Economic growth for Texas A&M students

While the country might still be going through some economic growing pains, Texas A&M University Economics students are seizing the opportunity to apply their knowledge through summer research.  Honors and Undergraduate Research is providing a new and rare opportunity to become fully immersed in a research project through the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR).  These programs help to foster the development of innovative summer research experiences for undergraduates. 

The Economics Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (EUROP) has received SPUR support to provide students with research experience by pairing them with faculty member for summer research assistantships.  Students interested in the EUROP program submit an application with areas of interest to the Committee on Undergraduate Research and Awards of the Department of Economics, led by Dr. Jonathan Meer, Assistant Professor, Dr. Stephanie Houghton, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Dennis Jansen, Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs.  This year the committee chose five students to participate in the program.

Students in EUROP work alongside faculty members for the summer as paid research assistants.  During the summer students are expected to explore several areas of economic research and narrow down a topic for more in depth research during the fall semester.  EUROP students are required to enroll in the Undergraduate Research Scholars program for the following fall and spring, during which time they will complete a research paper under the direction of their faculty advisor.

After just one year this program has seen success.  All four students in the 2011-2012 program presented their research at Student Research Week and two went on to speak at the Dallas Federal Reserve conference in March.  One student was even asked to speak at the Association of Private Enterprise Education conference in Las Vegas.  “We are hoping to build on the success of this past year with our new students.  We had an impressive crop of students and want to see this year’s participants produce the great research that we know they are capable of,” said Dr. Jonathan Meer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics.

With the success of this program, students who are accepted into EUROP this summer have the opportunity of a lifetime ahead of them.  The SPUR award will an additional student for the program, and help fund travel for students who are selected to speak at economic conferences off campus.

Contact: Chrystina Rago, chrysrago@honors.tamu.edu

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