Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award

Call for Nominations

The Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award from the Southern Economic Association annually honors one or more faculty members for outstanding contributions to economics education. The 2021 winner was announced at the 91st Annual Meeting meeting of the Southern Economic Association® in Houston, TX on Sunday, November 21, and was awarded a plaque and a cash award. Nominations for the 2022 award will be solicited from economics department heads from each institution in the southern part of the United States in early 2022. Nominees, who are not selected, are automatically placed in the pool of nominees for the subsequent year for a period of three years.

About Kenneth G. Elzinga

Ken Elzinga, Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics at the University of Virginia,- first recipient of the Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Professorship – is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished, effective, and influential educators in the economics profession during a distinguished teaching and research career at the University of Virginia, that has spanned over 35 years. Ken is creative and versatile in the classroom sharing his thoughts effectively with large groups of students studying the principles of economics, and using the Socratic Method, when working with students in a more advanced setting. He is a pioneer in the use of literature to explore economic reasoning which led to his writing murder mysteries that can be solved by careful economic analysis. Ken’s style of instruction and commitment to helping students develop an understanding of and appreciation for economic reasoning and insights serve as an inspiration for economic educators, so it is fitting for exemplary economic educators to be honored with an award in his name.

Citation for the 2021 recipients

Dirk Mateer

Dirk Mateer, at The University of Texas at Austin, has made teaching-related contributions that have had an international impact. He is the founder of the Journal of Economics Teaching and has written over 30 peer reviewed articles about the teaching of economics. He is widely known for his work in bringing pop culture to economics and has authored a book on Economics in the Movies (Cengage Learning, 2004). He has also developed online teaching websites, such as one on how to use the Big Bang Theory TV series to teach economics. He is teaching an online course delivered live to about 1,000 students. He has also won 40 teaching awards in his career.

Elizabeth Wheaton

Elizabeth Wheaton, at Southern Methodist University, has had a tremendous impact on campus and has excelled in interdisciplinary outreach, which is one of the criteria for the award. She has won numerous departmental awards as well as the university-wide SMU Presidential “M” Award, as well as many other awards such as the Office of Residence Life HOPE (Honoring our Professors’ Excellence) Award nine times, including 2020 and 2021. She wrote a textbook, Economics of Human Rights (Routledge Press, 2019) which links to the course she teaches in the Human Rights major and minor. Students learn to apply economics in an interdisciplinary context in order to address topics such as violence against women, human rights, and terrorism. Student feedback on her teaching is highly laudatory.

Past Recipients

2020 Abdullah Al-Bahrani (Northern Kentucky University)
2019 Patrick J. Conway (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
2018 Anthony M. Carilli (Hampden-Sydney College)
2017 Lee Coppock (University of Virginia)
2016 Tisha Lin Nakao Emerson (Baylor University)
2015 Leah Greden Mathews (University of North Carolina Asheville)
2014 Peter W. Shuhmann (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
2013 Gail Mitchell Hoyt (University of Kentucky)
2012 Michael K. Salemi (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
2011 Richard V. Butler (Trinity University)
2010 Paul Grimes (Mississippi State University)
Jill Caviglia Harris (Salisbury University)
2009 KimMarie McGoldrick (University of Richmond)
2008 Julie Heath (The University of Memphis)
Charles Holt (University of Virginia)
2007 Richard J. Cebula (Atlantic Armstrong State University)
2006 Sheryl Ball (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Stephen Buckles (Vanderbilt University)
Russell Sobel (West Virginia University)
2005 Steven L. Cobb (University of North Texas)
Tom McCaleb (Florida State University)
2004 Thomas J. Nechyba (Duke University)
L. Wayne Plumly, Jr. (Valdosta State University)
2003 Craufurd Goodwin (Duke University)
Dennis O’Toole (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Jason White (Northwest Missouri State University)
2002 William Darity, Jr. (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
William C. Wood (James Madison University)