Graduate Student Action Chair
I was the Economics Department "Grad SAC" for the 2018-2019 school year. In this position, I attended faculty meetings as the representative for the graduate students and coordinated between the department head, Director of Graduate Studies, and the students. The Grad SAC had been a rather dormant position, and in my tenure as Grad SAC, I worked to make the position more active in advocating for students. The Grad SACs in the following years were able to raise the graduate student incomes in our department and get funding for teaching materials during the pandemic.
In February 2019, our department hosted Gérard Duménil for a 10-day workshop for graduate students. I organized 2 months of weekly trainings to prepare students for his visit and give background information on what he would be discussing in the workshop. We had several faculty and graduate students teach in these trainings.
Public Economics Reading Group
In Spring 2018, I organized a public economics reading group. We had an average weekly attendance of 10 students and faculty and met at a local brewery. This reading group was meant as preparation for the launch of the Department of Economics' Economic Evaluation Unit, a new effort in the department to get grants for public policy research.
I firmly believe that a workplace needs social engagement for the health of the internal and external members. In order to promote this, one of the faculty members and I host a well-attended unofficial department Christmas party each year for faculty and students. I also organize a yearly campout for graduate students before the start of the year to introduce the new students to the current students and to the beauty of Utah.
Aid at Polarization Conference
In the Great Polarization Conference hosted by the University of Utah Department of Economics, I served as a driver for presenters and aid to the organizers. In general, when someone in my workplace is putting effort into a large event, I think it is important to pitch in and help. No one does something great alone, and I am happy to help.
Keep Public Lands in Public Hands
For several years I worked with the organization "Keep Public Lands in Public Hands", a grassroots effort affiliated with the Sierra Club that tried to get local governments to pass resolutions against the Utah state government's efforts to undermine federal public land holdings. As a part of this effort, I created educational materials, represented the organization at events, and did door-to-door canvassing to increase awareness of the issue and gather signatures in support of these resolutions.
Public Lands Club at the U
As an offshoot of the previous project, I started a new public lands club at the University of Utah. The goal of the club was to increase awareness among students about the public lands issues in Utah and to get the Associated Students to pass a resolution saying that University of Utah students want to protect public lands from business interests. We successfully passed the resolution in spring of 2019.
Clean the Darn Air Campaign
In summer 2019, I gathered signatures for the "Clean the Darn Air" campaign, an effort to get a referendum on the Utah state ballot for a carbon tax. The money from the tax would have gone to cleaning up local air pollution and rural economic development in Utah. Additionally, the tax would have allowed Utah to eliminate state sales tax on grocery store food and other regressive taxes and provide a 20% match of the Earned Income Tax Credit. While the measure unfortunately did not get the needed signatures (110,000 across the state!), I was able to gather almost 1,000 signatures on my own and spread awareness about the idea of a carbon tax.