On December 2, 2016, Canada’s Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, announced that Lance Lochner was among 203 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at postsecondary institutions across the country contributing cutting-edge research. Lochner’s current work on student loans affecting the success of students, the choice of major, and the equity of education will move his research beyond the theoretical, quantifying the issues and determining how important concerns may be. (See Western Social Science News and Updates.)
At Western Economics' 50th Anniversary celebration on October 29, 2016, Chair Audra Bowlus announced that The Burley Family had generously donated a gift of $125,000 to Western Economics to endow an undergraduate scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating student who has accepted an offer of admission to a top UK or US graduate program in economics. The gift honours the memory of Kevin H. Burley, a former Professor in Economics.
In recognition of their distinguished careers in economics, Professor Emeriti David Laidler and Michael Parkin received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees at Western’s 308th Convocation on Friday, October 28, 2016. Professor Audra Bowlus, Chair of Economics, gave citations for each that honored their outstanding achievements. For further information, see Western News.
On Monday, October 3, 2016, Professor Emeritus Ronald J. Wonnacott was invested into the Order of Canada by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, 29th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Ron Wonnacott, often referred to as the Grandfather of Free Trade, made foundational contributions to international trade theory and to Canadian trade policy. Over four decades, as a Western Economics professor, he was an influential analyst of major trade developments helping to shape Canada’s perspective on trade. See Western News.
After a decade in his role as Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and having joined the bank in 1980, Glenn Stevens (MA 1985) officially steps down from his position on September 18, 2016. In 2013, Stevens was featured in Western’s Be Extraordinary Campaign and in 2014 was awarded an Honorary Degree at Western’s 303rd convocation. Stevens was also recently awarded a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
Terry Sicular, whose research interests include China's economy, was interviewed on CFPL AM 980's Craig Needles show August 31, 2016 regarding Justin Trudeau's trip to China. Sicular commented that Trudeau's trip to China, Canada's second largest trade partner, provides an opportunity for dialogue on issues of common interest to the two countries, including trade and foreign investment (Craig Needles Show (Sicular - 11:35) or itunes podcast.)
Two of our 2016 Honors graduates, Delia Chen and Richard Kelly, have been selected as Highly Commended 2016 in the economics category of The Undergraduate Awards 2016 program. Papers submitted are assessed by an international panel of academics and only the top 10% in each category receive the highly commended distinction. The Undergraduate Awards program is the world’s largest international academic awards competition receiving over 5,000 entries. Winners in each category will be announced on September 6, 2016.
Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Ron Wonnacott who has been added to the long list of distinguished men and women as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Professor Wonnacott, who has an impressive list of honours including Royal Society of Canada in 1983, is being recognized for his work in free trade. He began his career at Western in 1958 and obtained his current title as Professor Emeritus in 1996. See Faculty of Social Science News and Updates and The Globe and Mail.
Glenn Stevens (MA 1985), Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia for the past decade, will retire in September and has been awarded a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia as part of the Queen’s birthday honours. He is one of 13 people to be awarded the AC this year for “achievement and merit of the highest degree in eminent service to Australia or to humanity at large”. (See St. George & Sutherland Shire Leader.)
Trent Stangl (MA 1991), Senior Vice President, Marketing & Investor Relations at Crescent Point Energy since January 2016, has been appointed to the Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI). Mr. Stangl has worked in the oil and gas industry since 1991 in a variety of roles. (See the Business Wire.)
President Amit Chakma has announced that The Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Central Banking will be established in the Department of Economics, thanks to a generous donation from the The Jarislowsky Foundation. The $2 million endowed gift, to be matched by Western, aims to encourage excellence in teaching, mentorship and research in areas essential to central bank policy and decision-making. By building on the Department’s existing strengths, the Jarislowsky Chair will continue and enhance Western Economics’ significant contributions to central banking in Canada and internationally.
Stephanie Duhaime (BA Economics and BESc 2003), former charge d'affaires of Canada's diplomatic mission in Iraq, is one of eight Westerb alumni who will be speaking at this year's Walrus Talks Destiny in the Paul Davenport Theatre at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2016. This event explores some of Canada's most inspiring minds who share thought-provoking ideas of human potential through opportunity, ambition and cirsumstance.
Jim Davies has received the Canadian Association of University Teacher's Dedicated Service Award. This award was established in 2003 to recognize individuals for exceptional service to their faculty associations. Jim has been a member of the UWOFA salary committee since 1998 and its chair since 2005 except when on leave. Beginning in 2002, he has also served on five UWOFA negotiating teams in collective bargaining. Jim has represented UWOFA on a number of university salary committees and is a past UWOFA Treasurer and Board member. He joins six other UWO faculty members who have previously received this award.
Western Economics is pleased to announce that Ananth Ramanarayanan was nominated by the graduate students as Graduate Professor of the Year and Jonathan Rosborough was nominated by the undergraduate students as Undergraduate Professor of the Year. Shannon Potter was selected as the 2015-2016 Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year. Adam Rooney and Trevor Mannella were named Tutorial Leaders of the Year by the first-year class of undergraduate students.
Nicholas Kahnert (B.A. 2005, M.A. 2013) was one of five professors awarded Western’s Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The University Student Council award honors the best in the classroom for the 2015-2016 academic year. Kahnert was nominated by an Economics student for his work teaching Economics 2166F/G, Economics of Air Transportation. See Western News.
An article in The Economist, "Longer Jail Sentences Do Deter Crime, But only Up to a Point," March 29, 2016 by S. K. London discusses a recent working paper by Professor David Rivers and Giovanni Mastrobuoni, which documents significant discounting of future punishments by criminals. London emphasizes the important implications of these findings for criminal justice policy, including mandatory sentencing rules.
On February 25, 2016, Western Economics Ph.D. candidate Bohan Li, along with four other teammates, won the grand prize of the first Proteus Innovation Competition for their business plan earning them $10,000 and an opportunity to develop a start-up to commercialize software for an ear-disease diagnosis training program. Developed by two Western faculty, this software will provide an opportunity for medical students and residents to practice diagnosing ear disorders which will cut the misdiagnosis rate in half.
Congratulations to Western Economics Professor John Whalley who has been given the prestigious title of Fellow of the Canadian Economics Association. Professor Whalley will be honored in Ottawa in June 2016 at the Past Presidents’ Dinner of the Association. Created in 2010, the award recognizes achievements and contributions to the most prominent economists who have spent a significant fraction of their careers in Canada. Whalley joined Western in 1976.
Terry Sicular shares her expertise on inequality in China for a recent article in The Straits Times, "Still caught in snare of poverty in China," January 9, 2016. Sicular suggests that although programs which allow for subsistence guarantees have benefited many impoverished rural households, many do not receive assistance due to the sheer large numbers and misuse of funds.
It is with profound sadness that we announce that John Lewis Knight passed away on Thursday, January 21, 2016 in London, UK following a nine month battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed by his family, colleagues, students and friends. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to his two sisters and his extended family in Australia. John was predeceased by his wife, Mary, in 2008.
Cremation has taken place in London, UK and interment will follow in Bundeena, NSW, AU. A Memorial Mass was held in the Chapel at Windermere on the Mount, 1486 Richmond Street, London, Ontario on Saturday, February 6 at 1:00 p.m. The obituary appeared in The London Free Press, The Globe and Mail, and The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, January 30, 2016.
John is also fondly remembered by the Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck, University of London. Western University's flag was lowered in his memory on February 6, 2016.