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Student Spotlight

October 2019

Fan is a first-year GPED student from Beijing, China who was recently elected by her classmates to serve as her cohort’s class representative for the 2019-2020 academic year. Congratulations, Fan! Before joining the GPED program, Fan completed her bachelor’s degree in economics from The Ohio State University. While she worked on her undergraduate studies, Fan actively participated in economic research studying the relationship between the logistic demand and GDP growth of China. Fan also accrued significant expertise in finance through her undergraduate internships in securities companies and banks. Fan’s rich financial industry exposure enabled her to acquire an in-depth comprehension of the functions and operations of the financial industry in the spectrum of economic development especially in poverty-stricken regions of China. After graduating, Fan aspires to join an esteemed economics think tank in China as a research associate, formulating concrete policy solutions to help underdeveloped regions in China to achieve long-lasting development. What a wonderful career goal! Welcome Fan, we are excited to have you join the GPED family.


September 2019

Aaron Ferguson is a native of Hayesville, North Carolina and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, is currently just starting his second year in the GPED program but he has already hit the ground running this summer as the new class representative.  Over the summer Aaron has been involved with welcoming the new students by serving as a local guide and resource sharing helping information about Nashville, Vanderbilt and the GPED program to the new students.  Additionally, Aaron will be presenting at our first fall forum with a group of students that participated in Econ 7930’s fieldwork course to Chile in the spring semester.  Aaron will also be involved with planning the annual fall trip to the Smokey Mountains amongst other events on and off-campus throughout the school year. Additionally, Aaron also holds three on-campus jobs and is involved with the Graduate Certificate Program in Global Health.  During Aaron’s free time he enjoys exploring the Nashville region with his wife, Lindsey, and their dog.  After Aaron graduates in the spring of 2020, he plans to travel to Europe during the summer months then further his education by continuing on in a Ph.D. in Economics program. Best of luck in your second year, Aaron! 


May 2019

Laura Nettuno, of Fall Church, Virginia has been instrumental in assisting with student recruitment efforts. A recipient of the James and Rosemary Worley award, during her time at Vanderbilt Laura has served as a teaching assistant, program ambassador, and attended the Southern Economic Association conference and participates in frequent research projects. Currently, Laura is working on a paper that looks at financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea. After she graduates Laura has plans to travel to Europe during the summer months and then continue her studies at Vanderbilt by joining the Ph.D. in Economics program starting in the Fall of 2019. Congratulations, Laura!


April 2019

Shatakshi Gupta is one of our outstanding second-year students from Dehradun, India. Since having joined the GPED , Shatakshi has been involved in countless activities and events on-campus while maintaining excellent grades.  Shatakshi holds a student worker position in the GPED office, serves as a program ambassador, recently studied abroad in Greece through a course offered through the Turner Family Center (TFC), and has also audited many courses on top of her full-time class load at Vanderbilt.  Shatakshi is also a wonderful leader, as someone that many of the first-year students have gravitated to for support and guidance while navigating the GPED.  We will miss Shatakshi after she graduates this May and leaves to study in a Ph.D. program. 



March 2019

Mingke Li of Beijing, China is a second-year student who has a passion for entrepreneurship and conducting research.  Most recently, Mingke participated in the VIGH Case Competition 2019 and was involved with the Paraguay study abroad trip for academic credit at Vanderbilt.  Mingke is a very ambitious young woman with clear goals and strong abilities.  We have no doubt she will excel in her professional life after Vanderbilt!


February 2019

Chulmin Choi “C.M.” is one of our stand out second-year students from South Korea. C.M. is currently employed with The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea as a Legislative Researcher.  After more than 10 years of service, C.M. was selected as a recipient of the Korean National Assembly’s Long-Term Fellowship for Overseas Study. The aim of the Fellowship is to develop a promising young official of the Korean National Assembly by sending them abroad for two years of post-graduate study.  The GPED has a strong history of training Korean government officials like C.M., and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Korean government in the years ahead!


January 2019

First-year student Caleb Espinoza was originally born in Nashville but raised in Honduras.  How is this possible? Caleb's father was in the GPED program at the time of his birth.  Remarkably, Caleb is now following in his father's footsteps over 20 years later.  Caleb's father was also the guest speaker at our awards dinner this past May.  He was recently asked to come out of retirement and was appointed Vice President of the Central Bank of Honduras.  Welcome, Caleb!


December 2018

Second-year student Ruta Delkute is the GPED's first to hail from Lithuania. She graduated from the ISM University of Management and Economics in Vilnius in 2015 and went on to work for one of the leading research institutes and think tanks in the region, Public Policy and Management Institute, where her team’s focus was the evaluation of EU-funding programs and research & innovation policies. Ruta will be graduating this month, and we wish her all the best in the next step in her journey!




November 2018

Another GPED student, Hina Sherwani, shared her unique journey that led to her partnership  with Turner Family Center for Social Ventures. Her work with TFC contributes to poverty reduction initiatives throughout the world.  Click on the link in the photo below to read Hina's story.




October 2018

We couldn't be more proud of our second-year student, Sahesha Upadhyay, for her work with the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures as a Summer Fellow! Check out the article below she wrote recapping her interesting and important experiences.