Every student that comes to Niagara, is searching for their purpose, taking the first stepping stones to their future. For Allyssa Wadsworth, a local Niagara County resident, she describes that Niagara University was the only college that she applied to, describing it simply that, “it felt like home.” When she was younger, she had attended summer camps on campus and Niagara has always held a special place for her.
Wadsworth started at Niagara in the fall of 2013 in the Academic Exploration Program, but during her first semester, she ended up taking a Principles of Macroeconomics course with Dr. Kris Principe, associate professor of economics and loved it. She declared Economics as her major in her second semester.
She graduated from Niagara University in May of 2017, Summa Cum Laude, with a double degree, a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. She credits the College of Business and the Economics dept. faculty specifically for supporting her and that they provided “the biggest motivation for my career path."
Dr. Jay Walker, assistant professor of economics and her faculty advisor, encouraged her to also major in mathematics as it would improve her chances for graduate school. Wadsworth also worked as Walker’s research assistant for a semester and co-published a paper with him on “Religiosity and the Impact of Religious Secondary Schooling.” Dr. Ann Rensel, associate professor of management, taught her Excel and Access in her Operations and Information Management course. In her words, "I basically started graduate school with all the computer skills knowledge needed to begin researching with new methods."
Now in her 4th year studying in the Economics Doctoral program at West Virginia University in the John Chambers College of Business & Economics, a graduate assistantship provides full tuition and a stipend. She just received the Doctoral Student Teaching award, voted on by a committee of professors and based in part on student teaching evaluations. She is scheduled to teach Principles of Microeconomics in spring 2021 and has previously taught 3 semesters of Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory. She has also secured a funded place on a research team for a financial literacy project.
Wadsworth returned to her alum mater this semester as a visiting scholar in the College of Business, while she continues work on her doctoral dissertation research project focusing on Oishei Children’s Hospital Development and Surrounding Housing Prices. Initially a topic suggested to her by Dr. Rensel, she decided to focus on this, “as it is both a project close to home and in my field of interest.”
Dr. Rensel who has remained close with Wadsworth shared that, "Allyssa is one of those amazing students who motivate us as faculty. It is truly a privilege to have the opportunity to guide and mentor students like Allyssa and then have the pleasure of watching them grow and succeed."
Wadsworth plans on completing her degree in 2022 and will be looking to teach at a small liberal arts school on the east coast, very similar to Niagara. She has found her calling in teaching describing, “I love interacting with students, especially when the subject clicks and they get that lightbulb moment of understanding.” She looks forward to educating the next generation about economics.