Each year we honor a number of professionals in economics and personal finance education.

The Albert Beekhuis Award 2016 Recipients:

jane lopus Awards

Dr. Jane Lopus, Director

Center for Economic Education California State University, East Bay

Pamela Whalley 03 Awards

Dr. Pamela Whalley, Director

Center for Economic and Financial Education Western Washington University

The Albert Beekhuis Award was established by an endowment gift in 2002 from the Albert Beekhuis Foundation to the Council for Economic Education, to be given annually to an affiliated Center for Economic Education in the CEE Network for outstanding performance in working with teachers and exhibiting excellence in practice, delivery of high quality programs, and outreach to its community.

The Center for Economic Education at California State University East Bay is a long-time leader in economic education programs nationally, internationally, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Housed in the Cal State East Bay College of Business and Economics, the Center focuses on providing teacher training, curriculum development, research and program evaluation. Jane Lopus has been Center Director since 1982. A former high school economics teacher, she holds a PhD in economics from the University of California Davis. Since its formation in the 1970s, the Cal State Center has worked closely with the Council on Economic Education on program development and delivery. The Center has contributed lessons to seven of the Council’s curriculum publications including Capstone, Focus International Economics, From Plan to Market, Focus World History, and Learning, Earning and Investing. It co-edited the popular Economics in Action and was the lead on Thinking Globally, a joint project with the International Monetary Fund. The Center has also worked with the Council on the National Economics Challenge. On the international level, since 1993 the CSUEB Center has been involved in over 30 economics teacher-training programs in 15 former communist and developing countries on five continents. Through the Global Economic Education Alliance and with funding from USAID, it worked on curriculum development and monitoring and evaluation of a financial literacy project in Ukraine in 2014-2015. For over 30 years, the CSUEB Center has been recognized as a prominent provider of teacher-training in economics and financial literacy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Other audiences for CEE programs have included pre-service teachers and journalists. The Center has worked closely with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on research and evaluation of economic education programs and is pleased to be associated with the Bay Area Financial Education Foundation. Past awards received by the Center include the Villard Research Award and the Schramm Leadership Award from the National Association of Economic Educators, as well as the Freedoms Foundation Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education.

Western Washington University Center

The Center for Economic and Financial Education at the Western Washington University was established in the fall of 1978 with the objective of improving the quality and expanding the scope of economic education in the State of Washington. The Center is dedicated to the task of helping people increase their understanding of basic economic concepts and how our American economic system operates so that they can make more intelligent economic choices as consumers, producers and citizen/voters. The Western Washington University Center is affiliated with the Washington Council for Economic and Financial Education and the Council on Economic Education (CEE). Founded in 1974, as a partnership of education, business, and labor, the Washington Council on Economic Education is the premier source of teacher training, educational materials, and curriculum reform in economics for Washington schools. Through its affiliation with CEE, the Western Center and the Washington Council gain access to resources from a nationwide network of councils and university centers. The Center brings real-life relevance into the classroom by training teachers how to integrate basic economic principles and concepts successfully into traditional studies. Pamela Whalley is Director of the Center for Economic and Finance Education and President of the Washington Council on Economic Education and Pam completed her B.A. and M.A. degrees at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and studied in the Ph.D. program there, completing all requirements except the thesis. She joined Western’s faculty in 1985 and teaches courses in principles of economics, managerial economics, money and banking, and in economic education. As part of her economic education interest, Whalley regularly teaches courses and conducts workshops for pre and inservice teachers in the area on a variety of topics and supervises student volunteers working in the schools. She is Chair of the Financial Education Public/Private Partnership and chair of its education committee. FEPPP is charged by the legislature with increasing the level of financial literacy of Washington’s k-12 students. In this capacity she coordinated the first k-12 district wide rollout of financial education in the state

