News & Events

Keep up on the latest stories on academic programming, campus events, alumni stories, and student and faculty research in the Department of Economics.

Annual J. Fagg Foster Awards Ceremony

This ceremony is named for the beloved economics professor, the late J. Fagg Foster. Foster served as a faculty member at the University of Denver in the Department of Economics for three decades. Professor Foster defined economics as the study of how the means of life and experience are provided. He spent his career trying to replace misunderstandings of human behavior that contaminate economic theory and practice, as well as scientific inquiry at large. Foster's comparative, historical approach to the study of economics influenced countless students with enthusiasm for the world of ideas.

The J. Fagg Foster Award is presented every year to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the undergraduate study of economics.

In addition to the J. Fagg Foster Award, the Department of Economics awards the Satish Raichur award for a graduate students who has demonstrated excellence in the study of Political Economy.

Prof. Raichur was department chair when he suddenly died of a heart attack in June 1980 at the untimely age of 34. He was devoted to the diversity of cultures and of ideas, which led to his dedication to this Department's being a home for the consideration of alternative ideas in economics.

Recent Award Recipients

Sophia "Rosie" Contino
J. Fagg Foster Award Recipient

Sophia "Rosie" Contino is a recipient of the 2020 J. Fagg Foster Award for Excellence in the Undergraduate Study of Economics. Rosie is a junior majoring in economics and international studies with minors in mathematics and geographic information systems. She is from Fort Collins, Colorado and has always enjoyed mountain sports—particularly skiing and trail running. On campus, Rosie is involved in DU Public Achievement, DU democrats, DU Grand Challenges Crime and Safety Cohort, Delta Sigma Pi (business fraternity on campus), Puksta Scholars Program (scholarship award and civic engagement program), undergraduate research and is also a tour guide on campus. Academically, she interested in sustainable urbanization and comparative economic systems. Post-graduation, Rosie hopes to pursue a graduate degree in urban planning/design.

Sarah Wiltshire
J. Fagg Foster Award Recipient

Sarah Wiltshire is a recipient of the 2020 J. Fagg Foster Award for Excellence in the Undergraduate Study of Economics. Sarah is from Boulder, CO. She was drawn to economics in high school when she took AP macro and micro and fell in love with how models works and what they are trying to explain about the world. Sarah has always be interested in social sciences and thought that the way economics specifically focuses on scarcity and our reaction to it was a great approach that she wanted to understand more. Sarah was also specifically drawn to DU’s Economics Department because of the nontraditional approach that the economics department takes here to not take models as the end all in economics and instead question the models and the theories they’re based on in favor of a more inclusive and holistic economics. After she graduates, Sarah plans on getting her MA in International Development at Korbel at DU. In the future, Sarah would like to work in program management in the international field where she would like to implement and analyze international development programs such as water, sanitation, and hygiene projects and public health programs.

Adam Syzmanski-Burgos
Satish Raichur Award Recipient

Adam Syzmanski-Burgos is one of the 2021 Satish Raichur Award winners. Prior to joining the MA program, Adam worked as an affiliate researcher with the Filene Research Institute studying the development of business services in the US credit union system. Adam found ample room with the economics department at DU to develop prior research interests in community development and discover a galaxy of new ones in fields of macroeconomics, labor economics, and functional finance. With the technical training provided by the department, Adam aims to pursue a career as a professional economist either in the public or non-profit sector. After taking one year off from academia, Adam intends to apply to PhD programs (with an eye on CSU or CU Boulder). to study issues of sustainable and equitable development.

Daniel Spinrad
Satish Raichur Award Recipient

Daniel Spinrad is one of the 2021 Satish Raichur Award winners. Daniel traveled to join the program from Phoenix, Arizona. Daniel was initial drawn towards economics by the ability to use both qualitative and quantitative analysis together to tell one story. His favorite course in the program was origins of modern economics with Peter Ho, PhD. After graduation, Daniel plans on working for the government beginning next year.

Bryce Jones
Satish Raichur Award Recipient

Bryce Jones is one of the 2021 Satish Raichur Award winners. Bryce grew up in Idaho Falls and attended a local university for his undergraduate education. What drew Bryce to study economics was a desire to better understand economic policy. He was interested in the dynamic capacity for the state to respond to various shocks and to generate various opportunities that the private sector had failed to create. Each class in the program provided Bryce with a deeper comprehension and appreciation of economics. His favorite courses growth, technology and economic policy; advanced macroeconomics; and origins of modern economics. After graduation, Bryce plans are to take a few years to pursue employment opportunities before continuing his education at a heterodox PhD program.

Paula Leone Samuda
Satish Raichur Award Recipient

Paula Leone Samuda is one of the 2021 Satish Raichur Award winners. Paula Leone traveled from Jamaica to join the economics program at DU. She was drawn to economics because the discipline seemed to provide a very simple understanding of the world. As she grew older, Paula Leone realized that was not necessarily true and grew even more intrigued with the discipline. Her favorite courses in the program have been advanced macroeconomics, environmental economics, and European economic history. After graduation, Paula plans to continue her academic career by studying at CSU's PhD program. In her free time, Paula enjoys dancing, going to sporting events, going to the beach (even though she is terrified of the sea), and spending time with her family. 

Past Award Recipients

  • J. Fagg Foster Award

    2020

    Grace LaMendola 

    2019

    Brenn Anderson-Gregson

    John “Marcus” Dockerty

    Jacquelyn English

    Elizabeth Lochhead

    Samuel Pargament

    Ryan Taylor

    2018

    Morgan Smith

    Sydney Donati-Leach

    2017

    Bryce Anderson-Gregson

    2016

    Xinghang Lu

    Madeline Doering

    Alexandra Hoffman

    2015

    Alexandra Coulter

    Thomas Tarler

    2014

    Anita Balakrishnan

    Deshae Gehr

    Lily Montesano

    2013

    Samuel Kauffman

    Zachary Gonzales

    2012

    Caitlin Hendee

    Sarah McEahern

    2011

    Reina Gong

    Kyle J. McDonald

    2010

    Evan M. Corzine

    2009

    Michael O. Sajovetz

    2008

    Elizabeth Hansen

    Logan Mrtin

    Tomas Merrill

  • Satish Raichur Award

    2020

    Allie Coulter 

    Abby Magnus

    2019

    Sumaiya Saif

    2017

    Chen “Cassie” Chen

    Elen Murvanidze

    2016

    Danyi Wang

    2015

    Matthew Silva

    2014

    Kyle Glenn

    2013

    Nicole Alexander

    Sira Nukulkit

    2012

    Alexander Spray

    2011

    Marcus C. Fresques

    Dustin J. Page

    2010

    Rachel F. Hartgen

    2009

    Luisa Sanchez de Tagle

    2008

    Edgar Luna