Spring 2021 Newsletter

Hello, fellow economics students and faculty. Welcome to the Economics Department’s spring 2021 newsletter! We hope you are caffeinated and Covid-19 vaccinated! This issue covers various highlights of the quarter. Spring 2021 marked the university’s one-year anniversary as a remote-based, virtual platform due to actions aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. This year has been one of compassion and unity while we navigate the ever changing environment. We thank you for your patience with the advising team as we strive to assist students in their endeavors.

I am so thankful for my four years working with the Economics Department. As the graduating peer advisers start our next chapter in life, we will always be grateful for our time advising our peers. We encourage students to utilize the resources available to them. Peer advisers are always available to anyone who is in need of a lending hand. Congratulations to our graduates and we hope to see the rest of you in the fall.

- Jacqueline Martinez

Letter from the chair
Faculty highlights
Scholarship highlights
Alumni highlights
Alumni corner
Field study
Events recap
Graduation news
Graduating peer advisers: upcoming journeys
Fall 2021 peer advising team
Summer courses

Stay connected

Letter From Chair Alan Spearot

-Greetings Economics Community!!

I hope this message finds you well and hopefully looking forward to an increasing sense of normalcy this summer. Without question, this year has been a challenging one but also one with glimmers of hope and renewal. Members of our community were affected by wildfires; the brutal waves and surges of COVID-19; the promise and hope of widespread vaccinations, which are proving remarkably effective and allowing many to reunite with loved ones; the deeply sad attacks on communities of color; the movements advancing greater awareness of inequities and the need for social justice; the attacks on our nation's capital and institutions; and most recently the mass shooting at the San Jose VTA Railyard. To anybody impacted by these events, and to all finding a way to move forward, our hearts are with you as a community.

As a department, we charged through 2020 and into 2021 as best we could, with tremendous support from the campus community in Santa Cruz and beyond. The campus supported us to recruit five new ladder-rank faculty to our department, and I look forward to introducing our new colleagues shortly. With gratitude to the generosity of donors, our department also issued a number of scholarships and financial aid awards to our undergraduate and graduate students, which not only recognized scholarly achievements, but also gave everybody a boost during a tough year. A number of additional donations were received in honor of our dearly departed accounting colleague, Bob Shepherd, who passed away earlier this year. While there is no replacing Bob, these donations help honor his legacy by supporting high achieving accounting students in our business management program and their professional development and success on the job market.

But, to reiterate, these have been challenging, and often exhausting times, and for the vast majority of us, we’ve navigated this period while teaching, working and learning from all corners of our households (quite literally). From all of us in the department, we want to extend our thanks and gratitude to everybody for their persistence, dedication and working hard during these challenging times. We all look forward to transitioning back to campus, which will begin in earnest this fall, and be at full speed this winter. Whenever we see you, we look forward to welcoming you back to the department.

Fall Curriculum
For those who are not aware, our department consists of an incredibly diverse student body from many countries around the world. In fact, 20% of our students are international, and have often been learning at early hours in the morning, and have faced many challenges in getting back to the US. In recognition of these challenges, and to support anybody in the economics community who may have difficulty getting to Santa Cruz in the fall, our department will be offering both in-person and remote courses across the curriculum. Our larger courses will all be remote, pursuant to campus public health rules. However, we have made an effort to offer both in-person and remote courses in our required upper division courses, such as 100A, 100B, 113, and 104/197, and many electives such as 120, 166A and 188. We hope that this flexibility in offerings is helpful for all students in planning their fall curriculum.

In bittersweet news, two of our faculty members announced their plans to retire this year. Our distinguished colleague, Michael Hutchison, will be retiring after 36 years at UC Santa Cruz. Michael’s connection to UC Santa Cruz started as an undergraduate at Merrill College, after which pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon. In his professional career, Michael has been a prolific writer in international finance and macroeconomics. He has advised countless students who have gone on to successful careers in policy and academia, and has also dedicated much in service to UC Santa Cruz, especially in promoting international education. We wish Michael well in retirement - you will sorely be missed around the department! Tom Moschetti, a continuing appointee lecturer of accounting, is retiring after 17 years with our department. Tom has been a key member of our business management economics team, and has taught for over 40 years at a number of other universities and community colleges in the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas. The perspective and expertise he gained from a long career at the Internal Revenue Service and CPA has provided students a critical “real world” exposure to tax accounting. Combined with his steadfast professionalism in the classroom, we will miss his role as one of the pillars of our BME program and accounting curriculum. Please join me in extending congratulatory wishes to both Michael and Tom.

