By Bryan Hay

Nisan Basciftci ’26 (economics) has been accepted into the Expanding Diversity in Economics (EDE) Summer Institute at University of Chicago, a competitive undergraduate program that strives to encourage more college students from a broad range of backgrounds to study economics and inspire them to consider economics as a way to improve lives.

“I’m really proud and happy that I got accepted to attend Becker Friedman Institute’s Expanding Diversity in Economics program at the University of Chicago this summer,” she says.  

Nisan Basciftci ’26

Nisan Basciftci ’26

The main focus of the program is microeconomic research and applied economic analysis, and Basciftci will be attending lectures, guest talks, and faculty talks focusing on technical skill building in economics. A Gladstone Whitman ’49 Fellow, Basciftci will be mentored by professors, Nobel laureates, business leaders, and renowned economists from a wide range of fields. 

“I will also be going to Washington, D.C., with the cohort to learn about the important role that economists play in fiscal and monetary policymaking at Hutchins Center,” she says. “Both the program in Chicago and the hands-on experience in D.C. are great opportunities for me to discover career prospects in economics and how to develop as a true scholar.” 

She credits Lafayette’s Economics Department and Investment Club, which hosts guest speakers on campus, for helping her discover her interest in finance, a field she may pursue after graduation.

“I’m hoping to learn more about careers in finance and how to overcome challenges women face in male-dominated workplaces and industries, like finance, with the EDE program,” Basciftci says. 

As an international student from Turkey, she witnessed many political events growing up, especially concerning the Middle East, and recognizes the role economics plays on the global stage. 

“What I realized was how every political and global issue we tackled as a community was related to economics in different ways,” Basciftci says. 

“That is why I believe economics is more than a degree, but is also a tool for me to gain perspective in various fields and aspects of life,” she adds. “Even as a freshman, I got the chance to use the resources Lafayette offers its students to engage in academic research, building on my technical and data analysis skills. I learned about the EDE program through a talk organized by Lafayette and a recent alumnus of the program, Yumna Hussain ’25, who also was the one who encouraged me to apply and take advantage of this great opportunity.”

Basciftci is working on research with Prof. Gladstone “Fluney” Hutchinson, associate professor of economics and policy studies. Later, as a Whitman Fellow in the EDE program, she’ll be working with a group of students on another research project led by Hutchinson and Ute Schumacher, visiting professor of economics.

“If you are willing to pursue your interests or really passionate about a topic, Lafayette has so much to offer, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do as a first-year student,” Basciftci says. 


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