Julie Smith smiles.Research area: My research interests are varied, but most recently I have been working on understanding the differential effects of the state of the business cycle on wage growth for various demographic groups. I have also begun to work on a project to better understand the links between wage growth and overall inflation in the economy.

My Lafayette journey: I was attracted to Lafayette by the commitment of faculty to high-quality teaching and research. I also found joining a large department, as the Economics Department is, to be engaging as I have colleagues who research and teach many different areas of economics. I have enjoyed working with my colleagues in the department and across the College on both research, teaching, and service. I find working with students to be fulfilling because they bring new enthusiasm and insight to both my teaching and research.

What receiving an endowed chair means to me: Becoming the Frank Lee and Edna M. Smith Professor of Economics is very meaningful. It recognizes the work I have done in all areas over the years I have been a faculty member at the College. It is particularly meaningful as the pandemic made our jobs as faculty members difficult.

How this endowed position furthers my teaching and/or research: My endowed position will allow me to have more resources for both teaching and research. I will be able to attend more conferences to present my research.

What I will be teaching in the fall: I will be teaching ECON 223 Money and Banking. This is a 200-level elective course that draws students from across the College as it provides an introduction to the U.S. financial system and U.S. monetary policy conducted by the Federal Reserve. I also am teaching ECON 368 Advanced Monetary Policy, which is a course that prepares students to compete in the College Fed Challenge competition. Students create a presentation on the current state of the U.S. economy and make a monetary policy recommendation in a regional competition that is judged by Federal Reserve staff and faculty members.

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