Rice Economics Spring 2020 Newsletter - Page 4

Faculty Awards We also presented awards to two members of our faculty at RISE Day. The first is the Malcolm Gillis Award for Distinction in Undergraduate Teaching in Economics. Malcolm Gillis was not only an outstanding scholar in our department, an accomplished advisor to a multitude of governments and private entities, and an exemplary teacher, but also served as the President of Rice University from 1993 to 2004. Malcolm was incredibly committed to fostering excellent undergraduate teaching at Rice, and this award is a fitting tribute to his commitment. Michele Biavati The winner of the Malcolm Gillis Award for Distinction in Undergraduate Teaching in Economics this year is Michele Biavati, who is a senior lecturer and has been at Rice since 2013 and is a faculty associate at Will Rice College. Michele is eminently deserving of the Gillis Award, as he has always been an outstanding instructor in all of his courses, but we especially want to recognize his performance in his often over-subscribed Behavioral Economics course, where his outstanding lectures inevitably win accolades from his students. And Michele is extremely popular among our undergraduates, which in itself is quite a feat, as he also has the truly thankless task of being in charge of all undergraduate transfer credits. Our second faculty prize is the Ralph O’Connor Award for Distinction in Teaching and Research in Economics. This award honors Ralph O’Connor, who was one of the founding members of the RISE Council, and played a huge role in shaping Rice over the years, serving on the university board of governors and as a trustee, helping to establish Martel College, and earning the first Chairman’s Award, the highest award for service given by the university, as well as the Rice Alumni Association’s Gold Medal. The award is made possible by a gift from Rob Ladd, who has been the chair of the RISE Council since it inception; Rob is also the incoming Chair of Rice’s Board of Trustees. The winner of this year’s Ralph O’Connor Award for Distinction in Teaching and Research in Economics is assistant professor Rossella Calvi. Rossella has been one of our best teachers since the day she arrived on campus and she continues to improve, receiving her best teaching effectiveness score on student evaluations in her most recent offering of her undergraduate course on economic development. Even more impressive is that in her graduate course in the Rossella Calvi same subject she has received a perfect 1.00 both times she has offered the course, an amazing accomplishment. And Rossella is a top-notch researcher as well. In fact, she just had her paper on “Why Are Older Women Missing in India? The Age Profile of Bargaining Power and Poverty” accepted in one of the top three journals in our profession, the Journal of Political Economy. We are delighted to present her with the O’Connor Award for Distinction in Teaching and Research. Finally, we would like to mention a non-RISE Day prize awarded recently to one of our faculty members. A few weeks ago, Associate Professor Mallesh Pai won the 2020 award for the best paper published in the prestigious American Economic Journal: Microeconomics. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that, amazingly enough, this same high-profile award was won last year by another one of our faculty members, Yinghua He. We would like to offer our heartiest congratulations to both young scholars on their impressive achievements! Mallesh Pai Yinghua He 4