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College of Business

Welcome to the CWU Department of Economics

Email: | Phone: (509) 963 3340 | Shaw-Smyser Hall 223

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Positions of responsibility in today’s world are usually held by individuals who have the capacity to analyze complex problems and make informed decisions. Learning economics will help students think logically and improve their ability to use economic concepts to analyze “real world” problems and opportunities. In addition to preparation for business and government employment, an economics major is excellent preparation for law schools, masters of business administration programs, and graduate programs in economics, public policy, and natural resource management. Students gain skills in managerial decision making, economic research, data analysis (in R, Python and SQL). 

The Department’s faculty teach and conduct research in labor economics, macroeconomics, behavioral and experimental economics, environmental economics, business analytics, international economics, education economics and industrial organization. We are part of the AACSB accredited College of Business.



Our department offers the following degrees on CWU Ellensburg campus:

We offer the following minors in Ellensburg and online:

Students interested in exploring our programs are welcome to contact the Department Chair Dr.Toni Sipic, any of our faculty, our secretary Lisa Woods, or CB academic advising staff.



Magdalena Bialic-Davendra, PhD Thomas Bata University | Senior Lecturer | Research Interest: Finance

Tennecia Dacass, PhD Kansas State University | Assistant Professor | Research Interest: Labor Economics, Public Economics

Koushik Ghosh, PhD Washington State University | Professor | Research Interest: Development Economics, Monetary Economics

Peter Gray, MS California Institute of Technology | Senior Lecturer | Research Interest: Energy Economics

Cassie Koefod, MS Central Washington University | Lecturer | Research Interest: Environmental Economics

Yurim Lee, PhD University of Washington | Assistant Profesor | Research Interest: Macroeconomics, International Economics

Toni Sipic, PhD University of Oregon | Department Chair and Associate Professor | Research Interest: Environmental Economics

Chad Wassell, Jr., PhD University of Wisconsin | Professor | Research Interest: Macroeconomics

David Zuckerman, PhD Stanford University | