Career Advancement and Mentorship Program

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Meet our 2013 Mentors

Our inaugural mentors are well-established economists from varied backgrounds, each with an impressive set of accomplishments.

 

Titus Awokuse , University of Delaware
Titus Awokuse is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics at the University of Delaware.  He has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in international trade, agricultural and natural resource policy, and applied statistics.  Dr. Awokuse research interests and expertise focuses on empirical investigations of policy issues related to the international trade and investement, economic growth and development, health economics, agricultural markets and food security.  He holds a Ph.D. degree in agricultural and applied economics from Texas A&M University at College Station.  He has published his academic research papers in several refereed journals such as:  Economic Inquiry, Economics Letters, Canadian Journal of Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, Applied Economics, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, and World Development.


Jill Caviglia-Harris
 , Salisbury University
Jill Caviglia-Harris is Professor of Economics at Salisbury University. She received her B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Binghamton University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Tennessee. At Salisbury University, she teaches undergraduate and masters courses in environmental and natural resource economics, microeconomics principles and intermediate microeconomic theory. She was awarded Salisbury University's Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching and research in 2004, the 2010 State of Maryland Board of Regents Award for excellence in teaching, the Salisbury University 2010 Outstanding Mentor Award, the 2010 Southern Economic Association Kenneth G. Elzinga Teaching Award, the 2012-2013 Wilson H. Elkins Professorship, University System of Maryland, and most recently a 2013-2014 Leopold Leadership Fellowship, Stanford University. Caviglia-Harris's research is focused on understanding the nexus between land use change and welfare in the Brazilian Amazon. Her approach includes the collection and analysis of survey, geographical information systems (GIS), and remote sensing data at the household level to create a spatial panel used to investigate multiple issues as they relate to welfare and deforestation trajectories over time. This research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and other organizations for the past 15 years. A second dimension of her research includes the investigation of best practices for teaching and motivating students.


John Halstead, Univeristy of New Hampshire

John M. Halstead is Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at the University of New Hampshire, Durham.  He received his AB in Economics from the University of Notre Dame, MS in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Agricultural and Applied Economics.  Dr. Halstead has researched and published extensively in the fields of regional economic development and environmental economics.  In particular, much of his research has focused on siting issues for locally undesirable land uses and the "NIMBY" syndrome, especially regarding landfills and the nation's initial high level nuclear waste repository.  Current research focuses on the various roles of social capital in determining environmental quality, and the value of ecosystem services.  Professor Halstead has served on granting panels for USDA, EPA, and NSF, and has chaired or been a member of various committees of the New Hampshire state legislature on economic development and waste management.  His teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels includes applied microeconomics, environmental economics, rural and regional economic development, general ecology, and waste management.  He is a past president of the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association and has received NAREA's Distinguished Member Award.  He was also given the Northeast Resource Recovery Association's Hall of Fame Award. 


David Just, Cornell University

David Just's research interests focus on the use of information, and more particularly, how differences in human capital and information availability affect decisions. Some research questions addressed by his research include: Why do individuals and firms use the information they do? Do firms with greater informational resources take advantage of smaller firms? How do problems with information updating affect risk-averting behavior? How can economists' interpretations be tainted by ignoring issues of information? These concerns are of particular importance in agriculture, where firms of widely differing sizes compete in a market replete with profit risk. Other areas of interest include the introduction of food psychology in the design of food assistance programs, product perception, and the impact of family interactions on purchasing behavior.


Lynne Lewis
 , Bates College
Lynne Lewis received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado in 1994. Her dissertation received the Universities Council on Water Resources Dissertation Award in 1995. Prior to coming to Bates she served on the faculty at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Currently, she is working on a research grant focused on valuing the potential benefits from dam removals and river restoration. Part of this new research involves the combination of revealed preference and stated preference data for hedonic modeling. She has also worked extensively on the economics of transboundary water resources, tradable permits for pollution control and the valuation of environmental amenities and disamenities within watersheds and coastal zones. Lewis serves on the Board of Maine Audubon, the Penobscot River Science Steering Committee and the Advisory Board of Mitchell Center for Environment and Watershed Research. She received the friend of UCOWR award in 2005.  Lewis’s teaching areas include microeconomics, environmental economics, natural resource economics and valuation. She is currently the Chair of the Economics Department.


Lori Lynch, Univeristy of Maryland

Lori Lynch is a professor in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at the University of Maryland and director of the Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Policy at the University of Maryland.  She received her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in 1996 and Master's Degree from U.C. Davis in 1989.  Dr. Lynch's research has specialized in agricultural and resource policy analysis investigating the topics of critical mass, farm transfers and estate planning, farmland preservation, income diversification through conservation practice adoption, and a variety of tax related issues. She has been asked to serve on a various advisory committees including the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and the Governor’s BAYSTAT Program Scientific Advisory Panel; and currently serves on the AAEA Executive Committee. S he has been awarded the American Agricultural Economics Association’s Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Award, the University of Maryland/National Capital Area of Gamma Sigma Delta’s Merit Award for Extension, the Northeast Extension Directors’ Award of Excellence, Honorable Mention, and the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association’s Distinguished Member Award.  And has just recently won the College's Integrated Research and Extension Excellence Award.


Kitty Smith, The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics
Katherine (Kitty) Smith is Executive Director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics. She was formerly Administrator of the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). As a researcher and research manager, Kitty's principal areas of expertise have been policy analysis, particularly agricultural and resource policies, and the empirical relationships among agricultural production and environmental quality. Her work is published in several books and a range of scholarly journals, USDA reports, and numerous popular outlets. She is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and, while with ERS, received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives.  Kitty also has experience with several non-governmental organizations. She was Vice President of American Farmland Trust (2011-2012), Policy Studies Program Director for the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture (1993-1996), and Senior Fellow with the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy at Resources for the Future (1989-1991). Kitty earned her Ph.D. degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland, where she previously received a B.S. with emphasis on the biological sciences.

Mark Sperow, West Virginia University
Mark Sperow is an Associate Professor in the Division of Resource Management at West Virginia University. He earned a BA in History at West Virginia University and MA in History at Duquesne University. After ten years working as a systems engineer in the aerospace industry and six months in Antarctica as a technical writer, he returned to school for his MS and PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Colorado State University. Mark teaches environmental and natural resource economics and microeconomic principles at the undergraduate level and microeconomics and production economics at the graduate level. His research and publications predominantly focus on mechanisms to offset or reduce carbon dioxide emissions, primarily assessing the potential for increased soil carbon sequestration on US agricultural lands through land-use and management changes. He has served as an expert reviewer on four releases of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) documents relating to agricultural land and wetlands. Mark has also served as a manuscript reviewer for 17 journals, is on the Editorial Board for the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, and served on a NASA/USDA peer review panel to evaluate grant proposals on carbon cycle research.

William Wheeler, Environmental Protection Agency
Will Wheeler is an Economist in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Center for Environmental Economics where he works primarily on projects related to water quality benefits and policy.  He earned his PhD in Agricultural Economics and a Masters in Policy Analysis, both from Penn State University.  Prior to his current position, Will was in EPA's Office of Research and Development, where he managed EPA's economics STAR grants, and the Office of Water, where he conducted cost-benefit and other analyses for water regulations.  He has published in a several journals, including the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, and the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

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