Fall 2021 Newsletter

Howdy fellow slugs! As we are all slowly coming back to campus, we hope that everyone is staying safe amidst the transition of going back in person. For our returning slugs, we are back! Whether you’re a senior or a junior, the nostalgia of the clean air, roaming deer, and the familiar presence of other students hopefully brings a smile to your face. To all the incoming slugs who are first-years, sophomores, or any transfers, you have made it. The beautiful sights, fat turkeys, and long walks uphill will definitely be experiences to remember.

This issue serves as an informational guide for prospective and continuing students, staff, faculty, and all others interested in learning about what makes the University of California, Santa Cruz a respected and valuable institution to study economics. Fall 2021 highlights alumni, faculty, award recognitions and various events that enhance the quality of the undergraduate experience at our university. For further information, please feel free to contact our lovely peer advisers as well as our amazing undergraduate advisers!

Regaining the time we lost from last year, we hope that you all will continue to support the Economics Department and continue to stay safe for the 2021-2002 academic year!

Your Fall 2021 Peer Adviser

Letter from the chair
Faculty highlights
Advising availability
Alumni corner
Field study
Course updates
Events recap
Future events
Winter 2022 peer advising team
Stay connected

Letter from Chair Alan Spearot

Greetings Economics Community!

I hope this message finds you well, and I'm looking forward to a successful completion of the fall quarter!

It has been absolutely wonderful to see students back on campus again this fall. Through my joint role as chair, a researcher, and an instructor, I’ve been reinvigorated by seeing everybody around campus, and also being back in the classroom. Teaching and learning with a mask on was an interesting experience but all-in-all everything has been pretty smooth. In particular, I want to thank our students for their diligent adherence to public health rules on campus. We all need to do our part to keep case counts low, and protect ourselves and those around us. The students at UC Santa Cruz have set a clear example about how to lead in difficult times, and I’m very proud of everybody.

As we look forward to winter and spring quarters, we acknowledge that there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in terms of new variants, winter spikes in cases, and other issues surrounding the pandemic. While we are still planning to have a majority of our classes in person - and we are confident in our ability to do so safely - there are a limited number of online/remote options for those who are unable to attend in person. While we hope to see everybody on campus again soon, we also want to make sure that we are doing what we can to ensure that all students can make timely progress toward degree completion.

With this in mind, I want to get a special shout out to our department staff, who have been doing an incredible amount of work in balancing remote and in-person students this fall, and in preparing our department for a higher in-person load in the winter and spring quarters. Our department would simply not function without the impressive and first-rate work of our staff, so please thank them the next time you see/speak/email with them!

In Memoriam - David Kaun
This fall brought the sad news that our emeritus colleague, David Kaun, passed away. David was a founding member of our department, and over the course of his almost 50 years as an active faculty member at UC Santa Cruz taught everything from undergraduate intro courses and labor to his innovative courses at the intersection of economics and the arts. David was also well-known for his inspirational contributions to, and support of, the local community. From the yearly Milam-McGinty-Kaun Teaching Award that is awarded to two graduate students, to his seemingly boundless support of the arts in Santa Cruz and beyond, to an endowment he founded to support our staff’s development and training, David firmly believed in the importance of giving back to enrich the local community. You can read more about David’s life, work, and philanthropy in our campus' tribute.

New Courses in Winter and Spring
In terms of the curriculum, along with our many offerings across the discipline of economics, we are extremely excited to offer two brand new courses this winter and spring. Assistant Professor Ariel Zucker, who recently completed a postdoctoral position at UC Berkeley after earning her Ph.D. at MIT, will be teaching a winter offering of Health Economics and Policy, ECON 156. Another new course, ECON 124, Machine Learning for Economists, will be taught in both winter and spring by Associate Professor Michael Leung.  Both courses will provide students with instruction in topics of high interest to both policy and industry. 

Master’s Program in Applied Economics and Finance
I encourage all students to consider applying to our master’s program in applied economics and finance, an intensive 10-month STEM program that continues training in economics and finance, with an emphasis on applied and quantitative applications. Many of our students from this program have earned excellent jobs after completing the program, and our alumni network grows yearly. Please reach out to master’s director Galina Hale for additional information.

