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Student Engagement

Sprinting Toward Success

Eastern Illinois University has no shortage of students whose achievements are points of pride for the EIU community. Even then, however, some students manage to stand out. Christian Ilunga-Matthiesen was one of those students.


The Department of Economics offers a number of different opportunities for students to play an active role in their educational experience. We believe that students benefit most when they take some ownership in their education through academic commitment, practical experience, and civic engagement. Opportunities for student engagement include The Economics Club, MVEA Conference, and Study Abroad.

The Economics Club or Student Society for Economics is a recognized student organization which is open to all Eastern Students; however, the majority of members are Economics majors and minors. The Economics club is very active on campus and in the community. The club has sponsored distinguished lecturers, facilitated career and resume building seminars, organized holiday toy drives, raises funds via apparel sales and hosts the Economics picnic every fall and spring semester.

The Missouri Valley Economics Association (MVEA) Conference is convened every October and is rotated among cities including Kansas City, MO, St. Louis, and Memphis, TN. Our Economics students, both graduate and undergraduate, have several opportunities to present their current research and receive valuable feedback audiences of field experts, professors, and their fellow students from across the region. A large contingent of our faculty and students often attend the meetings, so this presents an excellent avenue for students to interact with their professors in a smaller setting.

Study Abroad

Cameron Provost Studies Abroad in Barbados

Cameron Provost

Studying abroad tends to be a life-changing experience for those who participate, both on an academic and personal level. For compelling evidence of this fact, look no further than Economics student Cameron Provost.  Read more...


The Economics department offers students international travel and educational opportunities via its study abroad program. To date, Economics students have traveled to the Czech Republic, Germany, and Barbados. The study abroad is open to all majors at Eastern, and therefore this gives students opportunities to interact with and share knowledge with colleagues from across different disciplines. This is a variable credit class, and students can receive up to 12 hours for student abroad programs depending on the length and specific course content. The most recent study abroad was to Barbados.



Experiential Learning

Brokering a Successful Career

Just like the fast-paced stock business in which she works, Kathryn Fischer is always on the go. Fischer, who began working on a trading desk before advancing into a broker position, is now the operations manager at RJO Futures, overseeing a division of about 40 traders. Now, five years into her position, she not only watches markets and analyzes them, but also works to help board clients in a quicker and more efficient way. Read more...


A select number of our Economics students are able to participate in the Chicago Trip held every spring semester. Students get to visit key Economic institutions including the Chicago Board of Trade and Federal Reserve Bank. Students are also able to network with Economics alumni who are currently pursuing exciting and successful careers in the field. Several times students are able to establish links which lead to internship opportunities. This is yet another opportunity for students to interact with the faculty within a smaller setting as they garner insight into practical applications of the course material, as well as pave paths for future careers.


Chicago Trip

Coordinated by Professor Tim Mason every year, Economics students can take advantage of a great opportunity to interact with successful EIU Economics alum who now reside in the greater Chicago area. These alum are each pursuing impressive careers in a number of industries , including the financial district. Highlights of the students’ experiences include visiting the Chicago Board of Trade, Federal Reserve bank and major corporations such as the insurance giant, CNA. This is a longstanding tradition in the Economics Department, and goes back over 20 years.



Capstone Experience



At the end of their final semester, our seniors are provided with a platform to showcase their impressive research projects in the capstone course, Theory and Research (ECN 4689). We have affectionately dubbed this event EIU@EIU: Economic Investigation of Undergraduates at Eastern Illinois University. Students, under their guidance of the course instructor, select a topic of interest and perform an in-depth study where they survey the research performed by experts in the field, they collect and analyze their own data, provide comprehensive results and policy implications. Our seniors continuously make us proud as they address topics of interest, share key findings, as well as answer questions from the attendees. In addition to Eastern faculty and Economics undergraduate and graduate students, this event is attended by top-level university administrative personnel including the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Blair Lord and Vice President for Business Affairs, Dr. William Weber, both of whom are Economics professors by specialty. Other frequent attendees include Deans of the College of Sciences and Graduate School.



Dedicated Faculty

Faculty Map

The Department of Economics boasts a distinguished, dedicated, and diverse faculty from around the world. The faculty corridors are jokingly referred to by other colleagues as Eastern’s United Nations (UN) Our professors infuse into the students’ learning experience their rich cultures and experiences from countries including Ethiopia, Vietnam, Romania, Nepal, Persia, Ivory Coast, St. Lucia, Egypt, and of course from states right here in the United States such as Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, and Nevada! Our students gain insight into a wide range of global events and experiences that impact their lives as they pursue impressive careers in the field of Economics. Our students benefit from an opendoor policy among our very accessible and knowledgeable faculty who are always willing to engage students as part of this unique education environment. The Economics faculty has won several prestigious awards in the areas of Teaching, Research, and Service, which provide further evidence of not just their expertise in their respective fields, but their commitment to excellence in education. Visit our individual webpages for more information! We look forward to seeing you in our classes!.

At Issue: Debt Ceiling

Dr. Teshome Abebe, stops by WEIU, At Issue to discuss the Debt Ceiling, what it is, and what exactly lawmakers and government are dealing during the recent government shutdown.


Collegial Department

The Economics department has a reputation for being very collegial, which translates into a warm, yet professional environment for students. Our faculty and students are actively engaged in campus life and can be seen collectively participating in events such as Homecoming, Spring Fling fundraisers, and EIU football. Faculty interact with students both inside and outside of the classroom. The approachable nature of our faculty, coupled with their wealth of expertise in the field, allow students opportunities to freely discuss research ideas, academic choices, and career prospects.


Click here to learn more about our faculty.