Katelyn Heath '14

Majors: Economics and Mathematics

Graduate program: PhD in Economics, Cornell University 

What do you do for a living?

I am currently a PhD student at Cornell University. I am in year three of five. In the first year I took core courses and qualifying exams, and in the second year I took field courses and began to work on my research. I am now continuing my research for my dissertation, along with working as a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses. My research is focused on the economics of education, with an emphasis on students with disabilities. 

How did your experience at Saint Michael's help prepare you for your career?

My economics and math majors at St. Mike's have been essential to my success in graduate school. My first year coursework consisted of as much math as economics, and the courses I took at St. Mike's prepared me well for this. Saint Michael's is unique in its ability to provide small classroom settings that give the opportunity for close collaboration with professors and other students. The teaching by faculty both in and out of the classroom gave me the skills, experience, and confidence I needed to pursue a graduate degree in economics. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at St. Mike's?

Professor Walsh's Economics of Education class was one of my favorite courses at St. Mike's. It was in this class that I discovered a new and interesting way to look at the field of education. I found that economic research can provide valuable insights into the costs and benefits of all different aspects of education policy. This class introduced to me for the first time a field of research that I believe has contributed important robust causal evidence on the effects of education on student outcomes in school and later in life. Before this class I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after graduation. By the end of the course I had decided to pursue a PhD in economics, in hopes of contributing to the research in the economics of education with a focus on students with disabilities.


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