College Fed Challenge Tests Students’ Economic Acumen
Chicago – Stand in a room with some of the country’s best economists, talk about monetary policy and how to improve the economy, and know the answers to all of their questions. Sound tough? Well that’s what the College Federal Reserve Challenge is all about.
Six students from Michigan State University participated in the regional competition on November 25, where 14 teams, including Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Other regional matches were held in 11 other cities.
Coached by economics assistant professor Aeimit Lakdawala, the students who presented were: Wence Jiang, an economics sophomore in the College of Social Science; Jordan Niemann, an economics senior in the College of Social Science; Joseph Nutter, a physics and economics senior in the Honors College, College of Natural Science, and College of Social Science; Steven Pawlak, a finance senior in the Honors College and the Eli Broad College of Business; Rytas Vitkus, an economics senior in the College of Social Science; and Kenneth Welsh, a finance junior in the Eli Broad College of Business. Economics professor Norman Obst has served as MSU’s coach in previous years.
“Encouraging students to challenge their understanding of economic and financial policy is exactly what MSU should and can do,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the Honors College. “It is a one more example that Spartans Will excel in academics and do so regionally, nationally and internationally.”
Research and practice presentations started in the spring, with help from faculty in the Department of Economics, as well as some department advisory board members, Robert Goodman and Robert Rasche. Rasche is an executive vice president and senior policy adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Goodman, a regular on CNN’s Squawk Box, is a retired economic consultant for Putnam Investments.
“It’s very hands-on,” said Pawlak. “It firms (up) the knowledge you learn in class.” Each team creates a presentation analyzing economic and financial conditions and formulates a monetary policy recommendation modeling the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Federal Reserve controls the three tools of monetary policy – open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the FOMC is responsible for open market operations.
The MSU team divided up the presentation based on the main topics: the labor market, inflation, gross domestic product (GDP) and other measures of economic activity, Federal Reserve policy before the financial crisis, and the Federal Reserve’s actions since the financial crisis.
“We just barricaded ourselves in the hotel conference room (to study the night before),” said Nutter. Although the MSU team did not advance to the national competition, Lakdawala and the students said the experience was well worth the effort. “It gets you thinking more broadly in terms of ‘am I interested in pursuing this?’ It also makes the students analyze the theories they learn in class and understand how they can be helpful in shaping actual policy,” said Lakdawala. “This (also) helps with interviewing skills a lot.”
Pawlak said he got involved after seeing how much fun his friends had participating in the high school version of the competition. Along with being a team member, Pawlak wrote a paper about his experience for his EC 330 class.
Lakdawala said preparation for the 2014 competition will begin in January. MSU students having completed coursework in in macroeconomics and/or financial markets are encouraged to join the team. Questions can be directed to Lakdawala at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The College Federal Reserve Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee. Teams are judged on economic analysis, responses to judges’ questions, teamwork, and presentation.
Michigan State Debate to host 23rd annual Spartan Classic Debate Tournament
Beginning Friday, the Michigan State University Debate program will host the 23rd annual Spartan Classic Debate Tournament where more than 100 students from schools across the Midwest will gather to compete.
Michigan schools registered for the event include: Okemos High School, Loyola High School of Detroit, Dexter High School, H.H. Dow High School, Kingsley High School, Petoskey High School, Traverse City Central High School, West Bloomfield High School, Wylie E. Groves High School and more.
The tournament’s topic – economic engagement in Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela – is modeled after this year’s National Debate Tournament subject.
“The Spartan Classic Debate Tournament exposes students to teams they wouldn’t normally compete against and really helps them fine-tune their skills,” said Carly Watson, MSU Debate project/event coordinator. “The MSU Debate program is always excited to host this tournament and help cultivate a passion for debate among these students.”
Registration opens at 3:30 p.m. Friday, with the competition kicking off at 5 p.m. at Okemos High School. Additional rounds of competition will take place from 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. on Saturday.
The final day of competition will be held Sunday starting at 8 a.m. Please note Sunday’s competition will be held at Wells Hall, 619 Red Cedar Road, on the campus of Michigan State University.
MSU Debate places 5th at Wake Forest Tournament
The Michigan State University Debate Team placed 5th at the Franklin R. Shirley Classic Tournament – the largest tournament of the fall semester.
The debate was held on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina from November 15-19.
The top-finishing, two-person MSU team comprised Honors College students Kaavya Ramesh, an international relations, Chinese, comparative cultures and politics senior and Tyler Thur, an international relations sophomore, who finished 5th out of 175 teams competing from 70 schools.