John Morton Excellence in the Teaching of Economics Awards

Gina Awards

Elementary School Level

Gina Boyd Mayflower Mill Elementary School Lafayette, IN

Gina Boyd is a native of Tennessee but now lives in Lafayette, Indiana. She attended Lispcomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she met her husband, Josh, and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education. She has taught every grade from 1st to 8th except for 6th, but fifteen of Gina’s twenty-four years of teaching have been in a self-contained High Ability 4th and 5th grade classroom at a Title I school. Through her leadership, the school uses the classroom mini-economy for economic instruction and behavior management. Her students learn about entrepreneurship every year through class businesses that create and produce products to earn a profit. As the Elementary School Teacher Advocate for the Purdue Center for Economic Education, Gina has also presented the mini-economy and classroom business enterprise concepts to other schools looking to improve their economic instruction. Gina has an endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education from Purdue University and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She was the recipient of the regional Olin W. Davis Award for Exemplary Teaching of Economics in 2009 and again in 2013 and was named a 2011 Golden Apple Teacher by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Gina has won numerous grants from the Indiana Department of Education, the Public Schools Foundation of Tippecanoe County, the Indiana Council for Economic Education, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. With her husband and their two children, Kinley (15) and Knox (10), Gina has worked on eleven summer mission projects to Japan, Thailand, Fiji, and Malaysia. Follow her on Twitter @4th5thGT and check out her blog at

PDM Awards

Middle School Level

Patricia Dennis Sonora Middle School Springdale, AR

Patricia is a graduate of the University of Arkansas- Fayetteville (BA in Communication) and Arkansas State University (MS in Special Education- Gifted, Talented and Creative). After trying her hand at various jobs she finally realized that she should be doing what everyone told her she should do; TEACH. For the last 7 years she has been teaching middle school students reading, math, science, and gifted and talented education. She is a 2015 recipient of the Bessie B. Moore Award for excellence in teaching economics and the 2016 Curriculum Award Winner for secondary education from AGATE. She is currently pursuing her specialist degree in curriculum leadership at Henderson State University. She currently lives in Fayetteville, AR with her husband and son.

jacob Awards

High School Level

Jacob Clifford San Pasqual High School Escondido, CA

Jacob Clifford has been called “the world’s most amazing and gifted economics teacher” by his mother and he prides himself in making the dismal science just a little bit less dismal. He teaches at San Pasqual High School in Escondido, California and he’s tall, like really tall. Also, he kind of looks like Mark Cuban, but not really.

Jacob has created a surprisingly popular YouTube channel called ACDCLeadership that helps students everywhere learn economics, and, with a Masters degree in economic education from the University of Delaware, you would think that he would be better at writing a professional bio and avoid long, drawn-out, run-on sentences, and, Jacob will be delighted if the Council for Economic Education actually prints this; seriously, it will help people see that economists aren’t boring.

Jacob is an AP exam grader and works with the College Board to train AP Economics teachers. He also runs professional development workshops that focus on student engagement. Jacob was trying to think of a joke that could fit right here but he couldn’t think of anything. Thanks Obama! Jacob loves teaching economics and he’s astonished that the Council for Economic Education is giving him this prestigious award, even though he nominated himself.

The only thing Jacob loves more than drawing graphs and teaching economics is his beautiful, and undeservingly patient, wife Paula and his five kids: Lindsey, David, James, Avery, and, what was the new one’s name? Umm. Jessie. That’s it, Jessie.


Bessie B. Moore Service Award

Marsha Masters 2 Awards Marsha Masters, Associate Director Economics Arkansas

The Bessie B. Moore Service Award recognizes an individual whose outstanding and dedicated service has had a significant impact on the delivery and enhancement of economic education.

Marsha Masters joined the program staff at Economics Arkansas in 2009. Prior to that, she taught in public school systems in Arkansas for almost 25 years. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Education and is a nationally board certified educator. Marsha was selected as an Arkansas Polly M. Jackson Master Education Teacher in 2000. Marsha has developed and conducted numerous sessions and professional development offerings in her state and nationally. She has received multiple state and national economic education awards for her work, and is honored to be an author for CEE publications and EconEdLink. In 2013, Marsha was appointed to the executive committee of the National Association of Economic Educators and currently serves on the educational resources committee.As Associate Director, Marsha leads the development of new initiatives to improve the relevance of economic education programs.

John C. Schramm Leadership Award

MaryAnnHewitt 1 Awards Mary Ann Hewitt, Executive Director Maryland Council on Economic Education

The John C. Schramm Leadership Award is given annually to someone who has exhibited great leadership in economic education. This Year’s winner has made a career of providing leadership in our network.

