PERI Research Fellows — 2023
The PERI Ph.D. Fellowship Program is a competitive fellowship program for students pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at Middle Tennessee State University. Fellowship responsibilities include research assistance, teaching assistance, and/or tutoring. Learn more about our Fellows for the 2022 academic year:
Mohammed Alaohaid is a Ph.D. student in economics at MTSU. He the recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Fellowship. He received his M.A. in legal studies at Texas State University in 2015 and his B.A. in economics at St. Edward's University in 2014.
Sean-Patrick is a second-year Ph.D. student in economics at MTSU. He is the recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Fellowship. He was accepted to the American Institute for Economic Research's Spring 2023 Harwood Graduate Colloquium on Public Choice and was named as a 2023 Student Fellow of the Public Choice Society.
He received his B.S. in Economics at Troy University as a Chancellor's Scholar. He is also the recipient of multiple scholarships, include the Institute for Human Studies Hayek Scholar and the Hugh G. Rose Scholar.
Works in Progress:
"The Itch to Regulate: The Political Economy of U.S. Barber Licensure in the Progressive Era," with Macy Scheck and Daniel Smith
"I Know Not: The Knowledge Problems in Demonstrating a Public Interest Rationale for Certificate-of-Need" (with Macy Scheck and Daniel J. Smith)
"Pathway Promotion and Skill Set Theory"
Publications: "The Demoralizing Trap of Keynesianism," in The Journal of Markets and Morality (2017), coauthored with Daniel Smith.
Chris Barker is a Ph.D. student in economics at MTSU. He is an assistant professor of finance at Harding University, teaching courses in macroeconomics and real estate. He holds a BBA in accounting from Harding University and an M.A. in history and MBA from MTSU. He served as an adjust instructor at MTSU in 2011, and previously worked in roles, including compliance director at the National Federation of Independent Business; a staff accountant with Kraft CPAs; and a cost accountant at Procter & Gamble. He obtained his CPA license, but is no longer practicing.
Antón Chamberlin is a second-year Ph.D. student in Economics at MTSU. He is the recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Fellowship. He recieved the 2023 Don Lavoie Fellowship with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Antón received his his B.A. in Economics at Loyola University New Orleans and a M.A. in Economics at Troy University. He currently works as a graduate research fellow at the Mises Institute.
Work in progress: "The Mexican Miracle: An Austrian Analysis."
Publication: "The Fundamental Economic Problem with Biden's Rescue Plan," Mises Institute, May 2021
Patricia Hummel is a second-year Ph.D. student in Economics at MTSU. She is recipient of the PERI’s Ph.D. Summer Research Fellowship. As an Honors College scholar, she graduated in May 2022 with a B.S. in Economics, with a triple minor in risk management and insurance, philosophy, and university honors at MTSU. Patricia’s research interests include public choice, public policy, monetary economics, and the insurance industry. She successfully defended her Honors thesis in May 2021: "Analyzing College Students' Finances and How They Were Impacted by COVID-19." She was a previous recipient of the PERI’s 2021 Summer Research Fellow and continues to develop on her research program, "Assessing the Effectiveness of Personal Finance Standards in Tennessee."
Nicholas Jensen is a third-year Ph.D. student in Economics at MTSU. He is the recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Fellowship. He recieved his B.S. and M.A. in Economics at Troy University. Jensen was awarded the Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship with Mercatus Center Academic & Student Programs at George Mason University for the 2023-2024 academic year. One of his new working papers, “Of the People and By the People: How Different Are Elected Judges’ Rulings Compared to Appointed Judges’ Rulings?”, co-authored with PERI Fellow Sean-Patrick Alvarez, has been accepted for presentation at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Southern Economic Association in November.
Ankith Reddy Madasani is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at MTSU. He is the recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Fellowship..
Shamsuddeen Nassarawa is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at MTSU. He is a recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Summer Fellowship award as well as the full Ph.D. Fellowship. He was awarded the Spring 2023 Graduate Fellowship with the American Institute for Economic Research.
He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) with a demonstrated history of working in the banking industry. After receiving his master's degree in finance from MTSU, he most recently served as External Funds Manager at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Works in Progress: "The Impact of Investment Restrictions on Pension Participants: A Case Study of Nigeria."