The team of international relations junior Jack Caporal and international relations junior Quinn Zemel placed 9th. The team of international relations junior Aniela Butler and math sophomore Margaret Strong finished 33rd, narrowly missing the elimination rounds.
As a squad, the MSU team recorded wins over reigning National Debate Tournament champion, Rutgers University, as well as Northwestern University, UC Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgia, Kansas, Iowa, Emory, and George Mason, among others. The MSU team was undefeated in two rounds against Harvard University and the debate against the University of Michigan.
“The MSU Debate Team had our best performance of the season at the Shirley tournament and it feels good to end the semester on a high note,” said Debate Head Coach Will Repko. “We look forward to the spring semester competitions leading up to the National Debate Tournament at the end of March.”
Wake Forest was the last tournament for the semester. Next up is the "California Swing" tournaments at the University of Southern California and California State University, Fullerton from January 3-9, 2014.
MSU senior nominated for Churchill Scholarship
Craig Pearson, an Honors College senior majoring in neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Natural Science and English in the College of Arts and Letters, has been nominated for the Churchill Scholarship.
Pearson is from Bloomfield Hills and graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He entered MSU as an Alumni Distinguished Scholarship recipient. If awarded the Churchill Scholarship, Pearson plans to pursue a master of philosophy in medical science and a doctoral degree in clinical neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.
If awarded, Pearson would become MSU’s 17th Churchill Scholar. Read more here.
Submit nominations for the Honors College Award for Distinguished Contributions to Honors Students
Nominations are now open for the Honors College Award for Distinguished Contributions to Honors Students.
This award recognizes outstanding contributions by MSU faculty and staff to Honors teaching and Honors students and serves to demonstrate the university's commitment to Honors student education.
Students, faculty and alumni are encouraged to nominate appropriate candidates by filling out the nomination form by clicking here. Nominations are due Feb. 1, 2014.
The recipient will be announced before the end of spring semester 2014.
MSU senior picked to interview for Marshall Scholarship
Craig Pearson, an Honors College senior majoring in neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Natural Science and English in the College of Arts and Letters, has been selected to interview for the Marshall Scholarship in Chicago on November 14.
If awarded, Pearson would become MSU’s 18th Marshall Scholar. Pearson plans to pursue his doctorate in clinical neurosciences from the University of Cambridge.
Pearson wants to develop treatments for blindness and visual impairments. His passion for this stemmed from a high school volunteering position where he worked with students who have visual impairments.
“We’re thrilled Craig is advancing to the final round of the Marshall Scholarship,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College. “Craig has impressed us with his academic talent and service to others and we’re hopeful that he’ll be just as impressive during his interview in Chicago.”
The Marshall Commission provides support to approximately 40 of the most outstanding undergraduates in the country to study at any university in the United Kingdom. More information on the Marshall Commission can be found at: http://www.marshallscholarship.org/.
The National and International Fellowship and Scholarship (NIFS) office at Michigan State University, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. The Honors College serves academically talented, committed students who wish to pursue and achieve academic excellence. The Honors College strives to ensure an enriched academic and social experience for our members and create an environment that fosters active, innovative learning.
MSU Debate places three teams in Top 25 at Harvard tournament
The Michigan State University Debate Team placed three 2-person teams in the top 25 at the Harvard University tournament.
The debate was held on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts from October 26-28.
The top-finishing, 2-person MSU team comprised Honors College students Kaavya Ramesh, an international relations, Chinese, comparative cultures and politics senior and Tyler Thur, an international relations sophomore, who finished 17th out of 77 teams competing from 36 schools.
The team of international relations junior Aniela Butler and math sophomore Margaret Strong finished 19th. The team of international relations junior Jack Caporal and international relations junior Quinn Zemel placed 25th.
As a squad, the team recorded wins over: New York University, Northwestern University, Stanford University, Wake Forest University, and the University of Michigan, among others.
“Having all three of our teams place in the top 25 at the Harvard tournament was a strong statement to the rest of the competition,” said Debate Head Coach Will Repko. “Kudos to our students; they were prepared for the tournament and performed tremendously.”
The team travels to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for the Franklin R. Shirley Classic Tournament on Nov. 15. The Shirley is the largest tournament of the fall semester and will be attended by 150 teams from around the country.
Competition opens for 2014 Schoenl Family Undergraduate Grants for Dire Needs Overseas
East Lansing, Mich. – Students can now apply for the 2014 Schoenl Family Undergraduate Grants for Dire Needs Overseas. Applications are due Feb. 25, 2014.
The purpose of the Schoenl Family Undergraduate Grants for Dire Needs Overseas is to identify and fund outstanding projects, which will serve dire human needs in countries other than the United States. Examples of dire needs include, but are not limited to clean water, food, shelter and medical care. International travel is not a requirement of the grant.
To be eligible for the grant, the student must be a member of the Honors College and have at least one more year at Michigan State University before graduation.
The grants must be used within a 12-month period to make an impact that will help alleviate dire human needs. The amount awarded depends on available funds and project scope. Typical grant funding is $1,200 for a Level I award and $1,800 for a Level II award.
For questions please contact the Honors College at email@example.com or call 355-2326.More information can be found here.
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens hosts discussion:
‘Detroit: The Past, Present and Future of the City’
East Lansing, Mich. – The Sharper Focus/Wider Lens forum series presented “Detroit: The Past, Present and Future of the City” Monday evening in the MSU Union Ballroom.
“Detroit: The Past, Present and Future of the City” featured Joe Darden, Ph.D.; Zenia Kotval, Ph.D.; Carl Taylor, Ph.D.; and Rodney Whitaker. Faculty covered Detroit’s music scene, youth culture and education, the auto industry and jobs.
“Sharper Focus/Wider Lens is about bringing people from across campus and across the area together to discuss a cross-cutting theme,” said Honors College Dean Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore. “The discussion about Detroit comes at a critical time for the city and our state and we’re thankful our remarkable faculty shared their outlook on the circumstances.”
“Detroit means so much to our identity as a state and discussions like these help us to understand the dynamics of what’s been a very challenging time for the city,” said John Beck, associate professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. “The faculty discussion was dynamic and I thought the students, faculty and residents of the community who attended Sharper Focus/Wider Lens raised a number of weighty questions.”
Beck coordinates Sharper Focus/Wider Lens with Jackson-Elmoore.
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens is sponsored by the Honors College. Co-sponsors of the “Detroit: The Past, Present and Future of the City” event were: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Music, College of Social Science, James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Department of Geography, School of Planning, Design and Construction and the Jazz Studies Program.
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens has two more events planned for the spring:
- · Questioning Technology (Date TBD)
- · What Divides Us/What Unites Us (Date TBD)
Three Michigan State University students have been nominated for prestigious scholarship awards. Read the full story.
Ashley Green and Kristin Janka Millar have been appointed the new co-directors of NIFS. Read the full story.
The MSU Debate Team recently made it to the quarterfinals of the Georgia State University National Debate Tournament! Read the full story.
The Honors College congratulates all graduates in the class of 2013! Best wishes with the next chapter in your lives!
Stanely Idzerda, who served as the first director of Michigan State University's Honors College, died recently at the age of 93. Read the full story.
East Lansing, Mich. – Ashley Green and Kristin Janka Millar have been appointed the new co-directors of Michigan State University’s National/International Fellowships & Scholarships (NIFS) Office. Read the full story here.
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens hosts discussion ‘Looking at Sports’
East Lansing, Mich. – The Sharper Focus/Wider Lens forum series kicked off the 2013-14 academic year with a discussion about sports Monday evening at the MSU Union.
“Looking at Sports” featured Peter Alegi, Ph.D.; Deborah Feltz, Ph.D.; John McClendon, Ph.D.; and John Powell, Ph.D. Faculty covered the economics, science and societal influences behind sports.
“Sharper Focus/Wider Lens is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and residents in the community to grapple with the relevant issues and questions of our time,” said Honors College Dean Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore. “The forum series is now in its third year and continues to grow because it offers a unique experience for faculty from across a variety of academic disciplines to come together.”
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens has three more events planned for the year:
- Detroit: The Past, Present and Future of the City (7 p.m., Oct. 21 in the MSU Union Ballroom)
- Questioning Technology (February 3, 2014)
- What Divides Us/What Unites Us (April 14, 2014)
“Our discussion of sports led us from what soccer means for racial relations in South Africa to how athletes can reduce their risk of injury to astronauts exercising in space and the role of sports in the lives of African Americans,” said John Beck, associate professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. “The idea behind Sharper Focus/Wider Lens is to spark remarkable discussions and that was certainly the case with ‘Looking at Sports’.”
Beck coordinates Sharper Focus/Wider Lens with Jackson-Elmoore.
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens is sponsored by the Honors College. Co-sponsors of the “Looking at Sports” event were: College of Arts and Letters, College of Education, College of Social Science, James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Department of History, Department of Kinesiology and Department of Philosophy.
The Sharper Focus/Wider Lens Forum Series returns to the campus of Michigan State University, with four events set for the 2013-14 academic year.