To conclude the calendar year, let me once again say that I am exceptionally grateful for the hard work of our students, faculty, and staff during this fall quarter. We still have a lot of work to do as we continue to extract ourselves from the pandemic, and please know that we will always put the needs of our students first in delivering a world-class curriculum. Thank you again, congratulations to those who are graduating this winter, and best wishes for a healthy, fun, and relaxing holiday season.

Faculty Highlights

Our peer advisers had the opportunity to meet and interview our new faculty on their experience before coming to Santa Cruz and about their personal interests.

Michael Leung
-Michael Leung

Associate Professor Michael Leung came from the South Bay Area and got his Ph.D. focused in economics. Professor Leung was interested in econometrics because despite being uninterested in the beginning of his undergraduate career, he grew to appreciate it and found it really intriguing and fun. Professor Leung has taught econometrics that range from undergraduate students to Ph.D. level courses. He researched social network data at the University of Southern California. Next quarter will be his first quarter teaching here at UC Santa Cruz, and he will be teaching Economics 124, Machine Learning for Economists. He has never taught this course before, but he has spent the last year preparing for it. Professor Leung says that he wants to help out his students to the best of his abilities next quarter and is ready to make changes if it better fits the needs of his students. In addition to being an associate professor, he continues his research on social network data. Professor Leung is also a fan of tennis and watches basketball. He notes that he is a big fan of the Clippers and the Warriors.

Julian Martinez-Iriarte
-Julian Martinez-Iriarte

Assistant Professor Martinez-Iriarte, after receiving a degree in economics from Universidad Nacional de Tucumán and completing graduate studies in economics from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Professor Julian Martinez-Iriarte moved to San Diego to pursue both a M.S. and a Ph.D. in economics from UC San Diego. After taking the introductory econometrics class during his undergraduate education, he fell in love with econometrics and decided that this would be his area of focus for his subsequent research endeavors. Now, after accepting a research faculty position here at UC Santa Cruz, Professor Martinez-Iriarte enjoys seeing his students make connections between the foundational material from earlier in the quarter and the more complex concepts found later in the course. Professor Martinez-Iriarte just joined us this fall, so he has yet to pick out a ‘Santa Cruz’ style hobby, although he has expressed that he would like to start mountain biking or possibly surfing.

Gerelt Tserenjigmid
-Gerelt Tserenjigmid

Assistant Professor Gerelt Tserenjigmid grew up in Mongolia and pursued his Ph.D. in economics at Caltech. Once he received his Ph.D., Professor Tserenjigmid started working at Virginia Tech’s Economics Department as an assistant professor. After working at Virginia Tech for five years, he joined UC Santa Cruz’s Economics Department. Here at UC Santa Cruz, Professor Tserenjigmid will be teaching Economics 100A, Intermediate Microeconomics, for both winter and spring quarters and a Ph.D. course Economics 204C, Advanced Microeconomics Theory III in the spring. When we asked Professor Tserenjigmid why he decided to join the Economics Department at UC Santa Cruz, he told us that he loved the idea of living in Santa Cruz and he was attracted to our prestigious Economics Department. Professor Tserenjigmid is most excited to pursue his research in economics at UC Santa Cruz. He’s working on many different projects and he’s excited to work with other economics colleagues. Professor Tserenjigmid’s ability to problem solve and pursue intellectual work will make him a great leader in the Economics Department.

Dong Wei
-Dong Wei

Assistant Professor Dong Wei came to teach and research at UC Santa Cruz after studying in Tsinghua University in Beijing, receiving his masters at New York University, and his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. Professor Wei describes the most challenging part about his time in graduate school was looking up specific topics that he was interested in and could be used for a good paper and study. He connected with the faculty and his advisers especially for help when he needed it. When he's not conducting research, Professor Wei teaches Econ 166A, Game Theory, to undergraduates and microeconomic theory for graduate students. He was drawn to UC Santa Cruz for its fantastic campus as well as the research opportunities offered! In his free time, Professor Wei enjoys sports, in particular soccer, where he used to play when he was in school. He is most excited about getting to know his colleagues and team here at the university, as well as engaging in discussions with his students!

Ariel Zucker
-Ariel Zucker

Assistant Professor Ariel Zucker, from Berkeley, California, went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to receive her Ph.D in economics. Professor Zucker had previous work experience before coming to UC Santa Cruz. She did research work during her Ph.D, post taught at UC Berkeley, and worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York under the research department. During winter quarter, Professor Zucker will be teaching Economics 113, Introduction to Econometrics, and Economics 156, Health Economics and Policy, something she is very passionate about teaching! In her free time Professor Zucker enjoys running, mountain biking, and surfing. While teaching at UC Santa Cruz Professor Zucker is very excited to experience the beautiful campus as well as meeting her new students who will have a chance to learn more about health economics!

