Author: Towson University Regional Economic Studies Institute

My Internship Experience: Mackenzie Rice

This guest post was written by Mackenzie Rice, a junior studying political science and economics at Towson University. She is a member of the Women’s Golf team and interns with the Regional Economic Studies Institute. Many athletes that play Division 1 golf in college are striving to turn professional after their four years of studying and eligibility are over. However, I never saw professional golf in my future. I never wanted to put the pressure of making a pay check on the line, in case it would cause me to fall out of love for the game. As a...

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Guest Post: Back-to-School Shopping: The Economic Impact

Early Wake-Ups, Sad Children, and School Shopping! It’s that time of year again! Summer has officially ended and everyone will be affected. Students have to wake up early to not miss a school bus. Students are unhappy that they will have daily or weekly homework. Parents have to wake up early to ensure their children do not miss a school bus or to take them to school. Parents have to fight through increased traffic to get to work on-time. Besides the frustrations of the back-to-school season, the effects on the economy are rewarding. Back-to-School Boosts the Economy Beginning in...

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On the Money: Putting a Woman on the New $10 Bill

Paper currency (or, if we’re getting technical, cotton and linen currency) is an undeniable part of our day-to-day economic and financial existence, regardless of how often we may pay with plastic and how soon the world may seriously consider digital currency. Perhaps because of its conspicuous role or its symbolic significance, paper currency and whose images are represented on it has long been a topic of interest. Women On 20s, a nonprofit grassroots organization, has played an integral part in bringing attention to the lack of female representation on paper currency. Since 2014 the organization has been campaigning for...

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Economic Outlook Conference Happy Hour

Since 1995, RESI has been hosting the Economic Outlook Conference – that’s the same year many of the freshman at TU were born! Our team in RESI and OPO have been busy preparing for this year’s conference – creating, promoting, producing, designing, meeting, emailing – but the best part about preparing for this year’s conference is that Jade, Mikey, and I have been able to taste-test a few beers. You heard right! Our conference theme focuses on the economic impact of the craft brewing industry in Maryland, so it only seems right that we get to indulge in a few local beers, right? This year, in addition to Dr. Daraius Irani’s 2015 Economic Forecast, we will show short screenings of Brewmore | Baltimore – a recently released documentary chronicling the rich history of the beer industry in Baltimore, hear from Lester Jones, Chief Economist of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and we will end our event with an optional beer tasting from our friends at Heavy Seas. There are 2 ways you can reserve your seat to the EOC! Interested in bringing your clients/staff/colleagues? Consider purchasing a table package. The table package includes 8 seats and recognition in the program as a table sponsor. The table package is $349, which is a $50 savings in ticket costs. Want to purchase an individual ticket? Individual tickets are for sale for...

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Guest Post: Health Technology is Gaining Traction in Maryland

At the Division of Innovation and Applied Research, we’ve long recognized the potential for Maryland to be a leader in establishing business opportunities where IT marries other industries, whether its counterpart is education, construction, or health care. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the winner, Rehabtics, and runner-up, Tutela Bedside Technologies, of TU Incubator’s 2014 Business Plan Competition; both are Maryland-based start-ups innovating in health technology. In recent months, we can’t help but notice the increasing buzz of health technology and questions on whether Maryland has what it takes to nurture an industry that improves patient care while increasing ROI for providers. RESI staff attended the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA)’s Summer Conference on Maryland’s health technology industry, and we were blown away by the complex and innovative nature of this emerging industry. Evident from discussion at MEDA’s conference, Maryland has an opportunity to be a leader in nurturing health technology, because Maryland is one of few east coast states with the necessary infrastructure in place. The conference kicked off with three overarching themes: health care access, quality, and affordability through technological innovations. The exact definition of health technology remains elusive, but MEDA provided a definition for one sub-sector, mobile health. Mobile health is defined by MEDA as “the use of wired or wireless technology to improve health and care delivery.” Within mobile health, there are so-called wearables...

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Guest Post: Policy Research and the Need for Partnerships

As policy research with social science methods becomes more and more challenging, partnerships become a greater necessity than ever before. The days of a single researcher dashing off insightful articles based on his own experience, or genius, is now, like the sole cowboy in old Westerns, a thing of the past. Today’s policy work requires technicians with software, database and statistical knowledge, specialists who know how existing government programs work, well connected managers for the political contingencies and project managers to keep the whole enterprise coordinated and on budget. With such requirements, the likelihood of any one organization possessing...