This lecture series offers students, faculty, staff and the community the opportunity to grapple with important issues or questions in a trans-disciplinary format. The faculty panel will bring their unique research, teaching and writing experiences from a wide range of disciplines to explore contemporary and historical issues.
Join us for these discussions:
• Looking at Sports (Sept. 16)
• Detroit: The Past, Present and Future of the City (Oct. 21)
• Questioning Technology (Spring Date TBD)
• What Divides Us/What Unites Us (Spring Date TBD)
All lectures are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
If you have a question, please email Stephanie Cepak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Stanley Idzerda, who served as the first director of Michigan State University’s Honors College from 1956 to 1965, died this week at the age of 93.
Idzerda was a well-known advocate for his students’ successes, doing whatever it took to help them. He opened his home for Sunday brunch, lent students money and helped them find jobs.” Read the full story.
Congratulations to Susie Sonnenschein and all 2013 University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum participants and prize winners!
Congratulations to Kayla Felger and Erik Bates named 2013-14 Goldwater Scholars!
MSU Debate team at the 2013 National Debate Tournament.
"Food and the City," on April 2 featured engaging discussions with opportunities for student interaction and faculty discourse.
Two members of the MSU Debate Team, a division of the Honors College, have a first round at-large bid to compete on the national stage in late March.
John D. Wilson is being remembered as a modest, yet strong, inspiring and resourceful leader, who distinguished himself in both the athletic and academic worlds.
Please join us for the last lecture series of the year titled “Food and the City,” featuring leading MSU faculty. Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in the MSU Union Parlor BC at 7:00 pm. Free to the public
Jeremy Rifkin is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, society and environment. He will be presenting Monday, March 25 at 7:30 pm in the Cobb Great Hall. Tickets are FREE for MSU faculty, staff and students. Please email email@example.com by March 15, 2013 to reserve your tickets in advance.
The Chicago Fed Challenge is a team competition in which students prepare a presentation about the state of the US economy and respond to questions from a panel of judges. The Economics Department funds this trip and we are now recruiting a team for 2013 competition which takes place in October/November.
About 1100 students and their family members will visit MSU for the 2013 Alumni Distinguished Scholarship Competition over Feb. 1-2 and Feb. 8-9 weekends.
Dr. Mamie Parker, former Fish and Wildlife head to speak at MSU, March 19 and 20, 2013!
The MSU Dr. MLK Jr. celebration takes place this month. Check out the set of events themed, "The Road to Social Justic Begins with One Step."
The MSU Sharper Focus/Wider Lens presents “Salt Water Encounters”
Please join us for the Sharper Focus/Wider Lens lecture series entitled “Salt Water Encounters: Conducting Research Beneath, Beside, and Across the Oceans,” Feb. 4 at 7:00 p.m., MSU Union Gold Room A/B.
Doing some holiday shopping? The Honors College has great gift ideas for the Spartan on your list. Best part? Each is under $35.
Nominations for the 2013 Distinguished Contributions to Honors Students award are currently being accepted!
“Mapping the Boundaries of Friendship: The Changing Nature and tools of Relationships” on Nov. 19 featured engaging discussions with opportunities for student interaction and faculty discourse. Watch event video.
Honors College Student Recital
Please join us Nov. 5 at 7:30 pm for the Honors College Student Recital taking place in the newly renovated Cook Recital Hall.
Please join us for the Sharper Focus/Wider Lens lecture series entitled “Mapping the Boundaries of Friendship: The Changing Nature and Tools of Relationships,” Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m., MSU Union Gold Room A/B.
Rebecca Farnum, an Honors College alumna and 2012 MSU Marshall Scholar, is welcomed at the British Embassy in Washington prior to leaving for the UK to pursue her Master’s.
Claire Glenn, an Honors College alumna, has been nominated by MSU to compete for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
"At the End: Death and Dying in Perspective" on Sept. 24 featured engaging discussions with opportunities for student interaction and faculty discourse.
Three Honors College members on the MSU varsity gymnastics team, Carson Tabiolo, Kathryn Mahoney (pictured) and Kelsey Mazur, have been named Scholar All-Americans.. More...
HC Alumna Megan Pines awarded the Joey M. Spano Graduate Endowed Fellowship
The MSU Varsity Alumni ‘S’ Club has named Megan Pines the 2012 recipient of the Joey M. Spano Varsity Alumni ‘S’ Club Graduate Endowed Fellowship. The endowment provides academic scholarships to Spartan letter winners who wish to pursue an advanced degree at MSU.
