Assistant Professor of Economics
B.A., University of Western Ontario (Canada)M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota
I was born in the late seventies in the Republic of Slovenia, which at the time was a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). I grew up in a very unstable and uncertain economic and political environment filled with nationalistic and ethnic tensions. In 1991, after a devastating 10-day war with SFRY’s army, Slovenia emerged as a newly formed and independent nation faced with major challenges such as: how to make a smooth transition from a centrally planned to a market-based economy; how to build institutions that promote democracy; and how to deal with the flow of refugees from neighboring countries, which were still at war after the collapse of SFRY.
Following a highly competitive process, I left for Italy at the age of 16 where I was admitted to the United World College of the Adriatic (UWCAD) to represent Slovenia. UWCAD is part of the United World College organization whose mission is to promote excellence in education with emphasis on international and multicultural understanding, awareness and respect. These two years at UWCAD were instrumental in my personal growth and profoundly influenced my perception of the world. At UWCAD I obtained my international baccalaureate degree specializing in history and economics.
In May 2001, after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences and Economics from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, I decided that economics was best suited for me to tackle public policy questions. First, I was awarded a post-bachelor internship at the research department of the Bank of Canada, where I got involved in projects about monetary policy and the importance of financial markets for economic growth. Second, I started graduate work in economics at the University of Minnesota, where I learned cutting-edge theory in macroeconomics, international trade, and growth and development.
In my research, I apply these new techniques to the field of health economics to model eating decisions and study what caused the obesity epedemic in the United States. Today, more than 1.3 billion people are overweight worldwide, whereas about 800 million are underweight. In developing nations such as Mexico, Egypt and South Africa, obesity has emerged as a more serious health threat than hunger. If left unchecked, obesity will cause devastating increases in illness and reductions in life expectancy. It also puts great strains on national health-care budgets.
In 2010, I finished my Ph.D. and joined the economics department at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University as an assistant professor.
Health Economics, Macroeconomics, Public Policy
Co-author, “Estimated DGE Models and Forecasting Accuracy: A Preliminary Investigation with Canadian Data, working paper published by the Bank of Canada (2002)
Co-author, “Financial Structure and Economic Growth: A Non-Technical Survey,” financial system review, published by the Bank of Canada (2002)
Lectures & Presentations
- Presenter, The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (2010)
Presenter, Western Economic Association International Conference (2009)
Lecturer, Youngstown State University (2009)
Presenter, Midwest Economics Association Annual Meeting (2009)
Lecturer, Lunch Economics Seminar Series, Case Western Reserve University (2008)
Lecturer, Northeast Ohio Economics Workshop, Cleveland State University (2008)
Lecturer, Applied Economics Seminar, University of Minnesota (2008)
Lecturer, Economics Seminar Series, The University of Akron (2008)
Lecturer, Economics Seminar Series, Cleveland State University (2008)
Recipient, medal in recognition of work with students with disabilities, Ability Unlimited, Kent State University (2007)
Recipient, numerous Distinguished Instructor Awards, University of Minnesota (2002-2006)
Member, American Economics Association
Member, Midwest Economics Association