We would like to congratulate Professor Robert Fairle for recently earning the Bradford-Osborne Research Award, which recognizes ground-breaking research in support of entrepreneurs of color. In his research, it explored the impacts of Covid-19 on small businesses in the United States, specifically finding that minority owned small businesses were affected at a higher rate. Professor Fairlie had the privilege to present his findings to the U.S. House of Representatives and the California State Assembly. You can read the full story here.

We would also like to acknowledge the work being done in the Economics Department by Professor Galina Hale in collaboration with the Institute of Social Transformation’s Building Belonging Fellowship. The Institute describes the goal of the fellowship to be: “... designed to foster student success, increase engagement, and build a greater sense of belonging for under-represented undergraduate students through faculty mentored service-learning and research projects.” Professor Hale’s goals with these projects is fostering student collaboration across departments and social groups, furthering integration at our UC. She says that her interest in food choices has been growing in the last few years. The most recent project titled, “What prevents young people from eating healthy?” has definitely created said opportunities – looking forward to future work in the subject she says, “It will not be the last!”


We are pleased to announce the hardworking economics students at the graduate and undergraduate levels who were recognized and earned awards for their academic achievements. These awards are made possible by the generosity of many donors and bring effusive joy to the recipients! We are grateful for their philanthropy and support of economics at UC Santa Cruz! (Additional information about donating can be found here.)

Graduate Student Awards

Eileen Brooks Memorial Award

Rolly Kapoor

-Rolly Kapoor

Undergraduate Student Awards

Economics Department Award in Global Economics

 Monica Gutierrez
-Monica Gutierrez

CalCPA Outstanding Senior Accounting Scholarship

Andre Yu
-Andre Yu

CalCPA Book Reimbursement Award

-Andre Yu

-Evan Suarez

Advising Availability

We offer an abundance of undergraduate remote drop-in advising (Monday-Friday), including evenings three nights per week, and limited in-person advising available by appointment. Please go to our advising calendar to make an appointment for in-person advising and find links to drop-in remote advising.

For a full description of undergraduate advising, please visit our advising information page here.

Alumni Corner

Alexis Tran, a graduate of the 2021 class, majored in economics and minored in statistics. “It’s bizarre to think I graduated from the university six months ago and am now included in an alumni corner, but here we are. A month after graduating, I started working with Welch Consulting and have been learning and working in labor economics since. You might be going through school being concerned for the future and thinking that once you get to that said future, everything will be clear. I’ll put it to you straight and say things will be clearer, but not everything will be clear. Take every moment as a learning opportunity; I mean, I didn’t think I’d use Stata after Economics 104, 113, and 120, but now I use it every weekday for work.  You never truly know what’s coming up next for you, so keep chugging along and believe in yourself.”

Jacqueline Martinez, a graduate of the 2021 class, majored in business management economics with a concentration in accounting. “Hi everyone! I'm Jackie and I was a lead peer adviser last year. Since then, I have graduated and started working full-time with Petrinovich Pugh & Company, an accounting firm located in Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Portland. It's been interesting to navigate the balance between my personal and professional life, especially as I try to find time to study for the CPA exam. However, I am very grateful for all that I have learned in the short three months I've been working. If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to the peer advising team for my contact information.”

Field Study

Field study is available every quarter for students to earn academic credit while interning in the local community or elsewhere and earn credit for the Practice: Service Learning (PR-S) general education requirement. Field study provides students with a practical context in which they can integrate course material into work experience. Students work in a business setting where they are trained and supervised by a professional in their area of interest and an economics faculty member will sponsor them, providing guidance and encouraging them to blend academic knowledge with professional training. All in all, field study allows students to: 1) gain valuable work experience and career insights, 2) earn academic credit, 3) satisfy the PR-S requirement, 4) network with industry professionals and 5) come away with references for future job applications.

