Associate Professor and Chair of the Economics Department Jo Beth Mertens spoke as part of the Christian A. Johnson “Excellence in Teaching” Conference at Hamilton College on Saturday, April 2. Her presentation, “True Grit: I Am Not Your Mother and This is Not a Democracy,” was among six diverse presentations representing different areas of the curriculum.
Each of the speakers has been recognized beyond his or her own campus for excellence of teaching and each has been designated a Professor of the Year by CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
According to organizers, “The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country – those who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students.”
Mertens was named New York Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in 2005. She regularly teaches courses in public finance and labor economics, and may be best known on campus for “Sports Economics,” a challenging upper-level course she created, which includes lessons on how free agency does not make sports leagues less competitive, and political positions on private funding for sports stadium projects.
She has served as consultant to several countries, including Guyana and Kosovo. She has served the U.S. Treasury Department as senior tax adviser to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and has presided over similar projects in Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Russia, the Ukraine and Nigeria.
Mertens has been a consultant for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and has taught at SUNY-Buffalo, Florida Atlantic University, Dekalb Community College, Emory University and Duke University.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree from Duke University and a Ph.D. from Emory University.