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Andrew Miller, Class of 2017
My background is leading large computer system projects for a contractor for NASA, NOAA, and state government projects. After previously getting a Master’s in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins, I wanted to develop knowledge in economics while staying in the computer science/math disciplines. The Applied Economics program provided me the opportunity to achieve that goal. It also provided the convenience I needed in taking the majority of my classes on-line. I was able to focus my program in the econometrics-related classes.
I found the on-line classes to all be really well structured by the professors as well as extremely challenging yet certainly fair. I really enjoyed the need to teach myself the on-line material in-depth while at the same time the professors were all extremely knowledgeable and helpful with the variety of questions I invariably requested from them. I could also discern the passion and enthusiasm the other students in the program had for our classes from the on-line discussions and group projects we had in our classes.
Steven Chawaga, Class of 2017
Steve Chawaga practices law in Philadelphia. After many years away from his undergraduate major of economics he took advantage of the Advanced Academics Program’s on-line options to develop quantitative skills and learn about qualitative developments in the field of economics. Since on-site classes are held in Washington, DC on weeknights he was able to take courses on-campus as well. Steve will use his knowledge and skills to better serve clients in the areas of antitrust and regulation while he pursues a career transition to a consulting or policy position.
Ethan Lee, Class of 2014
After majoring in economics in college, Ethan Lee continued his studies through the Master’s in Applied Economics program. He worked as a research assistant at Brookings Institution for the Africa Growth Initiative where he was able to use the skills he learned from the master’s program to research emerging and frontier markets as well as socioeconomic issues. After graduating, Ethan joined the Savings Portfolio Division at the Navy Federal Credit Union headquarters as a Business Operations Analyst. In this position, Ethan has been able to apply what he learned from the program by utilizing his macroeconomic forecasting and modeling skills in addition to his quantitative data analysis techniques.
Lawrence McKenzie, Class of 2013 (Interview)
Please describe your professional history prior to attending graduate school.
I am a former Captain in the Air Force who is also a certified federal acquisition professional with extensive experience in government, academic and private organizations. Previously, I held the position of Business Operations Analyst at the National Institute of Health (NIH), where I was responsible for the development and validation of various rate models. Prior to joining the Administrative Staff at UIC I served as a Contracting Officer Representative that interacted with the Not-for-Profit (NFP) loan servicers for the US Department of Education.
Why did you choose the MS in Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins? I chose the MS in Applied Economics program because of Johns Hopkins worldwide reputation, wide breadth of electives and the opportunity to take courses at Carey Business School to extend my knowledge.
Did you earn the degree online or onsite? I did all my courses onsite except for Microeconomics course which was done online.
Do you feel the MS in Applied Economics has been beneficial to your professional pursuits? The MS in Applied Economics program was extremely beneficial for me because it allowed me to leverage a multi-perspective view of economics and its application in areas other than finance. In my current role as Assistant Director of Costing and Analysis at University of Illinois, I oversee the major costing functions for the University, including the development of the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate proposal, the annual fringe benefit proposal that are submitted to the federal government by the Office of Grants and Contracts. The Applied Econ Program at AAP prepared me well for the functions of my position.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the program? For example, a course that you enjoyed. My favorite memory was my course in Econometrics. At the time the Econometrics course was being taught by a Hopkins Economics Doctorate student who was just about to defend her thesis. At that time in the program, I knew I wanted to pursue a position at a University and the instructor was able to provide me with some insight based on her recent experience in getting appointed at the University of Pittsburgh.
Andrew DiMattina, Class of 2011
Andrew DiMattina completed the master’s degree in May 2011, after discovering he had a strong interest in economics during the economic crisis of 2008. Shortly after graduating, Andrew was offered a position in the analytics group at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he had clients in the federal health care and financial services markets. In 2014, Andrew accepted a position in the analytics group at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has clients in the commercial financial services, energy and health care markets. He writes that the Applied Economics program was instrumental in preparing him not only to get a job in analytics, but also to succeed once he got there. Andrew studied political science as an undergrad and worked in legislative affairs after graduating. He believes JHU was the primary reason he was able to transition to the consulting and analytics fields while still working full-time and going to class in the evenings.
Matthew P. Haney, Class of 2011
Matthew P. Haney was a Game Theorist/Analyst at the JHU Applied Physics Lab. During the financial crisis of 2008 he discovered his interest in economics and finance. With a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the JHU EP program he lacked the necessary background for a PhD program in Finance. The Applied Economics MA program provided him with the ideal opportunity to take the economics courses necessary to become competitive in the PhD application process while still working full-time. Matthew will be pursuing a PhD in Finance from the Stanford Graduate School of Business starting in the Fall of 2011.
Emily McPherson, Class of 2011
While pursuing the Applied Economics master’s part-time from 2008-2010, Emily McPherson worked full-time with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [DHHS], facilitating knowledge transfer of their clinical research. Soon after graduating she was offered a Health Economist position with the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control. Thanks to her participation in the Applied Economics program she knows a variety of empirical techniques that can be applied to analyze, e.g., the fallibility of human interpretation of laboratory test results, which is important in cancer treatment.