Orientations for field study are held every quarter. Be sure to attend to find out more information about this great program. For more information and orientation dates, please refer to the Economics Field Study Program on our website. If you have any questions about field study please email econintern@ucsc.edu

Course Updates

In the winter and spring quarters, we are offering a new course, Economics 124, Machine Learning for Economists. This economics course can be used as business management upper-division elective if you are a business management economics major and can be used as an economics elective if you are an economics, global economics, or economics/mathematics combined major.

Starting this winter quarter 2022, we will be introducing an economics course that will be offered for the first time, Economics 156, Health Economics and Policy. If you are interested in economic policies around health care, we recommend taking this class!

Events Recap from Our Peer Advisers

Meet the Firms
Meet the Firms is held annually at the beginning of fall quarter and provides job opportunities and internships for all economics majors. Even though most positions were targeted for accounting, there were other positions available such as advisory, marketing, or data analytics. This event serves as a great opportunity to learn how to network with recruiters and how to present yourself in a professional setting.

Some of the firms that participated were: Air Force Civilian Service, 

Andersen, Deloitte, EisnerAmper, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP, Grant Thornton, Hayashi Wayland, Marcum LLP, Moss Adams, Petrinovich Pugh & Co. LLP, Seiler LLP, Sensiba San Filippo LLP, U.S, General Services Administration (GSA), Wheeler Accountants LLP

“I went to Meet the Firms, and I was able to learn more about different companies, internship opportunities and in general, the post-graduate world. I went in not really knowing much but through my one-one-ones, I was able to network with so many people and learn so much about the different companies such as Grant Thorton, Deloitte and Moss Adams. With my connections I was able to get interviews for internships for this upcoming summer.” - Angela Hong

“I went to Meet the Firms during my freshman and sophomore year without any knowledge on networking or what to expect. After going during my sophomore year, I was able to land an internship with Deloitte for the summer of my junior year and am now happy to say that I have a full-time offer from them when I graduate! During this year’s Meet the Firms, I had the privilege of being a student ambassador for Deloitte and interviewing aspiring students who were also in my shoes previously. Through my four years of attending this event, I was able to grow professionally and learn the benefits of networking! I assure you that even though you might not get anything the first time going there, you will grow professionally from trial and error and succeed, so please attend!” - Andre Yu

Graduate School Planning and Applications Panel
This event gave our students the opportunity to hear from faculty about their experiences in applying for graduate programs and the expectations a student should have when applying. Important information discussed were letters of recommendation, data analytical tools, time management, and a better understanding of graduate school life. Our speakers who spoke were Assistant Professors Gueyon Kim and Alonso Villacorta, Professor Galina Hale, Ph.D. alumnus Fernando Chertman, and Sandra Reebie, our graduate programs coordinator.

Future Winter Events

Winter Quarterly Faculty & Undergraduate Colloquium
Monday, January 24, 2022 from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m., by way of Zoom
Guest speakers: Assistant Professor Dong Wei and TBA

M.S. Applied Economics & Finance Info Session
Monday, January 24, 2022 from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m., by way of Zoom

Meet the Winter 2022 Peer Advising Team

We are proud to introduce our peer advising team for the winter. They are a fantastic asset for all our undergraduate students who have questions regarding the declaration process, economics courses, and major requirements. Feel free to contact the peer advisers for assistance at econpeer@ucsc.edu.

Huslen Caicedo- - I am a fourth-year at UC Santa Cruz, Cowell affiliate majoring in economics. I love to roller skate and bake. I’ve been spending most of my free time roller skating, if not babysitting during the pandemic. I would love to move back to Santa Cruz in the fall and I’m also looking forward to having in-person classes (hopefully)!

Jordan Herz - Hey y’all! I'm a third-year here at UC Santa Cruz studying economics and legal studies and a C9 affiliate. Outside of school I love playing video games, primarily FPS first person shooter games. I also watch a lot of anime, some of my favorites being JJBA, Attack On Titan, and NGE. In the future, I plan to attend law school and become an attorney. Excited to help with whatever advising you need!

Angela Hong - I am a third-year at UC Santa Cruz, Cowell affiliate majoring in global economics and I am from the east bay area. I enjoy crocheting, going to the beach, hiking and watching anime. I am a part of 180 Degrees Consulting, a student organization that consults and works with nonprofits, the current co-vice president of the Vietnamese Student Association and the secretary of the Fencing team. I look forward to helping y’all to the best of my abilities.

