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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer 2013, so far

It is hard to believe that the summer is half way over! Productivity on the running, teaching, and research fronts have been solid.

In June I taught an introductory course in macroeconomics and had a great group. We continued to use Twitter to hone students' critical thinking and writing skills. With two semesters of using Twitter under my belt, I am working on a manuscript geared towards an economics education audience. One of my summer goals is to have that manuscript out by the first weeks of September.

Another manuscript in the works regards determinants of undergraduate satisfaction. Without revealing too much, I use a variety of analysis techniques, including factor analysis and decision trees, to investigate student satisfaction at a small liberal arts institution. One of my summer goals is to have the manuscript submitted by the first weeks of September.

June also marked the start of my first Summer Scholar project. Emma Webb `15 and I are working on a project to measure and enhance undergraduate wellness. Our project grant continues through the summer and many more details will come after its completion.

I am also working on updating the PowerPoint slides for the 12th edition of Dornbusch, Fisher, and Startz's Macroeconomics. It is an honor to be asked again to join the team for such a well respected intermediate textbook. The slides are due on July 15th. Publisher deadlines are very useful for getting things done.

Finally, I have a Faculty Summer Study Award from Roanoke College to analyze PPACA with respect to its impact on various markets including the labor and Rx markets. One purpose of this project is to enhance my spring semester Health Economics course. The process of carefully reading the bill is a slow one, but an important one for a health economist.

In the words of our PR "Superlady" Teresa at Roanoke College, I have been on a roll with respect to media hits this summer. I have been interviewed three times for articles in Everyday Health, once by a local TV channel WDBJ7, and once for an article on Links to each of those items can be found using the "Media" tab on this blog.

Looking ahead, I am going to Rutgers University next week for a three week research stint in which I will work on my depression and labor market project with Dr. William M. Rodgers III and piecing together a new project with Dr. Yana Rodgers regarding women's health in developing countries. That trip is always a joy not only because it is a time to focus solely on these joint projects, but also because these folks are such great friends.

On the running front after over a year of lackluster performances and frustrated training this lady is BACK! My coach, Tom Clifford, mandated two weeks of zero cardio in May. I had not taken that much time away from cardio since 7th grade! Clearly my body was receptive to the break and recovery as I am starting to feel like MAlice again. When I get tired in workouts I can dig deep; I get sore after each workout (something I have missed over the last year possibly because I was not able to push my body to that point); I smile when I run; I smile when I sweat...I had forgotten how wonderful it all was.

I have decided to run the Philadelphia Marathon in November with an aim of getting a PR (sub-2:57:18) and I genuinely believe that I can, that I will even. Now that I have my "grrr" back, my confidence is growing. I will be posting soon about some new training elements that Coach Tom has added to my training and the Hammer Nutrition and Brooks essentials that are getting me through the summer training, heat and humidity.

Happy summer,


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