Jeannie Biniek, Class of 2010
Jeannie Biniek completed the master’s in Applied Economics while working as an analyst in the intellectual property and transfer pricing practices at NERA economic consulting. The program helped develop the ability to use economic tools to address public policy questions, leading to a position as an economist with the Senate Budget Committee. In that role she advised the Chairman on Medicaid, health reform implementation, and tax and economic policy issues. In fall 2013, Jeannie entered the PhD program in Health Policy, with a concentration in Economics, at Harvard University. In her words: “The program at Johns Hopkins was great preparation for the coursework required as part of my PhD.”
Marc Goldwein, Class of 2010
Marc Goldwein is the Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, where he guides and conducts research on a wide array of topics related to fiscal policy and the federal budget. He is frequently quoted in a number of major media outlets and works regularly with Members of Congress and their staffs on budget-related issues.
In 2010, Marc served as Associate Director of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (The Fiscal Commission), and in 2011 he was a senior budget analyst on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (The Super Committee). He has also conducted research for the Government Accountability Office, the World Bank, the Historian’s Office at the Social Security Administration, and the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. In addition to his work at the Committee, Marc teaches economics at the University of California DC and in the Public Management Program at Johns Hopkins University, where he was the 2013 recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2011, Marc was featured in the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for Law & Policy.
Rebehak Hoppmann, Class of 2010
Rebehak Hoppmann studied physics as an undergraduate. She writes: Within a few months of completing my last class, I was interviewed and selected for a position at the US International Trade Commission as a research economist. Having the masters degree and my three years of work experience definitely gave me an advantage over other applicants. There are other similar opportunities, especially in the DC area. I am very happy that you offer your program in such a way that working professionals can simultaneously gain work experience and advance their education credentials. Economics is extremely useful regardless of what one is ultimately pursuing in one’s career.
Elizabeth Schaefer, Class of 2010
Elizabeth Schaefer left her IT health care consulting position with the Air Force Office of the Surgeon General to pursue her passion for International Economics at JHU. The Applied Economics program not only gave her the technical econometric skills to conduct high level work, but also afforded an invaluable professional network that led to an internship with the International Trade Administration (ITA). Elizabeth is now a Presidential Management Fellow with the Hauser Program in ITA.
Arif Haque, Class of 2009
Arif Haque is an associate at ISI group where he focuses on macroeconomics. He previously worked as a policy advisor in the House of Representatives. “Nearly every class has covered issues that I encountered during my career. Researchers and policy analysts cover many complex topics, and the instructors offer useful perspectives from their diverse work experiences. The Applied Economics Program prepared me well for work both in the public and private sectors.”
Sarah (Charnes) Paisner, Class of 2009
Sarah (Charnes) Paisner completed the master’s in Applied Economics in 2009 while working full-time as a macroeconomist in the Office of Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She will be entering the Ph.D. program in Public Policy and Management at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington (Seattle) in the fall of 2014, where she will be a Teaching Assistant in quantitative methods courses. She plans to focus her research on domestic poverty and income inequality, food policy, and education policy. Sarah has found the quantitative tools she acquired from our program to be invaluable in her career thus far, and plans to make them a key component of her doctoral work.
Michelle A. Wyant, Class of 2009
Michelle A. Wyant served as a law clerk to the Honorable John Philip Miller and began as a General Attorney in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition in the Fall of 2008. At the University of Georgia School of Law, she acquired the legal training required to practice antitrust law, and entered the Applied Economics Program to acquire the economic training to do so effectively. In addition to the program’s practical applicability, the economic theory gained will provide her with an enriched perspective from which to analyze legal issues at work and in her scholarship. She currently has articles published in the Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business and the San Diego International Law Journal.
Molly Garber, Class of 2008
Molly Garber was promoted to supervisory economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics a few months after completing our program. In 2009, Molly became the Deputy Director for Outlook Communications in the Market and Trade Economics Division at USDA’s Economic Research Service. She plans and coordinates the communication strategy for the ERS outlook program; additionally, she reviews and clears outlook-related articles and reports. Molly also serves as economics editor for materials the division places on the ERS website in briefing rooms and data products. She is particularly grateful for her JHU education: “The quantitative classes have given me the background to evaluate the quality of our research and its potential impact on our products if carried out as policy. In addition, the lessons learned have been invaluable in the decisions I make at work, both large and small: the tradeoff between efficiency and fairness can be found almost anywhere.”
Julie Kalishman, Class of 2008
Julie Kalishman was a researcher at the Committee for Economic Development. Our program gave her a chance to hone her quantitative skills, especially in the area of econometrics: “Now I can critically evaluate other economists’ research, as well as run my own econometrics experiments. The practical classes helped me obtain a deeper understanding of how public policy helps or hinders economic success.” After graduation, Julie was awarded the Presidential Management Fellowship. She is serving her fellowship as a Program Examiner in the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget.