Nicholas Korytko (Lead) - I am a fourth-year at UC Santa Cruz, Cowell affiliate with an economics major and technology & information management minor. I love hanging around campus and exploring new areas I’ve never been to! I just became a member of 180 Degree Consulting and I’m very excited to help out the community!

Julia Liu - Hi everyone! I am a third-year student majoring in business management economics with a concentration in accounting. After I graduate from UC Santa Cruz, I plan to go to graduate school. I love to watch horror movies, play escape rooms, and travel. Recently I started investing in stocks, though not doing so well unfortunately. Feel free to reach out, and I will try my best to answer your questions!

Dmitrius Rodriguez - Hello Economics community! My name is Dmitrius and I appreciate they or he pronouns. I am double-majoring in economics/environmental studies combined and philosophy. As a rising senior affiliated with Merrill, I enjoy spending my free time working on student-run projects like Slug Shelter, or my own personal research interests. I am very excited to be here and contribute to your academic success!

Wictoria Silvestre - Hello! My name is Wictoria and I use she/her pronouns. I am a third-year economics and biology double-major from the East Bay area. I love anything and everything related to Bruno Mars and in my free time I love going on Pinterest. I hope to one day be a primary care physician to adolescents and young adults, but until then I am super excited to help any fellow students that come my way!

Rose Svonkin - My name is Rose Svonkin and I am a third-year combined economics/mathematics major with a minor in legal studies. I am a Kresge affiliate living off campus and I work as a writing tutor for the school. When I am not stressing over my GPA and my future, I enjoy being in all types of nature, reading, working out, being a nerd, and most importantly laughing with my friends. I try not to take myself too seriously and hope to create a welcoming environment for all students who need a little extra help getting on the right path.

Isabelle Voix - Hello everyone! My name is Isabelle and I use she/her pronouns. I'm a third-year Cowell affiliate majoring in economics. In my free time, I enjoy running, doing puzzles, hanging out with friends, and exploring. I'm very excited to be a peer advisor this fall! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

Andre Yu (Lead) - I am a fourth-year at UC Santa Cruz, Merrill affiliate majoring in business management economics with a concentration in accounting. I enjoy bodybuilding, playing video games, watching anime, and spending time with my friends! I interned for Deloitte during the Summer and I plan to work at Deloitte after I graduate as an audit and assurance associate. I look forward to helping other aspiring accounting students!

Summer 2022 Course Offerings

Our economics summer courses offer an opportunity to fulfill prerequisites and major requirements. Enrollment opens for all students on May 1st, 2022. More information can be found at summer.ucsc.edu.

10 Week Session (June 20 - August 26)

Econ 100A         Intermediate Microeconomics (online)
Econ 113           Introduction to Econometrics {GE:SR} (online)

Summer Session 1 (June 20 - July 22)

Econ 1                Introduction to Microeconomics {GE:PE-H}
Econ 2                Introduction to Macroeconomics {GE:PE-H} (remote)
Econ 10A           Economics of Accounting I (online)
Econ 100A         Intermediate Microeconomics
Econ 100B         Intermediate Macroeconomics
Econ 125           Economic History of the U.S.
Econ 135           Corporate Finance
Econ 161A         Marketing (online)
Econ 197           Economic Rhetoric {DC}

Summer Session 2 (July 25 - August 26)

Econ 1                Introduction to Microeconomics {GE:PE-H} (online)
Econ 2                Introduction to Macroeconomics {GE:PE-H}
Econ 10B           Economics of Accounting II (online)
Econ 20             Economics for Non-Majors {GE:PE-H} (online*)
Econ 100B         Intermediate Macroeconomics (online*)
Econ 101            Managerial Economics
Econ 104            Is There Truth in Numbers: Role in Statistics {DC}
Econ 113            Introduction to Econometrics {GE:SR}
Econ 133            Security Markets and Financial Institutions (online)
Econ 136            Business Strategy
Econ 140            International Trade (remote)
Econ 197           Economic Rhetoric {DC} (online*)

Online modality is pending senate approval.

Stay Connected 

Undergraduate students, please join our LinkedIn Group: UCSC Economics

Master's students, please join our LinkedIn Group: UCSC M.S. in Applied Economics and Finance

Doctorate students, please join our LinkedIn Group: UCSC Economics Ph.D. Program

Alumni and students, please join the Career Advice Network (CAN) for free career advice.

Visit our Economics Department Calendar for upcoming events.