Economics is a subject that can be intimidating. Professor Meghan Mihal gets that. In fact, she says that one of the most rewarding things about teaching economics is showing students that they really can do it, especially when they think they can’t.
“When a student takes to economics, it is great to watch them realize how much they like the material and then watch them turn into a scholar,” she says.
Isabella Diaz ’20 is one student who appreciates her professor’s approach to teaching. “Dr. Mihal naturally fosters a willingness to learn and is dedicated to making all of her students succeed,” Isabella says. “Her mentorship and constant support helped me get accepted into the Economics Doctoral Program at American University!”
It was during her undergraduate years at Albright College that Meghan was first exposed to economics herself. Fortunately, she had a professor who helped her realize that she really liked the subject and that it was something she could excel in.
Since 2009, Meghan has been teaching courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, the global economy, managerial economics, and math for economists as part of the faculty in the School of Business at St. Thomas Aquinas College. She’s also an advisor for the Business Club and organizes trips to Bloomberg headquarters and to CNBC’s Fast Money. “I love this experience because we have the opportunity to network in New York City and it’s a great community-building activity as well,” she says.
Recently, Meghan started working with STAC’s College Fed Challenge team and co-teaches the class that prepares students for the competition with Professor Rossen Trendafilov. “In November 2019, we had our most successful experience,” she says, adding that the students competed against 36 teams from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. “We advanced to the semi-finals and received an honorable mention.”
Their collaboration on a guide for the course resulted in a research paper Meghan and Rossen are working on, titled “Utilizing Bloomberg Terminals for a Successful Fed Challenge.” Concurrently, Meghan is also working on two other projects. One involves research she is doing with a friend she met in graduate school at Fordham University. “The Impact of Post-Financial Crisis U.S. Monetary Policy on Latin American Economies” explores the cost of economic expansion in the U.S. on Latin America. A third interdisciplinary paper, co-authored with Graphic Design Professor Nina Bellisio, examines gender employment bias in popular culture.
Besides her contributions to the School of Business, Meghan was instrumental in creating a Faculty Senate at STAC and serves as its chair. “I do this work because I love the school and I love what we can do for our students,” she explains. “Before I make decisions at the College, I always think, is this going to benefit our students? If the answer is yes, then I will push forward.”
When she’s not working or selling cookies with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, Meghan enjoys traveling with her husband and two children. Among her favorite destinations are Chicago, a city she says has “great culture, great sports, and great food” and LBI where she vacations every summer.