, please visit our website that is updated daily at http://www.coloradocollege.edu/dept/EC/ to find out about our students, faculty, staff, curriculum, current research, events and contact information. Thank you! Colorado College Economics and Business Department, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903