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Guest Post: Policy Research and the Need for Partnerships

Dr. John V. Spears III is Senior Human Services Consultant for Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI). Dr. Spears specializes in sophisticated data analysis in business and government, with experience in research, policy analysis and data management. He has over twenty-eight years of experience in a wide variety of settings, including academic, business and government. Currently, he consults primarily with the Maryland State Department of Education’s Office of Child Care. As policy research with social science methods becomes more and more challenging, partnerships become a greater necessity than ever before. The days of a single researcher dashing off insightful articles based on his own experience, or genius, is now, like the sole cowboy in old Westerns, a thing of the past. Today’s policy work requires technicians with software, database and statistical knowledge, specialists who know how existing government programs work, well connected managers for the political contingencies and project managers to keep the whole enterprise coordinated and on budget. With such requirements, the likelihood of any one organization possessing such a team is very small. So partnerships among different organizations become necessary. I must admit, such complicated undertakings have been a challenge for me. Always a technician first and a politician second (more likely third or fourth), I’ve always preferred working away in isolation, happy with controlling my own little piece of a project. I have a true...

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VIDEO: When Construction Meets Economics (Education Meets the Workforce)

This marks my first blog post on TUOutreach.com. As you will see below, I will be introducing you to the latest video in our Education Meets the Workforce series, which features student interns. Being a recent graduate and former student employee of Towson University, I am able to reflect on my experience. Not only was I learning about marketing and communication in my coursework at Towson University, but I was able to apply what I was learning in a non-academic setting. In other words, I was able to break down the barrier between “academia” and “the real world.” I recently had the opportunity to participate in an interview with one of TU’s current student interns, Chaz Kerrigan. Through the interview with Chaz, I found that he too valued his experience as a student intern here at TU. Chaz’ internship is with the Maryland Center for Construction Education and Innovation (MCCEI), which is a non-profit entity that promotes the importance of the construction industry in Maryland. Chaz defines himself as a “utility intern”, meaning that he performs many different hands-on roles at MCCEI. He is involved with managing databases that contain information about training and education for the industry, and he also assists MCCEI with demand studies, which relates to his major: economics. This experience is providing Chaz with real world experience, networking opportunities, exposure to companies within the local...

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MEDA’s Fall Conference on the Maryland Health Care Industry

On October 21st, 2010 the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) will organize a conference on the business of health care in Maryland – a timely topic as 2010 has been marked with intense discussion on the enactment of a sweeping federal health care law (i.e. the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or Obamacare).   The conference though will not focus on the new regulations made by the new health care bill but the Maryland health care industry and its economic impact on the state economy. I communicated with MEDA’s Executive Director Pamela Ruff to learn more about MEDA.  MEDA is a nonprofit organization of economic development professionals.  Their mission is to enhance the knowledge and skills of its members and encourages partnerships and networking among those committed to bringing jobs and investment to Maryland.  Established in 1961, MEDA members promote the economic well being of Maryland by working to improve the state’s business climate and the professionalism of those in the field of economic development. Towson University is a member and sponsor of MEDA and Dyan Brasington—the Vice President for Economic and Community Outreach (DECO) at Towson University—is a past president of MEDA and currently serves as the Chair of the Council of Past Presidents.  The MEDA membership includes economic development practitioners employed by government, business, chambers of commerce and other professionals with an interest in the economy of Maryland.  Through...

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Behind the scenes of the 2010 Otakon convention with Rebecca Ebersole

In this blog, I am interviewing Rebecca Ebersole who is a research assistant with me at RESI.  Rebecca has been working at RESI for 2 years, working on a multitude of complex projects dealing with economic issues.  In this blog, I learned more about her role at RESI and her economic views on a convention, Otakon 2010, she attended in Baltimore this past weekend. Rebecca, what do you do on a daily basis at RESI? As a research assistant at RESI, I perform a variety of tasks on a daily basis.  These include collecting and analyzing data to complete various types of analysis, including economic and fiscal impact analysis, cost of services analysis, survey analysis, etc.  I also perform data verification, report writing and various forms of research for many other types of projects. What do you like most about your job? For starters, no two projects are exactly the same.  I enjoy the variety and the ability to tweak methodologies according to the needs of the particular project.  Often, clients will return to us with more work and while the subject may be similar, each task has its own distinctive features.  The problem solving aspect of my job is perhaps the most fascinating to me; I frequently find myself answering questions no one thought to ask before the client came to RESI with it. So what is Otakon...

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