Category Archives: Economics

Golden LEAF invaluable for current, past students

Recent ECU graduate and current master’s student Jordan Spelce dreams of one day becoming a city or county manager and spurring business and development in places like his hometown of Taylorsville in Alexander County.

But his career path might have looked completely different had he not received a Golden LEAF scholarship and participated in the organization’s internships and leadership programs.

Established in 1999, the Golden LEAF Foundation was created to strengthen the economies of rural or tobacco-dependent communities in North Carolina. Since its inception, the organization has awarded $38 million in scholarships to 16,000 students across the state, most of whom choose to attend ECU. LEAF stands for Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation.

Since its inception, Golden LEAF has awarded $38 million in scholarships to 16,000 students across the state, most of whom choose to attend ECU. (Photos by Will Preslar)

Since its inception, Golden LEAF has awarded $38 million in scholarships to 16,000 students across the state, most of whom choose to attend ECU. (Photos by Will Preslar)

“I’m so grateful for Golden LEAF. Its leadership program really helped me almost more than anything else academically in my college years,” Spelce said.

ECU alumnus Jordan Spelce says he wouldn’t be on his current career path without the help of the Golden LEAF Foundation.

ECU alumnus Jordan Spelce says he wouldn’t be on his current career path without the help of the Golden LEAF Foundation.

It was through a paid Golden LEAF internship with an economic development agency that he discovered his passion for business and finance.

“That jump-started me toward what ultimately became the path to my career,” he said.

Each year, Golden LEAF awards scholarships to high school seniors and community college transfer students from qualifying rural counties who express an interest in returning to the state’s rural areas to work after graduation.

“Part of the way we are working to fulfill our mission is to reach young people who have deep roots in rural North Carolina, who are likely to return home, and help them go to college,” said Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach. “Our investment in Golden LEAF Scholars extends beyond their four-year education. We fund a leadership program that helps students connect with internships in their fields of interest in rural communities. Students gain professional experience early in their educational career that they may not have gotten otherwise in the communities we hope they return to and serve.”

Senior education major Tristan Hunter speaks at a luncheon in Greenville for Golden LEAF Scholars.

Senior education major Tristan Hunter speaks at a luncheon in Greenville for Golden LEAF Scholars.

This year, 87 ECU students received Golden LEAF scholarships. One of them was senior education major Tristan Hunter of Rocky Mount, who spoke at a luncheon in Greenville January 31 that ECU hosted for Golden LEAF Scholars, staff and members of the foundation’s board of directors.

“I’m very honored to be one of those 16,000 students” to have received a scholarship, he said. “Not only did Golden LEAF lighten my financial burden, it helped me meet all the goals I set for myself in college.”

Hunter added that he wants to go back to Rocky Mount and teach in a public middle school once he earns his degree.

Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach and ECU Chancellor Staton attend a luncheon for Golden LEAF scholarship students.

Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach and ECU Chancellor Staton at the luncheon for Golden LEAF Scholars.

Chancellor Cecil Staton addressed the luncheon participants and thanked the foundation for being one of ECU’s strongest partners in addressing the extraordinary disparities in health, education and economic development in rural and coastal North Carolina communities.

“Our desire for rural prosperity is a key aspect of the mission of both Golden LEAF and ECU. Our missions are synchronous,” he said.

So far, the mission is being fulfilled.

For Spelce, the former Golden LEAF scholar, the decision to stay in-state and work is simple.

“I want to stay in North Carolina. I was born and raised here,” he said. He also wants to keep his Golden LEAF experience going by becoming a coach to other scholars in the future.

To learn more about the Golden LEAF Foundation, visit goldenleaf.org/scholarships.html.

 

-by Erin Shaw, University Communications

ECU Economics Department Hosts Scholarship Fundraiser, Symposium

The East Carolina University Department of Economics will host a scholarship fundraiser and public symposium on “Monetary Policy and The Economy,” Oct. 3.

The day will begin with a luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Greenville Country Club, 216 Country Club Dr.

Featured speakers include economics specialists in the academic and public sectors. Speakers and presentation titles are: ECU professor Dr. Randall Parker, “Why are we Here?”; Dr. Jim Butkiewicz, University of Delaware, “The Fed: Then and Now”; Dr. James Fackler, University of Kentucky, “Current Fed Actions: Monetary Policy or Fiscal Policy?”; Dr. Robert Carpenter, University of Maryland and Federal Reserve of Richmond, “Can the Eurozone Survive?’ and Dr. Robert Hetzel, Federal Reserve of Richmond, “The Way Forward after the Great Recession: Increased Intervention by Central Banks in Markets or a Limitation of Central Bank Powers to Increase Market Discipline?”

Hetzel also will lead a technical research seminar at 3 p.m. in the ECU Department of Economics’ seminar room, Brewster B-104, on the ECU campus.

The symposium will conclude with a free, public forum including presentations and roundtable discussions at 7 p.m. in Hendrix Theatre. Dr. Alan R. White, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, will provide introductions.

Tickets for the scholarship fundraising luncheon at the Greenville Country Club are $50 and may be purchased through the Department of Economics. Checks should be made payable to The ECU Foundation and mailed to Dr. Randall Parker, ECU Dept. of Economics, Brewster A-422, Greenville, NC 27858.

For additional information, contact Parker at 252-328-6755 or parkerr@ecu.edu. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

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Symposium to examine monetary policy

A lunchtime business symposium on monetary policy, financial markets and the Fed’s evolving role will be held Oct. 3 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Greenville Country Club.

Speakers will include ECU economics professor Randall Parker, presenting “Why are we here?”; University of Delaware economics professor Jim Butkiewicz, presenting “The Fed: Then and Now”; University of Kentucky economics professor James Fackler, presenting “Current Fed Actions: Monetary Policy or Fiscal Policy?”; University of Maryland – Baltimore County economics professor Robert Carpenter, presenting “Can the Eurozone Survive?”; and senior enonomist, Federal Reserve of Richmond, Robert Hetzel presenting, “The Way Forward after the Great Recession: Increased Intervention by Central Banks in Markets or a Limitation of Central Bank Powers to Increase Market Discipline?”

The event is open to the public for a $50 charge for lunch and the forum. For additional information contact Randall Parker at parker@ecu.edu. Checks should be made payable to The ECU Foundation and mailed to Parker at the ECU Department of Economics, Brewster A-422, Greenville, NC  27858.