From the series Faculty Awards for Excellence 2021–2022

2021–2022 Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence: Early Career Achievement

Kevin Willardsen

Kevin Willardsen

Kevin Willardsen, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics, received the 2021–2022 Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence: Early Career Achievement for his incredible teaching skills and multiple publications within a five-year tenure at Wright State.

He also served the Wright State and Dayton-area communities by consulting with local officials on interacting with Federal Emergency Management Agency after the Memorial Day tornadoes in 2019.

Willardsen’s colleagues call him an inspirational teacher. His teaching has inspired many of his students to pursue a bachelor’s degree in economics or a master’s in social and applied economics.

Thomas Traynor, Ph.D., dean of the Raj Soin College of Business and professor of economics, said the number of students who changed their major is unusually high.

“Willardsen is able to connect economics to the issues and events that students find meaningful, including the incorporation of experiential learning activities, news stories and the experiences of his own students in his courses,” Traynor said.

Willardsen arranges for several scholars to visit Wright State to speak with students and host applied econometrics workshops for students and faculty in the Department of Economics. He serves as the advisor to the Economics Club and the economics honor society. He has participated in and arranged many of the groups’ activities.

Along with his high proficiency in teaching, Willardsen is an extremely accomplished researcher. Since he joined Wright State, he has published seven papers in the fields of public, urban and regional economics and is actively researching a project that is likely to be impactful in the study of urban and regional economics.

Scholars in Willardsen’s field have called his research innovative, technically sophisticated and clear enough to be widely accessible. He maintains an active pipeline of research projects and teaches a large number of courses in addition to working on his research.

His colleagues in the Raj Soin College of Business commend his high levels of dedication, innovation and commitment to his research alongside his teaching prowess.

Along with his hard work for the Wright State community, Willardsen works with local media as a source of economic information. He is a key source for accurate and easy-to-understand explanations on the local economy.

Andrew Beauchamp, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Economics, said Willardsen receives positive feedback on a regular basis.

“His excellence spans teaching and student success, research and the dissemination of knowledge, along with community outreach,” Beauchamp said. “In terms of student success outside the classroom, Willardsen does it all.”

Comments are closed.