Nicholas Reinarts is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at MTSU. He is the recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Fellowship. Nicholas graduated summa cum laude with a B.Sc. in Economics from Florida Southern College. He went on to pursue his M.A. in Economics at Troy University, studying in the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy. He is interested in the fields of economic development, institutional economics, and public choice literature. He currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Jones College of Business, instructing Principles of Macroeconomics.
Works in Progress:
- "You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Chains? Re-examining the Hayek-Friedman Hypothesis on the Relationship Between Capitalism and Political Freedom," PERI working paper, with Gabriel Benzecry and Daniel J. Smith
- "ADA to Ph.D.? The Americans with Disabilities Act and Post-Secondary Educational Attainment" PERI working paper, with Vitor Melo
- “Egalitarian Institutions and the Gender Labor Force Gap” with Dr. Daniel Bennett and Dr. Claudia Williamson Kramer
- "Freeing Markets and Minds: State-Level Economic Freedom and the A.D.A.'s Impact on Collegiate Educational Attainment"
- "No Land, No Resources, No Problem: Property Rights Institutions and Growth in Venice” (with Rania Al-Bawwab)
Macy Scheck is a second-year Ph.D. student in economics at MTSU. He is the recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Fellowship and previously served the PERI as a research analyst in Spring 2021. He graduated from University of Central Arkansas in May 2020 with a major in economics and a minor in German. He previously served as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics at UCA. Scheck's research interests include occupational licensing and the effect of severance taxes on natural gas production and investment.
“Advancing Certificate-of-Need Reform in Tennessee” (with Daniel J. Smith). PERI Policy Study, 2021.
“The Costs of Occupational Licensing in Tennessee & Avenues for Reform” (with Ron Shultis, Daniel J. Smith, and Protik Nandy). Political Economy Research Institute and the Beacon Center of Tennessee, 2022.
"Examining the effect of Arkansas’s increased severance tax rate on natural gas production," in Oil, Gas & Energy Quarterly (2020), coauthored with K.M. Casey.
Works in Progress:
- “Straight Whiskey and Dirty Politics: Distillers, Rectifiers, and Public Health Crusaders in Early American Whiskey” (with Daniel J. Smith) Revise and Resubmit
- "The Itch to Regulate: The Political Economy of U.S. Barber Licensure in the Progressive Era," with Sean-Patrick Alvarez and Daniel Smith
- "I Know Not: The Knowledge Problems in Demonstrating a Public Interest Rationale for Certificate-of-Need" (with Sean-Patrick Alvarez & Daniel J. Smith)
Jacob Smith is starting at the MTSU Jones College of Business this fall as a first-year Ph.D. student in economics and is joining the PERI as a Summer 2024 Fellow. A native of Virginia, Jacob is graduating from Hampden-Sydney College in May 2023 with a B.S. in mathematical economics. While attending H-SC, he was a fellow at the Center for the Study of Political Economy. He is currently researching the early American whiskey market. His political economy interests include free market, public choice, rent seeking, special interests, and collective action problems.
Jacob’s recent research activities include his participation in the 2022 H-SC Summer Research Program: Public Choice analysis of Rent-Seeking behavior in Progressive Era Whiskey market, where he presented his paper: “The Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897: How whiskey distillers and dealers utilized public policy for competitive advantages.” Jacob presented his "Bottled in Bondage" paper at The Political Economy of the Spirits World session of the Southern Economic Association’s 2022 meeting and presented “Distillers and Chemists” in the Undergraduate Poster Competition at the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) Conference in April 2023.
Caleb Watts is a third-year Ph.D. student in economics at MTSU. He was a recipient of the PERI Undergraduate Research Fellowship for the 2019-20 academic year. He is also a recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Summer Fellowship. He has worked as a risk analyst for corporate lender JB&B Capital. Caleb is also an Army ROTC cadet, who commissioned in May 2022 as an Adjutant General Officer. For more information of Caleb’s projects please see his website below.
Emilia Suggs, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the School of Business, Technology, and Economics at King University, starting in Fall 2021. She received her B.S. (2017), M.A. (2019), and Ph.D. (2021) in economics from Middle Tennessee State University. Emilia’s research interests include political competition, voting system design, and epistemological influences on economic thought. Her job market paper, "Identifying Voter Preferences through Two-Stage Multivoting Elections: Experiments in the Preface of the 2020 Democratic Primaries," has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2021).
