Menna Bizuneh

How long have you been at CSB/SJU?

This is my second year.

What classes do you teach and which is your favorite? Why?

Introduction to Economics (Econ 111), Introduction to International Economics (Econ 317), International Trade Theory and Policy (Econ 373). Things in your field are always interesting because you are the most knowledgeable about them. Being able to give information to students who are excited to learn is always fascinating, but I really enjoy teaching Econ 111 courses in particular. There are always fresh minds that are completely unexposed to what I'm about to say. They also garner a lot more discussion because people have completely different views about what economics should be and what economics actually is.

What do you consider to be the most rewarding aspect of your job?

For me, every semester I look forward to that moment at the end where I don't have to guide a student to think. I can simply ask a question and see students eager to raise their hands. That's the most rewarding moment because it's then that I know that knowledge has been transferred. It's no longer just in my mind or in the classroom, but it's a part of who they are now and it's a basis for the next step for their future. I love that I can become immortal through my students.

Where are your teaching areas and interests?

My area is international economics. I teach a lot of international trade and international finance.

What areas of research are most intriguing to you?

The predominant part of my research is in international finance. More specifically, I study currency unions. I ask questions as to why we have them, why people join them, why they exist, and why they fail.

What has been your biggest challenge throughout your years of teaching?

My biggest challenge throughout the years has been finding a balance between my students' rigor and interest. When I teach introduction to economics, it is sometimes difficult when I receive such a varied group of students. Some students are very math inclined, some who are very intuition inclined, some students who are doing it because they have a passion for it, and others who just look at it as a class to fill their social science requirement.

Why did you choose CSB/SJU?

When I was in the market, my primary goal was to end up in a liberal arts school. More than anything, I fell in love with the Department of Economics here at CSB/SJU. I haven't seen a department that cared about their students so much that they put everything aside to put students first.