Alumni Profiles

  1. Helen Bass
  2. Anurag Chandran
  3. Eva Dou
  4. Kevin Langerud
  5. Dawn Schillinger
  6. Andrew Spewak


Helen Bass

Bass PictureMs. Bass graduated in 2016 with a B.A in economics. She was selected for the prestigious Mark Twain Fellowship, which is awarded to one Mizzou student each year to support advanced education abroad. Helen will be completing a masters degree in Law & Economics at the University of Reading, specifically focusing on contract law. She also received the economics department Leaders Board Award of Excellence in 2015 & 2016.

Helen began gaining experience in empirical research as an assistant to Dean O'Brien during a project in cultural anthropology. In her honors thesis in Economics, Helen examined the effect of judicial selection systems on the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of state judges. 

In order to gain experience in law and policy, Ms. Bass interned in the offices of Senator Claire McCaskill and Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. In the Kander office, Helen worked directly in the Missouri General Assembly by monitoring and researching legislation. She supplemented these internship experiences by participating in and eventually leading Tigers Advancing Political Participation, a student organization that promotes nonpartisan political conversation on campus. 

Following her degree in the UK, Helen will return to the US to complete a degree in law. Helen aspires to eventually hold a judgeship. “Economics has prepared me well for law school and a career in law.” She adds, “I think the logical approach to analyzing social problems is the most useful part of economics.”


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Anurag Chandran

Chandran PictureMr. Chandran graduated in 2016 with a B.A in economics and political science. He was in the inaugural class of the Kinder Society of Fellows, where he was the founder and chief editor of the Journal on Constitutional Democracy. He also participated in the Kinder Summer Program in Washington, D.C. where he was an intern at the AEI and worked on security threats in the Middle East and South Asia.

Anurag was chosen for one of the most selective postgraduate programs in the world, the Schwarzman Scholarship. He received a fully funded scholarship to study at the new Schwarzman College at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing. Anurag intends to study the role China could play in fostering peace in South Asia and the Middle East.


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Eva Dou

Eva Dou PictureEva Dou graduated in 2012 with a double major in economics and convergence journalism. She is currently based in Beijing as China technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and before that covered technology news for the Journal in Taiwan. She reports on topics including the rise of innovative Chinese startups, China’s ambitions to become a technology superpower, Sino-American trade issues, China’s Great Firewall, and Foxconn and the electronics supply chain that makes your gadgets. She broke the news in 2015 that a state-owned Chinese company was attempting the largest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company in history as part of China’s goal of reducing its reliance on Silicon Valley, and has investigated illegal work conditions at factories making electronics for major U.S. brands.

“Studying economics at Mizzou gave me a great foundation to go on to do business reporting. It gives you a broad understanding of the clockwork ticking behind our modern world, and that has been invaluable to me in my work as a journalist. I actually didn’t originally intend to double-major in economics, but I enjoyed the first few econ classes I took at Mizzou so much that I kept taking them. The professors in MU’s economics department are admirable in how they spur students to think critically about how the world around them works, and whether it should be that way. You could always expect an intriguing debate in the classroom, ranging from serious topics like healthcare reform to offbeat ones like whether you can buy love and friendship. There’s nowhere less dismal to study the dismal science.”


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Kevin Langerud

Langerud Picture“I started my college career at Mizzou as a math major at Mizzou as a math major. Really I was undecided, but math was always my favorite subject, so I figured I’d start there. I was considering switching to engineering, business or one of the hard sciences, but it only took one course in microeconomics to make me realize that economics was perfect for me. Economics allows me to apply my quantitative and analytical skill set to interesting real world situations.

I have benefitted from the advice of several faculty mentors in the economics department. In my junior year, I was lucky enough to become a research assistant for Dr. Koedel. We examined the “Positional WAR” in college football, which is a new player evaluation technique in the world of sports economics. Not long after, I took a health economics course and that quickly became my favorite subject. Dr. Milyo helped me get a summer internship as an economic research analyst working with the CEO of AccurateRx Pharmacy. This position allows me apply everything I have learned in my undergrad schooling while also learning about the medical industry.

These professors helped me navigate the difficulties of college and this major. They extended my learning beyond the classroom and helped me prepare for my future. Attending Mizzou and studying economics is the best decision I ever made and that is why I am making the same decision to stay at Mizzou for graduate school.

Mizzou’s dual enrollment program let me begin graduate courses in my senior year and will give me the opportunity to complete my masters in economics this coming year. I am proud to say that I will become a full time graduate student in the fall and I am looking forward to continuing my education at this institution and with this faculty. I know that when I finish I will be ready for anything.”


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Dawn Schillinger

Dawn Schillinger graduated in 2014 with a double major in economics and journalism. Ms. Schillinger was a Discovery Fellow at Mizzou and worked as a neuromarketing research assistant and economics tutor. She was awarded the prestigious Mizzou ’39 Award, which is given to 39 outstanding seniors for their academic achievement, leadership, and service to Mizzou and the community. Schillinger completed an M.A in Journalism in 2015 and is currently employed as an Associate Project Research Analyst at Maritz Motivation Solutions.

“I know my Economics degree was a major differentiator when interviewing for jobs in the advertising and market research industry. Potential employers saw a candidate with a strong communications background and quantitative skills, and it got my foot in the door.” Dawn adds, “The best part of Economics for me was the breadth of topics I was able to explore in the courses. I have exposure to labor, international, political and behavioral economics and game theory, all with a firm foundation in the basics of macro- and microeconomics and statistics. The people in the program were also a great bonus – an economics degree can be applicable to wide variety of jobs, and my friends from the department are all over the country, no two people doing the same thing.”


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Andrew Spewak

Spewak PictureAndrew Spewak graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages, Spanish Emphasis. He served as both President and Treasurer of the Mizzou Spanish Club and was awarded the Colonel Arthur Allen Scholarship by the College of Arts and Science. His honors thesis, advised by Dr. Koedel, explored the connection between physical education and student learning in elementary schools. He currently works as a Research Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

“When I arrived at college, I had no idea what my major would be; I knew that I liked working with numbers, but the rest of the picture was unclear. Picking economics not only helped me advance my quantitative abilities, but it challenged me to think critically both inside and outside the classroom. The wide range of classes the department offers provided a peek at the diverse applications that economics has. I enrolled in courses specifically focused on money and banking, the legal system, and the healthcare system while econometrics and other quantitative courses demonstrated a variety of tangible examples. They each helped connect the often theoretical mathematics and statistics I learned to real-world problems. After completing my degree, I am better equipped to discuss and understand complex, relevant issues, whether they are related to social inequality, interest rates, political maneuvering, or the many other areas we looked at in class. I learned how to analyze and work through unique problems as well as how to effectively communicate and defend the conclusions I reach. I chose to continue working in economic research, with an eye towards potentially earning a PhD in the future, because I want to continue growing those all-important skills and delve further into the knowledge that still lies beyond our grasp. What excites me about economics, perhaps paradoxically, is that there is still so much left to figure out. Great opportunities for discovery lie ahead, and the economics degree has infused with me the tools to pursue them.”


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