Dr. Alice Kassens awarded economics professorship

Salem - Dr. Alice Kassens, an economics professor at Roanoke College, has already built a notable reputation in her profession.

She has won awards and fellowships, and her work has been published in several academic journals.  Kassens, who also is a competitive runner, will add another accolade to her resume this August.

She is Roanoke's new John S. Shannon Professor in Economics.

In August, Kassens will begin this five-year professorship, which is an endowed position for a college professor.

"The John S. Shannon Professorship seeks to enhance faculty development in economics while also building interest and achievement in the field," said Dr. Richard Smith, who is vice president and dean at Roanoke. "It honors and supports a faculty member who is an outstanding teacher and accomplished scholar and who is thoroughly committed to enriching the lives of Roanoke students."

Shannon, a 1952 graduate of Roanoke, donated money to create this award in 2008. Dr. Garry Fleming, an economics professor at Roanoke, was the first recipient of this professorship.

Shannon, a retired member of Roanoke's Board of Trustees, created this professorship to enhance faculty development and student interest and achievement in economics.

Kassens was chosen for the award because of her significant contributions to the field and to the development of Roanoke's economics program. Her work at Roanoke includes creating and maintaining an economics program blog and a biannual newsletter, "Roanomics." She also serves as the faculty advisor for the College's Economics Club.

In addition to continuing her work in furthering student interest and achievement, Kassens said that this professorship will help her in various research projects, including a project with Dr. William Rogers of Rutgers University, a former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.

This project includes a series of papers that discuss the effects of clinical depression in the labor market, said Kassens, who began teaching at Roanoke in 2005. 

Her dedication to research has not gone unnoticed. In 2012, Kassens was awarded a $6,000 American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant, which supports the cost of research leading to publication, according to the APS website. Also in 2012, Kassens was selected as one of three Roanoke College Faculty Scholars. 

In 2011, she received the Virginia Foundation for Independent College's Maurice L. Mednick Memorial Fellowship.

Kassens is president of the Virginia Association of Economics.

She earned her bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary in 1998 and her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2005.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its "Best 376 Colleges" 2012 guidebook.

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Released: April 25, 2013
Contact Name: Public Relations
Contact Phone: (540) 375-2282
Contact Email: gereaux@roanoke.edu