You are a 2010 graduate of the Gatton’s College's economics Ph.D. program. What are you working on these days?
My current position is at Northern Kentucky University as the Director of the CEE and an Associate Professor of Economics. I also work closely with Dr. Darshak Patel on The Econ Games - a joint partnership to help increase experiential learning in economics.
Tell us a little bit about your history.
I am originally from Oman, and consider myself a proud native of Oman. I grew up in Louisville Kentucky through high school. After my undergraduate and master's program, I worked in the mortgage industry. I quickly realized that I had a passion for learning and couldn’t wait to get back in the classroom. I applied to several PhD programs, but I picked UK because of its commitment to research and teaching. I am glad I did, because my program has prepared me to be a researcher and to excel in the classroom.
Speaking of research, what are you currently focusing on?
My research interests are centered around trying to explain differences in financial and economic outcomes. Currently, I am researching the role of financial literacy education in increasing financial knowledge and improving financial outcomes. I am also interested in examining if there are racial and gender differences in financial outcomes.
What economics trends or news are of particular interest to you right now?
Several things come to mind. I'll share the ones that are highest on the list. I am interested in how to better develop and administer online education. I believe online education provides more opportunities to engage students and increase learning. Another aspect I am following is the impact of the health pandemic on economic outcomes. Specifically, I am interested in how the pandemic has impacted segments of the economy.
What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
I love making a difference, and I enjoy working with others to make the world a better place. I recognize that I can help students learn better; I can help policy makers design better policies; and I can help businesses make better decisions for their bottom lines.
What characteristic do you value most in friends?
The characteristic I value most in friends is dependability. Life can be complicated at times and finding a group of individuals that you can always depend is important. None of us got to where we are without a close group of people that helped us through challenging times, and who celebrated with us when we overcame those difficulties.
What is something (personal or professional) that you're most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to the day where we are once again able to spend time with friends and family.
How has Gatton helped prepare you for success?
I wouldn’t be here today without the education I received at Gatton. More importantly, my teachers have now become mentors and friends, particularly Dr. Gail Hoyt. My PhD from Gatton provided me with the educational foundation and a strong network, I couldn’t ask for more.