Just Published: New book by Jackson-Elmoore, Hula and Reese
Professor Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Dean of the Honors College, has just published a new book! Reclaiming Brownfields – provides a unique global comparative perspective on brownfield policy and examples of its use. A major breakthrough for scholars and practitioners seeking to assess, evaluate, and resolve urban environmental policy issues.
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has selected Jessica Hunter from Michigan State University as a 2012 award recipient of the ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
This fellowship is aimed at highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers (Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.) in microbiology. Each fellow receives up to a $4,000 stipend, a two-year ASM student membership, and funding for travel expenses to the to the ASM Presentation Institute and 113th ASM General Meeting.
Dr. Christopher Waters from Michigan State University is Jessica Hunter’s mentor.
The Honors College welcomed over 500 first-year students this fall--the largest in the HC's history. In the class are the newest Alumni and University Distinguished Scholars. More on ADS/UDS...
HC Alumnus Greta Stahl Interviewed by Popular Science
Honors College Alum Greta Stahl reveals the five keys to a great political speech in a recent interview with Popular Science. Stahl is also a former Marshall Scholar, part of the 2004 National Debate Tournament Championship team and past director of the MSU Debate Team.
HC Alumnus Carey Balaban Appointed Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Congratulations to Honors College alumnus Carey Balaban (’75, History with High Honors) on his recent appointment as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
Honors College Students Mykala Ford, Kaavya Ramesh, and Hannah Selig are currently studying a critical need foreign language as recipients of the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship. Read more about this fascinating program and where they are now.
The MSU Debate team comprised of HC second year student Kaavya Ramesh and first year student Evan Hebert won the Freshman-Sophomore national title by defeating similar teams from U-M and Northwestern along the way. Congratulations! More...
The MSU Sharper Focus/Wider Lens series presented "Is there American Character?" on Tuesday, April 10th. The video can be found here.
Tower Guard is accepting applications for the 12th annual Shamrock Walk and Roll event to be held on Sat., March 17. The event raises funds for persons with disabilities. Register here.
The MSU Sharper Focus/Wider Lens series presented "Confronting Wilderness: Human Interactions with Nature" on Monday, Jan. 30, 7-8:30pm in Union Gold Rooms A&B.
What would MLK, Malcolm X, or Gandhi Do? The HC and the RCAH invite you to an interactive program on Jan. 19, 6-7:30pm featuring campus faculty and student leaders. More info here. FULL MLK EVENTS CALENDAR here.
MSU's 13th Marshall Scholar
Rebecca Farnum earned a coveted Marshall Scholarship for her studies, research and advocacy on issues of peace and justice here and abroad in North Africa and the Middle East. Read more of her story here.
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens
Please see the video of the Sharper Focus/Wider Lens program, Understanding Genocide Across Time and Space held on Nov. 21, 2011. Video includes faculty panel presentations and discussion from audience questions.
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens
Please see the video of the Sharper Focus/Wider Lens program, Brain/Mind/Soul-Locating the Human held on Oct. 10, 2011. Video includes faculty panel presentations and discussion from audience questions.
Spartans At Art Prize
23 Students were named Alumni Distinguished and University Distinguished Scholars for 2011. The Scholars will be starting their MSU careers this fall alongside approximately 500 other outstanding Honors College first year students. Read more about the new Scholars here.
HC Grad Drafted
Brandon Eckerle, a new graduate of the Honors College (General Business/Pre-law), has been drafted by the Detroit Tigers. During his time at MSU, he won awards for both athletic and academic performance. Learn more about Brandon here!
HC Student/Freedom Rider
Erica Shekell, a journalism junior, is one of 40 students in the nation selected to participate in the PBS 2011 Freedom Ride, a re-creation of the 1961 Freedom Rides. View the full story...
On Tour with Ozzy!
Colin Marshall, a media arts & technology major and HC member, took the semester off to tour with Ozzy Osbourne as the official videographer on the "Scream" tour. Read the whole story in The State News
Photo courtesy of Richard Marshall/St. Paul Pioneer Press
First MLK Advancing Inclusion Award
The MLK, Jr. Advancing Inclusion through Research Award was given for the first time in 2011. Congratulations to Claire Glenn (JMC, HC) - first prize, Courtney Hurtt (JMC, HC) - second prize, and Elizabeth Dunham (JMC, HC) -third prize. The story...
Every Spartan Has a Saga: Ben Cox
Benjamin Cox (JMC, HC '96) is a producer and director for Red Square Pictures, the independent film company based in New York that he founded. More...
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens Series
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens Series present Upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa: Context, Consequences and Implications. You may see the presentation here.