Mary Ann Hewitt is Executive Director of the Maryland Council on Economic Education (MCEE), has worked in the field of education for over 40 years as high school classroom teacher, department head, adult educator, and conducted professional development. Mary Ann began her career as a high school teacher. In 1985 she joined MCEE as Program Consultant delivering Economics workshops and programs to Maryland teachers. In 2003 she became the Associate Director of MCEE and the Director of Education. Two years later she became the Executive Director. Mary Ann has served as a member of Governor’s Task Force on Financial Literacy, Writing team for the Maryland State Curriculum for Social Studies, Financial Literacy Education Advisory Council for the Maryland State Department of Education, and Member of the Board of Directors for Council for Economic Education. In 2016 Mary Ann was recognized as a Daily Record Most Admired CEO.

Patricia K. Elder International Award

Claudia Sícoli Economía y Negocios Internacionales Awards Dr. Claudia Sicoli, Director Center for Economic Education Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, Lima, Peru

The Patricia K. Elder International Award is awarded for exemplary contributions to economic education internationally.

Claudia Sícoli is the Academic Director of Economics and International Business at the School of Economics and Professor of Economics, Research and Environmental Economics at the Peruvian Applied Sciences University (UPC). Sícoli received the UPC Excellence in Teaching Award 2012 in January, 2013. Claudia received a PhD in International Business Administration and Management from the Cataluña Polytechnic University (Spain), a MA in Teaching for Higher Education from the Andres Bello University (Chile), a MA in Services Economy from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain) and a BA in Economics from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Argentina). Currently, Claudia is the Coordinator of the UPC Center for Economic Education. For the past seven years, she has offered several workshops in economics, using the methodology of the CEE, for more than 200 Peruvian high school teachers. She has participated in two Study Tours to the United States, during 2011 and 2014, and has co-conducted two Study Tours to Cusco-Lima in 2015 and 2016 (exchange program for teachers and professors). She was Trainer of trainers for the Council for Economic Education (ToT 2008-09 Alumni).

Henry H. Villard Research Award

Woodfinal 1 Awards Dr. William Wood, Director Center for Economic Education James Madison University

The Henry H. Villard Research Award recognizes an individual whose leadership has had an extraordinary, positive impact in economic education research.

William Wood is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education at James Madison University. Wood received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia in 1980 and has held faculty positions at Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia and Bridgewater College. Wood’s publications in economic education span more than 30 years, beginning with “The Educational Potential of News Coverage of Economics” in The Journal of Economic Education in 1985. Wood has since published scholarly work with 22 different coauthors, four of whom were JMU undergraduates in honors or independent study programs. His work includes the textbook Economic Episodes in American History (with Mark C. Schug) and the Best Paper winner in 2001 (with David Kreutzer) in the Journal of Private Enterprise. His work has appeared in outlets as diverse as The Journal of Risk and Insurance, Public Choice, and The Wall Street Journal. Wood is also a past recipient of the Alpha Kappa Psi-Clifford D. Spangler award for research in risk and insurance and was named a Madison Scholar at JMU for career research achievement. He has authored five books, more than 40 scholarly articles, and national economic education materials for school and adult audiences.

The Abbejean Kehler Technology Award

Carlos J. Asarta Awards Dr. Carlos Asarta, Director Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship University of Delaware

This award recognizes an individual instrumental in promoting the use of technology to improve the delivery of programs in economic education.

Carlos J. Asarta is the Director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Delaware. He holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His scholarly work focuses on the areas of economic education, technology in the classroom, financial literacy, and assessment. His research has been published in academic journals such as the Internet and Higher Education, Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, and Journal of Economic Education. Carlos is the author of Principles of Economics (McGraw-Hill), a “digital-first” product offering the same core content found in mainstream economics textbooks but in a way that breaks free from the constraints of a traditional textbook’s structure and format.

Rising Star Award

kim holder Awards Kim Holder, Director Center for Economic Education University of West Georgia


17a smaller Awards Jennifer Davidson, President Nebraska Council on Economic Education University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Rising Star Award recognizes a new member of our network who has “hit the ground running.”