The department is also growing! Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the department has recruited five new colleagues in fields of critical importance to the growth and stability of the department. Gerelt Tserenjigmid will join us as an assistant professor after teaching for a number of years at Virginia Tech. Gerelt received his Ph.D. from CalTech, specializing in decision theory, and will be teaching intermediate microeconomics (100A) and doctoral-level microeconomics next year. Dong Wei will be joining us as an assistant professor focusing on microeconomic theory, and will teach courses in game theory (166A) and master’s-level microeconomics (200). Dong recently completed his Ph.D. in economics at UC Berkeley. Michael Leung, who is an econometrician, will be joining us as an associate professor this fall. Michael received his Ph.D. from Stanford University, and has spent five years teaching at the University of Southern California. He will be teaching a new course in our department, Economics 124, Machine Learning for Economists. We are extremely excited to offer this new course in an area of increasing demand in industry. Julián Martínez Iriarte will be starting as a new assistant professor, also specializing in econometrics, where he has recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. Julián will be teaching in our Ph.D. program, and also advanced econometrics for undergraduates, ECON 114/114L. Finally, Ariel Zucker, who recently completed a postdoctoral position at UC Berkeley after earning her Ph.D. at MIT, will be joining us as an assistant professor specializing in development and health economics. Ariel will be teaching Introduction to Econometrics (113), a new course of Health and Medical Economics (156), and will be involved in the campus initiative in global and community health. Please join me in welcoming our five new faculty members to our UC Santa Cruz economics community!

Again, I am exceptionally grateful for the hard work of our students, faculty, and staff during this entire academic year. We still have a lot of work to do going forward to bring our department back to normal operations, 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 our graduates, and best wishes for a healthy, fun, and productive summer.

Faculty Highlights

Galina Hale, professor and co-director for the Center for Analytical Finance, was highlighted in the UC Santa Cruz Newscenter for her research underscoring how physical attractiveness was a strong predictor for jobs outcomes and research success in the field of economics. The full article can be found here.

Gueyon Kim, assistant professor, is one of the 2021 UC Santa Cruz Hellman Fellows Program recipients for her project titled, “Black-White Differences in Intergenerational Occupational Mobility.”

The UC Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation awarded associate professor Grace Gu the Seed Grant and distinguished professor and co-director for the Center of Analytical Finance Nirvikar Singh the Sprout Grant.

UC collaboration launches first online course in the Punjabi language
The first online Punjabi language course for University of California students that launched earlier this year is a collaboration of several UC campuses, centered on UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis. Nirvikar Singh, distinguished professor, helped bring the online course to fruition as a co-principal investigator on the project.

Scholarship Highlights

We are thrilled to announce that many hard-working and dedicated economics students at the graduate and undergraduate levels have received awards in recognition of their academic achievements.

Graduate Student Awards

2020-21 Milam-McGinty-Kaun Award 


Liwei Liu

Economics Teaching Award


Mariana Bessa


Luka Kocic


Rongchen Liu


Qianping Ren


Anirban Sanyal


Harrison Shieh

Undergraduate Student Awards

Sara Matthews Scholarship


Shalom Yam

Dean's Award for Undergraduate Research 
Lindquist photo
Samuel Jeffrey Lindquist

Delta Sigma Pi (DSP) Scholarship Key Award


Matthew Lee

Blanche McKenzie Scholarship in Economics


Hana Braitsch

Robert J. Shepherd Economics Accounting Path Scholarship

Catherine Ma

Andre Yu

Economics Department Award in Business Management Economics


Li Cai


John Toal


Qiong Liu 

(no photo available)


Roberto Valencia

(no photo available)

Economics Department Award in Economics


Yuliya Monastyrska


Jacob Punz


Yida Tian


Shalom Yam

Alumni Highlights

The department congratulates alumni from our undergraduate and master’s programs. Another huge congratulations to the three alumnae who have accepted admission to top Ph.D. programs in economics.

Sheah Deilami-Nugent, a graduate of our undergraduate program in economics and math, and also the master’s program, has accepted an offer of admission to the UC Berkeley agricultural and resource economics Ph.D. program. She has been working at Stanford University on a pre-doctoral research assistantship, and formerly worked for Professor Jon Robinson and Professor Alan Spearot in Tanzania as a research assistant.