Jeremy Larrieu, Class of 2008
Jeremy Larrieu writes: “As an economist in oil & gas consulting, the Applied Economics program was instrumental in providing me with usable tools that were directly applicable to the projects I was working on. The program’s perfect balance between academia and real-life applications additionally gave me the confidence to apply to PhD programs, and the faculty was tremendously helpful throughout the process. I have also learned a great deal from the diverse group of students enrolled in the program, and never knew economics could lead to so many different career paths. I will be pursuing the PhD in Economics at the George Washington University from Fall, 2008”.
Aditi Sen, Class of 2008
Aditi Sen was on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, where she worked on international trade and health, until 2009. From September, she will pursue the PhD in Health Economics at the Wharton School. She pursued the MA in Applied Economics while working at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and subsequently at the Center forGlobal Development. “Economics is at the heart of the most challenging and interesting aspects of the field of international health and development,” she writes. “I was looking for a rigorous, but manageable, program that would give me a solid foundation in economic theory and applications and I found it here. The insights and skills I acquired have allowed me to take on greater research responsibilities at work and have given me a platform from which to consider further graduate work.”
Barclay Gibbs, Class of 2007
Barclay Gibbs writes: “The Applied Economics Program is a nice complement to an engineering or technical background. After completion of the core curriculum, the program provides the opportunity to enjoy courses such as Public Economics, Industrial Economics, and Trade Theory, which have provided me a public policy, strategic, and international context for better understanding the field in which I work (energy). The program’s econometrics classes are similar to data analysis courses encountered in engineering school, but applied to thought-provoking and relevant economic problems.”
Ben Horne, Class of 2007
Ben Horne was an analyst at the World Bank. He very much enjoyed the challenging intellectual material in class that balanced relatively repetitive assignments in the workplace, and wrote: “The best element of the curriculum is the emphasis on empirical data and econometrics. I had a lot of undergraduate math, but the theory never found its way into application. In almost every course we ran regressions using real world data, learning valuable practical skills. Students are given a lot of liberty to explore the areas in which they have interest. I found the faculty to be very personable and much better teachers on average than those that I had at the undergraduate level.” Ben became a Candidate for the PhD in Economics at the University of California, San Diego. He died in a tragic accident in late July 2012 in the mountains of Peru.
Adam Ackerman, Class of 2006
Adam Ackerman writes: “The program kept me surprisingly up to date with domestic and international issues. In addition, as a military officer and pilot, the different real world experiences of the instructors significantly broadened and strengthened my own professional development. Furthermore, the degree has opened the possibility of a dream assignment, teaching at the US Air Force Academy.” [Adams’ dream comes true as of Fall, 2012!]
Mark Hodgins, Class of 2006
Mark Hodgins was an economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis: “The Applied Economics program at Hopkins stands out because of its faculty and its focus. The faculty is comprised of PhD economists holding government, non-profit, and business positions, all at the top of their game. Moreover, every course I took focused on real-world economic issues and used empirical data. As a result, classes like Macroeconomic Forecasting greatly improved my quantitative and programming skills. The knowledge I gained culminated in my being hired as a SeniorConsultant for the Economic and Business Analysis team at Booz Allen Hamilton.”
Ana Corrales, Class of 2003
Ana Corrales attended the program full time. She “loved her experience”, and writes: “Thanks to the accessible, experienced faculty of real-world economists, my confidence grew with each course I completed. I returned to Miami, Florida to work as executive director of a bi-national Chamber of Commerce, and later as director of research for an economics consulting firm. Today , I am Associate Professor of Economics at Miami Dade College, the largest community college in the U.S.”
Julie Salsbery, Class of 2002
Julie Salsbery is now Emerging Markets Analyst with T. Rowe Price. Her Applied Economics education remains invaluable. She writes : “Virtually all of the classes I took in the program can be directly applied to my role in figuring out how a country’s fiscal and monetary policies will impact the country’s debt and foreign exchange performance. Because most financial analysts have either a finance degree or an MBA, I am able to bring a different perspective to discussions that helps our firm perform for our clients in today’s highly competitive financial environment.”
Tom Beers, Class of 2001
Tom Beers has had a carreer that always and everwhere utilized the skills of an applied economist: He is now executive director of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).Prior to taking the reins at NABE in 2009, he was himself a business economist, serving as chief economist and vice president of housing finance of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). In addition to producing the macroeconomic and industry forecasts for the Institute, he lobbied on policy issues related to finance and economics, and acted as the Institute’s media spokesman on the U.S. economy, capital markets, and housing finance. He began his association career at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) where he signed on as a research economist, but became involved in everything from survey research to the development and marketing of all of the association’s research products and services. Prior to NAR, he worked as an economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and as financial analyst for IMAKE consulting.