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It was an exciting afternoon at Romain College. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis chose the College as the site to record its podcast which focused on women in the field of economics. Dr. Daria Sevastianova, associate professor of economics, hosted the event which coincided with the launch of the newly formed USI Economics Club.

Daria with two Fed members

The partnership began with 2018’s inaugural Women in Economics Symposium, hosted by the Fed. The event attracted nearly 150 participants, from 14 states and 40 colleges. More than 20 from USI attended, which was the largest group from any college. The goals of the symposium are to showcase job opportunities for women with a degree in economics and discuss issues as well as networking with other attendees, who may be future colleagues. With Dr. Sevastianova bringing the largest group of women students to the Symposium in both 2018 and 2019, it is easy to see why USI was the Fed’s choice of location.

The podcast began with Dr. Sevastianova sharing her own experiences and challenges, as well as her vision for the Economics Club. Fifteen students attended the podcast recording and kickoff meeting. Four volunteered to discuss how a degree in economics will help them achieve their career goals, including Charlie Peters ’20, economics, who said of the experience: “It was extremely exciting to watch a live podcast being taped for the St. Louis Fed. It was equally exciting to get to participate in the podcast by being interviewed by Scott Wolla (from the Fed). He asked about our experience in economics and the reason why we choose this as a major. My answer was fairly simple but to the point: I enjoy problem solving and I believe economics gives me an opportunity to do that on a world level.”

The field of economics has been traditionally male-dominated, but that is changing. Only 30% of economists are women, just as only 30% of women choose to major in economics in college. The Economics Club has only just launched, but the comradery among the women and their feelings of empowerment are already apparent. “I think what stood out to me about this event was seeing inspiring young women with similar goals and interests come together and support one another,” said Emily Bacon ’20, economics.

Econ club member

Econ Club member

Econ club member

Econ club members

Club members are appreciative of Dr. Sevastianova’s ongoing support of these types of activities and look to her as a role model. “Dr. Sevastianova has truly helped many women at USI find a passion and a reason to get into economics. Since she is so impactful, I am glad that I got to be there for her moment to shine and share her story. I feel like the sky is the limit to what I could do with my career path after I graduate,” said Megan Brune ’19, economics and marketing.

"Being a part of this club makes me feel as if I have a key to open any door that I may face. These women are strong, talented, and inspiring. I can't wait to do amazing things!"

- Jailine McElroy '20, marketing

The Economics Club members are:

  • Emily Bacon
  • Kristen Beever
  • Megan Brune
  • Rachel Camargo
  • Elle Floyd
  • Anna Jones
  • Katelyn Knoll
  • Cybele Lynn-Colon
  • Amoy McCarthy
  • Jailine McElroy
  • Erika Nance
  • Frianzisca Perick
  • Charlie Peters
  • Cassidy Styles
  • Silvia Walford

Econ Club members

The team from the Fed visiting USI were Mr. Scott Wolla, Ms. Maria Hasenstab, and Mr. Mark Kunzelmann. The Fed's Women in Economics podcast series launched in 2018 and currently has 24 episodes, with more being released every few weeks.

Published September 19, 2019