Introducing the 2016 -2017 GES Board! We spoke with members of the new GES board to learn a little about their work and what drives them!


Connor Cole

  • “I am a rising fourth-year and I am interested in tax policy, migration, labor economics, demographics, and applied econometrics. I've long been attracted to the practical applications of these disciplines, and their reach into the policy world. I'm grateful for all the benefits and opportunities this program has given me and I'd like to do my best to make sure the program continues to offer a great experience for graduate students.”

Ben Glass

  • "I will be entering my fourth year of the Ph.D. program in the fall and I am interested in economic theory (identification braodly). I was drawn to economic theory because I think there are a lot of very fundamental questions that are still unanswered."

Social Directors

Stephanie Owen

  • “I just finished my first year in the joint economics-public policy PhD program and I am particularly interested in the economics of education, and more generally in poverty, inequality, and economic mobility. I was originally drawn to the field of economics because of its potential to inform policies that affect people's daily lives. My work experience researching policies targeting disadvantaged individuals deepened my interest in researching these topics. I think it's important to sprinkle in some fun alongside learning economics, so I'm looking forward to contributing to some of the more fun aspects of UM economics.”

Jamie Fogel

  • “Finishing my 1st year and I am interested in labor, public finance, and housing. I like the research methodology and ways of thinking that these fields use. I also believe that affordable housing is a major crisis in this country and would like to study solutions to the problem. Graduate school should be fun so I want to help make it that way.”

Rachel Bechek

Program Committee

Tangren Feng

  • “I’m starting my third year of the PhD program and I’m interested in microeconomic theory and behavioral economics. I was drawn to these research areas because I find that modeling is one of the most fascinating things in the world. Our beloved president, Yeliz, wrote down my name on the board, and I just couldn't say no to her.”

Wenjian Xu

  • "I will be the third year Ph.D. student in this incoming fall term. I chose labor and finance as my fields, as I am interested in applying theories to explain people's behaviors, and financial and labor markets provide such a platform to explore these behaviors. I think being a member of GES board can help me understand our program well and communicate with more students and professors in our program."

Admissions Committee

Luis Alejos

Owen Nie

Summer Seminar Coordinators

Mike Zabek

  • “I just finished my fifth year in the Ph.D. program and I'm doing work in labor, macroeconomics, and urban economics. I work on issues about two really important issues in people's lives -- where they live and what they get out of their jobs. I think I've always been implicitly drawn into thinking about different places and people's labor market experiences, since both seem so important for people. I'm hopeful that at some point I may be able to articulate some interesting insights that may have some hope to make each of these better. I think summer seminar is a great institution in the department, particularly for students working through their first professional level economic research projects. It gives people an opportunity to step back and think about how an audience would see their project. It also makes people get over the terrifying experience of presenting to their peers (and sometimes superiors). I can't come up with much.”
  • Find out more about Mike here!

Ariel Binder

First Year Seminar Coordinators

Ellen Stuart

  • “I am going into my second year of the Ph.D. program and I am working on health and crime. I'm interested in how people behave in response to decisions that are made for them. The first year of the Ph.D. program is rough. The first-year seminars are a way to help make it a little bit easier.”

Thomas Helgerman

Summer Camp Counselors / New Student Orientation

Mattan Alalouf

  • "I am a second year Ph.D. student and I'm interested in labor economics and retirement. I was exposed to topics in those areas while working at the Upjohn Institute and the Brookings Institution. I was looking for an opportunity to interact with and encourage the incoming first year students.”

Andrew Simon

GEO Steward

Connor Cole (see information above)

Tea Time Czar

Aris Hudson

Find out more about the GES here!
Or visit the GES homepage!