Inhwa Kim, Ph.D. (Fall 2021)
Inhwa Kim, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of economics at Harris–Stowe State University (2022). She was previously a visiting assistant professor at Sam Houston State University. She was the previous recipient of the PERI Dissertation Fellowship in 2021 and received her Ph.D. in Economics in Fall 2021, a M.A. in Economics in 2018, and a M.S. in Professional-Biostatistics in 2015 from MTSU. She also earned her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics while studying at Pukyong National University in South Korea. Inhwa’s research interests include Applied Microeconomics, Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Finance, and International Trade.
Protik Nandy, Ph.D. (Summer 2022)
Protik Nandy, Ph.D., is a visiting assistant professor of economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is the recipient of the PERI Dissertation Fellowship. He served as an adjuct faculty member at Cumberland University. Protik’s research interest includes public choice, political economy, institutional problems and voting behavior.
Rania Al-Bawwab, Ph.D. (Fall 2022)
Rania Al-Bawwab, Ph.D., is a visiting assistant professor of economics at University
of Central Arkansas. She is a 2022 graduate of MTSU's Ph.D. economics program. Rania
earned her bachelor’s degree in Agriculture at University of Jordan and her M.Sc.
in Agriculture at Jordan University of science and Technology. She received her M.B.A.
and M.A. in economics at Troy University. Rania’s research interests include public
choice, Austrian economics, political economy, Islamic finance, and Islamic economics.
Rania’s native language is Arabic, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and writing. She
has published a collection of short stories in Arabic titled The Promise.
Gabriel Benzecry, Ph.D. (Summer 2023)
Gabriel Benzecry, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of economics and a Bretzlaff Scholar at Northwood University. He is a 2023 Ph.D. graduate in Economics at MTSU. He was the recipient of the PERI Ph.D. Fellowship. He recieved his B.A. in Economics at Wake Forest University. His current research project focuses on Brazil's 1988 Constituent Assembly and the Methuen Treaty. Gabriel's research focuses on Economic History and Public Choice Theory. He currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Jones College of Business, instructing Principles of Macroeconomics.
Labanyalata Roy is a lecturer at Kennesaw State University and a Ph.D. candidate in economics at MTSU. She was the previous recipient of the PERI Dissertation Fellowship in 2021. Her research interests include Applied Microeconomics, Political Economy, Economic History and Behavioral Economics. She earned her M.Phil. in Economics in 2014 and her M.A. in Economics in 2011 from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Zeynep Beyhan, Ph.D. - 2019-20 Visiting PERI Ph.D. Fellow
Zeynep Beyhan was the 2019-20 Visiting Ph.D. Fellow in the Political Economy Research Institute at MTSU. She is an She recieved her Ph.D. in economics in 2021 at University of Macerata (Italy). She earned her bachelor’s degree and her M.A in economics at University of Uludağ (Turkey). Zeynep also did internships at Central Bank of Turkey, The Ministery Economy of Turkey, The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, and the Office of the Commercial Counsellor in Italy. Zeynep’s main research interests include Sustainable Development, Regional Political Risk and International Political Economy. In addition to her native Turkish, she speaks English and Italian.
2021 Summer Fellows
Patricia Hummel (Undergraduate Fellow)
2020 Summer Fellows
2020 Spring Fellows
Christopher Cowherd (Political Science)
Project: “The Art of Peace: Reforming the Terminology and Theory of American Non-Interventionism.”
Hector Hernandez (Mathematics)
Hector is the additional recipient of the Hispanic Organization of Leaders and Achievers (HOLA) research grant.
Project: “The Ideal Extent of Social Distancing to Preserve Economic Prosperity when Society is Marginalized.”
Ashley Nipper (Accounting M.Acc.)
Project: “A Comparison of Audits by Governmental Auditors and CPA Firms in Tennessee.”
Caleb Watts (Economics)
Project: "Populism is More than Hysteria: A Selective Review of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections."
2019 Summer Fellows
Montgomery Barreto (Accounting)
Project: “Financial Literacy among MTSU Undergraduate Students”
Rachel Eccles (Chemistry)
Project: “The Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Barriers and Initiatives"
Ekaterina Valuiskaya (Finance)
Project: "Corporate Social Responsibility in Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer Companies: Nucor Corporation and Starbucks Corporation"
Angela Womack (Psychology and Sociology)
Project: "Women’s Experiences with Relapse"