2016 Tobin Scholars Honored

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tobin Scholars and sponsors (from left to right: Michael Wang, Bill Brainard, Anna Russo, Dirk Bergemann, Ebonya Washington, David Swensen, Greg Cameron, Steve Freidheim, Trevor Williams)

Four seniors have been awarded the Tobin Scholar Prize for their outstanding performance in economic core theory courses: Gregory (Greg) Cameron, Economics, Saybrook College; Michael Chen Wang, Economics, Jonathan Edwards College; Anna Elizabeth Russo, Economics, Berkeley College; Trevor Williams, Economics & Mathematics, Calhoun College. 

This year’s recipients were treated to lunch at Mory’s Club on November 9, and were in good company with Economics Chair Dirk Bergemann, DUS Ebonya Washington, Professor Emeritus Bill Brainard, and Provost Ben Polak. The prizes were awarded to each student by co-founders Chief Investment Officer David Swensen (Ph.D. ‘80) and alumnus Steve Freidheim (B.A. ‘85), both who studied under the prize’s namesake James Tobin.

“I was deeply honored to present the Tobin Scholar awards to this year’s recipients,” said Mr. Swenson. “At our presentation lunch, we had the opportunity to hear from the Tobin Scholars (what an impressive group!) and to share stories about Jim Tobin’s contributions to Yale and to the world,” he added.

Recipient Trevor Williams said, “I was pleasantly surprised to receive the prize, mostly because intermediate micro feels like a long time ago. Of course, it was a wonderful honor and I enjoyed meeting the sponsors, as well as Professors Bergemann and Brainard.”

Williams plans to continue his studies after graduation and is currently in the process of applying to graduate schools with the long-term goal of becoming an academic researcher. He is completing his senior thesis titled, “Employment Shocks and Drug Mortality in the United States” which, according to Williams, will “estimate the impact of structural unemployment on drug overdose deaths using BLS and CDC data.” 

The annual prize was established in 2012 and is awarded up to four senior majors in Economics or Economics and Mathematics who have excelled in core theory courses in economics courses. The award’s namesake, James Tobin, was a prominent member of the Department of Economics at Yale from 1950 to 2002 and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1981. “There is renewed buzz on campus about the great man behind the prestigious prize, which has been so enjoyable for me to witness and in which to take part,” said prize co-founder Freidheim.

Gegory Cameron and David Swensen Anna Russo and David Swensen
Michael Wang and David Swensen Trevor Williams and David Swensen
Photos: Harold Shapiro