Vanshika Fotedor, a graduate of our master’s program, has accepted an offer of admission at University of Southern California (USC). She has been working at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a senior research economist, focusing on the economics of energy storage.

Jett Pettus, a graduate from our undergraduate programs in economics and math, has accepted an offer of admission to the Ph.D. program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and also was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) dissertation fellowship. She has been working at Columbia University as a research assistant for the past couple years, and also did research while at UC Santa Cruz with Professor Ajay Shenoy.

Leo Rosen, an alumnus from our master’s program and undergraduate economics program, was featured in the UC Santa Cruz Newscenter for his role in creating the Covid-19 dashboard for the university’s “Roadmap to Recovery” website. The full article can be found here.

Alumni Corner - Reflections with Delta Sigma Pi (DSP)

I joined Delta Sigma Pi (DSP) during my sophomore year and throughout my time I have grown so much as a person, professionally and socially. The main reason I wanted to join was to be with like-minded individuals and to increase my professionalism. Although I did accomplish that goal, I also gained an everlasting friendship with the people I met in DSP. Delta Sigma Pi overall, opened my mind to greater lengths and taught me to take every opportunity to succeed. Thank you so much for making my college experience the best and giving me life skills in order to use in the real world.” - Martin Trinh, business management economics, class of 2020

“As a recent alumna that has entered the workforce I can't help but wonder how far back I would have started if it were not for the professional development I garnered during my time in Delta Sigma Pi. Every stage of life feels like you are entering a higher level league with a pool of even more talented people. DSP has given me the network, wisdom, and confidence to be able to go to the next league and compete. What I gained didn’t come for free. I truly believe that the time and effort I put in allowed me to learn and gain the knowledge necessary for my success. If you care about something deeply, good things will come out of it. DSP gave me confidence, aptitude, and wisdom.” - Andrew Kim, business management economics, class of 2020

“I joined Delta Sigma Pi my junior year of college and what a whirlwind these past two years have been. In terms of professional and social growth, I put myself out there and gained the confidence and support that led to my leadership role in this organization, and ultimately the internship and full-time job I wanted. Aside from that, I’ve also gained life long friends and I couldn’t have asked for a happier ending to my college career. To those who aren’t graduating, keep an open mind and step out of your comfort zone because there are so many opportunities that await.” - April Lin, business management economics, class of 2019

Field Study

From summer 2020 through spring 2021, field study internships were completed at many companies, including: 

American Nonprofits BYG (Lighting)
Century 21 M&M
Elim Investment Company
Impact Creative
Johanson & Yau
Milpitas Chamber of Commerce
Monterey Bay Economic Partnership
Rising International
Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH)
San Diego Junior Golf Association
Scharf Investments
Schooner Realty
Sensiba San Filippo
Sepulveda Partners
Sifter Design
Time Skip Studio
Tonik Cycling
United Way of Santa Cruz
Venturance LTD
Wynn Capital

All of this would not be possible without our fantastic field study employers! Thank you to everyone who offered their time and mentorship -- we greatly appreciate your continued support of our students.

Events Recap

Spring Quarterly Faculty & Undergraduate Colloquium
For our spring 2021 colloquium, Professors Robert Fairlie and Teresa Ghilarducci, who are both labor economists (Dr. Ghilarducci is a professor with the New School for Social Research and visiting researcher in our department this year), described their experiences testifying to Congress during the pandemic. It was a fantastic opportunity for the attendees to discuss their thoughts on the impacts of Covid-19 on the world and ask questions about the professors’ research and experience testifying as experts and academics. We hope to offer another event with both Professors Fairlie and Ghilarducci in the future when we are back in-person. Thank you, Professor Fairlie and Professor Ghilarducci, for your time and conversation!

Spring Job & Internship Fair - Hosted by UC Santa Cruz Career Center
Many thanks to all the companies that were able to come out and help connect to our students and their futures! Many different types of organizations came through and had established large group general information meetings with individual sessions that acted as a screening interview. Some of the companies that were able to attend were Everlaw, Sacramento City Government, Fast Enterprise, and many more! The session was extremely informative for graduating seniors looking for their first job after college.

