Considering the past 6 years, environmental economists win it about 50% of the time:
Dr. Leah Greden Mathews of the University of North Carolina Asheville
The winner was announced at the 2015 meeting of the Southern Economic Association in New Orleans, LA on Sunday, November 22, and was awarded a plaque and a cash award.
Professor Mathews has spent her career at UNC Asheville, where she currently is a professor of economics and the Interdisciplinary Distinguished Professor of the Mountain South. Professor Mathews received the UNC Asheville Distinguished Teaching Award in Social Sciences in 2005-2006 and earlier this year was awarded the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. During her time on the UNC Asheville faculty, Professor Mathews has received exceptional evaluations from her students. Students praise her for her ability to explain complex economic concepts in clear and meaningful ways. Professor Mathews is not only popular with economics majors at UNC Asheville, but her courses are arguably even more popular with undergraduates outside the major. But an equally impressive contribution to teaching is in her role as a member of an interdisciplinary team of faculty members in biology, chemistry, health and wellness, sociology and economics that has developed a cluster of courses on a common theme: food! Called the “Food for Thought Cluster,” this collection of courses encourages students to integrate their economic reasoning with other disciplinary approaches to become informed consumers in what they eat and how it affects their health and well-being, using the Asheville area as a laboratory for these investigations. This curriculum is not only held in great esteem by students at UNC Asheville, it also was recognized, in 2008, by the National Science Foundation as a “Science Education for New Civic Engagements Model.”