The Department congratulates the four deserving recipients of the 2013-2014 Ensley Fellowship, which is among the most prestigious graduate awards offered by the University of Washington. The purpose of the fellowship is to create a pool of economists trained in the application of theoretical and technical economic knowledge to policy formation and to increase the involvement of economists in policy-making and administration. To qualify for the fellowship, candidates must demonstrate a strong interest in policy implications for the public sector or private industry, as well as an exceptional grasp of economic principles. Preference is given to students with the ability to communicate economic ideas in understandable and convincing ways to policy makers, administrators, and non-economists. The award is generally given to 3rd- or 4th-year students who have a well-developed dissertation topic. The selection committee this year reviewed applications and heard presentations from a number of highly qualified candidates. Special thanks to alumni volunteers Robert deGavre and Tim Jenkins, who have been members of the selection committee for several years.
Emre Aylar is from Turkey, and did his undergraduate studies in economics at Bogazici University in Istanbul. He completed his Master's degree in economics at Iowa State University and entered the doctoral program at UW in 2009. He is working in the areas of econometric theory and time series econometrics with Professor Eric Zivot. Emre's research is focused on unit root and stationarity tests. He has taught Econ 200, Intro to Microeconomics, and Econ 300, Intermediate Microeconomics.
Daniel Brent's research is in applied environmental economics with a focus on water resource economics. His research on urban water demand integrates satellite data to measure changes in landscape over time, and applies principles from behavioral economics to promote water conservation. These projects sprung from collaborations with local utilities and private firms that allow Daniel to access novel data resources and apply his research to the real world. Additional projects include valuing heterogeneity in water rights, estimating land use change in Washington State from biofuel policy, and determining behavioral response and welfare effect from introducing High-Occupancy Toll lanes. In April Daniel will serve as an invited panelist in a water demand conference at Arizona State University, and will present his research at the Association of Environmental and Resource Economics annual meeting in Banff, CA this summer. Also this summer Daniel will marry his lovely fiancé Aliza outside their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.
Yian Chen's research is in systemic risk and its application on asset pricing. He looks for risk amplifying and risk absorbing effects in financial networks and translates this into cross-section variation in returns. Yian is proficient in the use and development of statistical software "R". He is currently working on a project with Professor Eric Zivot assessing "FactorAnalytics". He did his undergraduate work in economics at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, where he is from. In his spare time, Yian is a climbing zealot; he says "indoor, outdoor, sports, traditional, alpine...I like it all."
David Kuenzel completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Tuebingen, Germany and began his doctoral studies at UW in 2009. His research interests lie mainly in the area of international economics, in particular the institutional and macroeconomic aspects of international trade. Recently his work has been focused on explaining the emergence of trade disputes between WTO members. He is also working with Theo Eicher on a project examining the link between countries' export diversification and their underlying production structure and development path.