Graduation News - SlugCross, Virtual Commencement

The 2020-2021 school year was full of unexpected challenges but our graduating students have managed to handle everything and made it to the finish line!

UC Santa Cruz is planning a stage-crossing opportunity for graduates over a period of several days on the UC Santa Cruz campus — the Slug Crossing! It’s nice to see that we are regaining some sense of normalcy and hope to be able to celebrate together in the near future.

Congratulations Class of 2021 economics graduates!

Virtual Commencement Schedule

Graduating Peer Advisers: Upcoming Journeys

Courtney Liang - I will be going back home in the Bay Area and will be working full-time at Accenture as a business analyst.

Jacqueline Martinez - The idea of leaving this beautiful town was unbearable…so I have decided to stay in Santa Cruz! I was lucky enough to score a full-time position as a tax associate with Petrinovich & Pugh Company, an accounting firm with an office in Santa Cruz and San Jose. 

Alexis Tran - I’ll be joining Welch Consulting as an associate economist. 

Jacqueline Yeh - I’ll be moving back down to Los Angeles and hopefully adding to my work experience before applying to graduate school!

Introducing the Fall 2021 Peer Advising Team

We are proud to introduce our peer advising team for the fall. They are a fantastic asset for all our 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 junior studying economics and legal studies. I’m a College 9 affiliate and currently live on campus. 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 Demon Slayer, Attack On Titan, and Naruto. 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. I enjoy crocheting, skateboarding and watching anime. I also love going to the beach and hiking!! I look forward to helping y’all in the fall to the best of my abilities. Starting this fall, I will also be a part of 180 Degrees Consulting, a student organization that consults and works with nonprofits.

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! This summer I’m going to be in Los Angeles with my sister visiting old friends!

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!

Catherine Ma - Hi everyone! I’m a fourth-year majoring in business management economics and minoring in technology & information management. My hobbies include painting, trying new cafes/restaurants, and binge-watching Netflix. I hope to pass the CPA exam and work in public accounting after graduation. One day, probably many years from now, I want to open my own bakery. I’m excited to help answer any questions you may have!

Jingjing Mo - Hello, my name is Jingjing and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a senior business management economics major and am affiliated with Crown College. I am also a member of the Slug Fund Investment Group and during my free time, I like hanging out with my friends in nature, reading, and discovering different clubs around campus.

Dmitrius Rodriguez - Dmitrius is away on field study this quarter but we wanted to let you know that he is a double-major in economics/environmental studies combined and philosophy. He is a rising senior affiliated with Merrill and is excited to start advising in the fall!

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!

Andre Yu (Lead) - I am a fourth-year at UC Santa Cruz, Merrill affiliate majoring in business management economics with a concentration in accounting. In fall 2021, I hope to move back to Santa Cruz. I enjoy bodybuilding, playing games, and spending time with my friends! I plan to intern at Deloitte this summer for auditing. I look forward to helping other accounting students!

Summer 2021 Course Offerings

Our economics summer courses offer an opportunity to fulfill prerequisites and major requirements; all courses will be taught “remotely”. More information can be found at summer.ucsc.edu.

10 Week Session (June 21 - August 27)
Econ 100A-02    Intermediate Microeconomics (online)
Econ 113-02      Introduction to Econometrics {GE:SR}

Summer Session 1 (June 21 - July 23)
Econ 1-01          Introduction to Microeconomics {GE:PE-H} (online)
Econ 2-01          Introduction to Macroeconomics {GE:PE-H} (online)
Econ 10A           Economics of Accounting I (online)
Econ 100A-01   Intermediate Microeconomics
Econ 101           Managerial Economics
Econ 133           Security Markets and Financial Institutions (online)
Econ 136           Business Strategy
Econ 140           International Trade
Econ 197-01     Economic Rhetoric {DC}

Summer Session 2 (July 26 - August 27)
Econ 1-02          Introduction to Microeconomics {GE:PE-H} (online)
Econ 2-02          Introduction to Macroeconomics {GE:PE-H} (online)
Econ 10B           Economics of Accounting II (online)
Econ 100B         Intermediate Macroeconomics
Econ 104            Is There Truth in Numbers: Role in Statistics {DC}
Econ 113-01      Introduction to Econometrics {GE:SR}
Econ 125            Economic History of the U.S.
Econ 161A         Marketing (online)
Econ 197-02      Economic Rhetoric {DC}

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.

List of Classes for Fall Quarter