Department Awards

Each year the Department of Economics honors students and faculty with awards for scholarship and teaching. Please join us in congratulating the 2010–11 winners.

Graduate Students

Walter Heller Memorial Prize (Best Third-Year Paper)

The Walter Heller Memorial Prize is given annually in memory of Professor Walter Perrin Heller (1942–2001) and provides formal recognition to our graduate students who have shown the most promise for their future careers in research. Professor Heller was a leading 20th-century economic theorist and an early member of the UC San Diego faculty who joined the department in 1974 and remained active until his death in 2001.

  • [Photo: Samuel Bazzi]

    Samuel Bazzi

    “Credit Constraints and Investment in International Contract Migration: Theory and Evidence from Indonesia”
  • [Photo: Kelly Paulson]

    Honorable Mention:
    Kelly Paulson

    “Using Conditional Exogeneity to Identify the Dynamic Binary Choice Model”

Teaching Assistance Excellence

Annually the department recognizes graduate students who demonstrate great efforts in their teaching, which is emphasized by glowing teaching evaluations from undergraduates, graduate peers and their faculty supervisors. Nominations are solicited from the faculty and awards are made by the graduate committee. Each of these recipients for the 2010–11 academic year showed clear commitment to the teaching mission of UC San Diego.

Clive Granger Research Fellowship

Six fellowships, named after Nobel Prize-winner Sir Clive Granger, are awarded each year for the most promising graduate student research.

Each fellow received a small stipend, which allowed for more rapid dissertation progress by minimizing work obligations for a quarter. Nominations are made by the faculty running the thesis workshops (in consultation with their colleagues), and awards are made by the graduate committee.

Undergraduate Students

The Department of Economics grants three annual awards to the top graduating senior from each of our three undergraduate majors: economics, management science and joint mathematics-economics. Recipients are chosen by faculty vote from a pool of top students in the graduating class of each major. The award is mentioned at their college commencement ceremonies, and awardees receive a total cash award of $500 from the department and UCSD Alumni. The award winners for 2011 were as follows:

[Photo: Hio Kuan Yung]

Seymour Harris Award for Excellence in Economics
Recipient: Hio Kuan Yung

After graduation, Hio returned to her hometown of Hong Kong, where she is developing her career. She works in the field of research and analysis, specializing in global mobility and cost of living. Hio had this to say about the award: “I appreciated UCSD for presenting me the Seymour Harris Award; more importantly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mother and my boyfriend, Kelvin. They provided me with the greatest support and love. In the future, I hope to travel round the world to keep learning and broadening my horizons even though I left the university.”

This award commemorates Seymour E. Harris, a prominent government advisor from the 1940s to the 1960s. He was a noted member of the Harvard Economics faculty and the founding chair of UC San Diego’s Department of Economics.

[Photo: Kevin Staight]

Kevin Staight

[Photo: Nicholas Burk]

Nicholas Burk

Joel Dean Award for Excellence in Management Science
Recipients: Nicholas Burk and Kevin Staight

Kevin is currently pursuing an M.B.A. at the New York University Stern School of Business, specializing in global business and leadership, and chance management. Upon graduation, he hopes to work in the field of international management consulting, focusing on the Middle East and North African region. Nicholas Burk could not be reached for comment.

This award commemorates Joel Dean, a prominent management scientist who was also a noted faculty member of the business school at Columbia University. He was a visiting professor at UC San Diego’s Department of Economics throughout the 1970s and was one of the pioneers of our management science major.

[Photo: Allison Rudd]

Award for Excellence in Joint Mathematics-Economics
Recipient: Allison Rudd

Allison is currently working as an economic consultant at Bates White, LLC. She chose consulting for the opportunity to work at the intersection of economics, business and law. Using her analytical skills to answer questions and solve problems in new and different fields has been exciting. In her spare time, Allison is involved in community service at her church and trained for the San Diego Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon.

This award was established in 2008 and is granted to our most outstanding joint mathematics-economics student.

For more information on these annual awards, email


Graduate Faculty Teaching Awards

In recognition of faculty and graduate students who demonstrate great effort in teaching, the department awards annual prizes for the best undergraduate teaching in six categories. The recipients are selected by a committee comprising the department chair and past awardees.