Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Awards

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. Nominations for the 2017 awards will be solicited from economics department heads, from each institution in the southern part of the United States, in the spring of 2017. Nominees who are not selected are automatically placed in the pool of nominees for the subsequent year for a period of three years.

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.

The winner for 2016 is:

  • Dr. Tisha Lin Nakao Emerson

The winner was announced at the 2016 meeting of the Southern Economic Association® in New Orleans, LA on Sunday, November 20, and was awarded a plaque and a cash award.

Citation for the 2016 recipient

Tisha Lin Nakao Emerson

Professor Emerson’s research on economic education focuses on the efficacy of active learning pedagogies, such as classroom experiments and cooperative learning, in promoting both student achievement and student-persistence in studying economics beyond the introductory level. Her research in economic pedagogy has resulted in some 16 articles that have appeared in journals including the Journal of Economic Education, the Southern Economic Journal®, and the American Economic Review-Papers and Proceedings. Dr. Emerson is also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Economic Education and an editorial board member for the International Review of Economic Education. She was a member of the American Economic Association’s Committee on Economic Education from 2009-2016 and served on the Program Committee for the annual Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education sponsored by the AEA from 2010-2014.

In the classroom, Dr. Emerson has taught a variety of courses ranging from principles to upper-level electives, with classes ranging in size from small seminars to large 250-student lectures, and all with uniformly outstanding teaching evaluations. In their comments, students emphasize her organization, stress on critical thinking and kindness. A hallmark of her teaching is her willingness to embrace new innovations, keep what works and throw away what does not. In addition to pioneering the use of active learning pedagogies at Baylor, examples of innovations developed by Dr. Emerson include a “no Free Lunch’ seminar series targeted to undergraduates and the incorporation of field experiments into Baylor’s Semester at Sea program, to drive home the application of classroom learning to the real world.

Past Recipients

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 Tech)
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. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
William C. Wood (James Madison University)