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Meet Sayorn Chin, assistant professor of economics
What I study and why: My life experiences have inspired my exploration to use economics as an approach to make social impacts. As an orphan growing up in a slum area in the capital of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I have struggled and faced a high level of injustice in a disadvantaged society. Reflecting on this experience, I decided to focus my research efforts on issues of inequality and inclusion. My main research interests evolved around the relationship between income distribution and its effects on health. Specifically, I delve into the field of health and demographic differences, examining the economics of inequality within this context. To tackle policy-related inquiries, I employ a wide range of machine learning techniques and econometric methods, including dynamic panel data estimators, natural experiments, and microsimulations. While my work is firmly rooted in sound theoretical foundations, I place significant emphasis on empirical analysis, utilizing data-driven approaches.
This fall I’m teaching: I am teaching ECON251 Intermediate Microeconomics this fall. This course builds on students’ knowledge of microeconomics from Principles of Microeconomics. This class takes the concepts from the introductory course and extends them, analyzing competitive and noncompetitive markets with respect to their efficiency. It takes the general models students learned in Principles and builds mathematical models that represent the decisions of consumers, producers, and workers.
What students can expect from me: As a teacher and mentor, I strive to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in my teaching pedagogy, making sure that all students feel comfortable participating in classroom discussions and activities. I understand that each individual student has unique talents and struggles, and I aim to foster an environment that promotes growth and learning for all. Within the classroom my goal is to equip students with theoretical and empirical tools to help them make sense of the complex system that we call the economy. I firmly believe that the ability to understand, analyze, communicate, and debate economic issues will serve my students far beyond college—as workers, consumers, entrepreneurs, activists, and citizens. I also believe that effective teaching often moves beyond instruction of individual courses and into a mentorship role. My mentors, both academic and professional, were instrumental in achieving my success. This has led me to understand that teaching outside the classroom is just as important as inside the classroom.
I’m excited to be here because: I am delighted to be a part of Lafayette because of the incredible experiences and opportunities I had as a liberal arts undergraduate. The close relationships I formed with faculty members and the diverse range of skills I developed truly empowered me to thrive both personally and professionally. This is why I deeply appreciate and wholeheartedly embrace Lafayette’s philosophy, which places a strong emphasis on student mentorship in conjunction with meaningful research.
During my flyout visit, I had the pleasure of meeting some exceptional students, and I was genuinely impressed by their intellectually curious nature, motivation, and eagerness to learn. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and I eagerly look forward to further engaging with them and continuing to learn from their unique perspectives and experiences. From the moment I set foot on campus, I knew this was the place for me. The atmosphere, the beautiful buildings, the people, and even the food are absolutely amazing. I am truly excited about being here!
Getting to know me: When I’m not working, you can usually find me engaging in a variety of activities. On the weekends, I enjoy watching English Premier League games, as I am a passionate fan. Additionally, I like to maintain my fitness by working out and playing soccer. Exploring the outdoors on my bike is another pastime I thoroughly enjoy. Furthermore, I have a strong passion for music and find solace in playing the guitar and piano. I am particularly fond of jazz and blues genres. As a dedicated supporter of Liverpool Football Club, I actively follow their matches and events.
In my role as an educator, I prioritize establishing personal connections with my students. I genuinely enjoy getting to know them on a deeper level. To foster this connection, I encourage my students to utilize my office hours for any purpose they see fit. Whether they have questions about the course material or simply want to have a casual conversion, I am always open and available to them.