Kim Holder

Kim Holder is the Director of the University of West Georgia’s (UWG) Center for Economic Education and Lecturer of Economics in the Richards College of Business (RCOB). She’s an alumna of UWG and Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Kim’s passion for her students is notable both inside and outside of the classroom. Her work has been recognized by the UWG Student Government Association’s Faculty Member of the Year Award (2014), the UWG Alumni Association’s J. Owen Moore Faculty Award (2016), and the UWG Athletic Foundation’s Faculty Member of the Year Westpy Award (2016) created in recognition of her service. She is also the recipient of the RCOB Excellence in Teaching (2014), Service (2015), and Research (2016) awards, along with multiple faculty-sponsored undergraduate research awards for mentoring students. Holder’s research focuses on creatively teaching with media and social media to break down barriers to economics education. She created the National Rockonomix Contest (Journal of Economic Education, along with other innovative techniques (“Putting Yourself in the Picture with an ECONSelfie”, International Review of Economic Education and “Art of Econ: Incorporating the Arts through Active Learning Assignments in Principles Courses”, Journal of Economics and Finance Education) in order to engage today’s students. Kim also serves the network as a founding advisory board member of the Journal of Economics Teaching, co-chairs the Technology Committee for the National Association of Economics Educators, and was recently appointed to the board of the Association of Private Enterprise Education.

Jennifer Davidson

A dynamic advocate for economic education, Jennifer Davidson is President of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education and an Assistant Professor of Practice in Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jennifer develops economic and financial literacy programming and curriculum, conducts community outreach, fosters strategic partnerships and is an ambassador for economic education within Nebraska and nationwide. With both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics and economic education Jennifer is a dynamic lecturer and presenter. She is recognized for her activity based teaching style, cutting-edge online mentoring and warm personality. Ms. Davidson is an in demand speaker who works with businesses, churches, volunteer groups, schools and associations to present economic concepts in new ways that are accessible to both professional and general audiences.

The David V. Martin Lifetime Achievement Award

David Martin Awards David Martin, Executive Director
Georgia Council on Economic Education

In recognition of your vision and leadership of our national network resulting in the advancement of economic education.

As Executive Director of the Georgia Council on Economic Education since 1982, Dr. David Martin’s work is focused on helping teachers teach economics in the public and independent schools of Georgia. He coordinates the efforts of twelve college and university-based Centers for Economic Education across the state. In turn, the Council and Centers work with educators in public school systems and independent schools throughout the state. The Council also collaborates with virtually every other organization in Georgia with economics- related programming. The Council is funded by the private sector, and governed by a Board made up of top leaders from business, education, government, and agriculture.

Prior to joining the staff of the Council, he was an instructor in the United States Army; taught social studies at Sprayberry High School in Cobb County; and was an adjunct professor at Agnes Scott College.

During the course of his career, Dr. Martin has received a number of awards, including the John C. Schramm Leadership Award presented by the National Association of Economic Educators and the National Council on Economic Education for his national efforts on behalf of economic education. In Georgia, he was selected as STAR Teacher and Teacher of the Year and was inducted into the Teacher Hall of Fame at Sprayberry High School, and he was recognized as the Cobb County Baseball Coach of the Year and the Dugout Club’s Metro Atlanta All-Star Baseball Coach. He has received the Charles Berryman Service Award from the Georgia Council for the Social Studies. He was presented with the inaugural Lee Burge Servant Leadership Award from the Georgia Consortium for Personal Financial Literacy. He and the Council are the recipients of the prestigious Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, and the Program of Excellence Award from the Georgia Council for the Social Studies. He has been listed in “Who’s Who in Education in Georgia” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and serves on the Board of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. Dr. Martin has provided leadership for a number of national task forces and committees, and served as the liaison between the National Association and National Council during the 1989-1991 and 2002-2004 periods. He co-authored “A Guidebook for Directors of the Affiliated State Councils on Economic Education” in 1989. He currently holds leadership roles in Communities in Schools of Georgia, the Georgia Association of Economics and Finance, and the Georgia Consortium for Personal Financial Literacy. He has also served his local schools as Chairman of the Cobb County Facilities & Technology Review Committee, overseeing the expenditure of more than $600 million of SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) funding.

Dr. Martin received a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Economics from Georgia State University in 1981. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree with majors in Economics, History and Political Science from Westmar College and a Master’s Degree in American Studies from Purdue University.

Dr. Martin is married to Lynn Dee Martin, Organist at the Smyrna First United Methodist Church, where he taught the Biblical Connections Sunday School Class for twenty-five years, served as Chairman of the Glorifying God Capital Campaign and the Capturing the Vision Campaign, and serves as a Stephen Ministry Leader. He has four children and four grandchildren.

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