By Derby Chukwudi
Berea Economics Association (BEA) took 34 Berea students to St. Louis to learn more about the Federal Reserve Bank and its operations. BEA serves as a platform for students in the Economics Department to network with professors and alumni.
Faculty attendees included, Dr. Volker Grzimek– BEA adviser, Dr. Nancy Sowers, and Dr. Caryn Vazzana.
Attendees received a warm welcome by some executive managers at the Federal Reserve Bank. The team also received an overview of the Economic Outlook by Charles Gascon, the Regional Economist at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. This section focused on GDP and inflation rate and how these economic measures are used by the Fed.
Phillip Mueller, the Manager of Information Technology Services (ITS) at the Federal Reserve Bank talked about information technology as well as how to become versatile with the use of software and technology. This was especially important for students seek ing job opportunities in such areas.
Students had the opporunity to attend one of the Feducation programs, a talk by Sebastian Mallaby, the author of “The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan.” It was an opportunity for students to listen to Mallaby who had worked closely with Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006.
Mark Bayles, the Senior Economic Education Specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, engaged the students with the use of some Free Data Tools from the St. Louis Fed.
The time spent on the trip was fulfilling according to several attendees.
Akou Kudasti ’18 said, “Prior to the trip, I wasn’t aware of the full array of responsibilities the people involved had to accomplish as an organization. It was surprising to know that the Fed is not part of the government, but in actuality works with the government to predict and protect our economy. Overall, it was a learning experience that taught me to be open to new possibilities.”
Lamisa Minasha ’18 said, “I really appreciate the efforts of both the BEA and Fed to ensure that a large group of undergraduate students got the opportunity to have an informational and inspirational session at the Fed for half a day. Also it was a pleasure to be the first student group to play with the newest FRED tools.”
Catalina Certan ’18, President of BEA, said, “I just want to say it was absolutely enriching. It was not just a Fed Tour. It was a learning experience filled with knowledge, fun and new discoveries all about FED, U.S., Economics, Finance and St. Louis culture. I feel like during this trip, each one of us got connected to one another and especially to our inner selves. Through learning about the FED research tools combined with the museum tours, everyone forgot about the typical Berea routine. It was an amazing trip.”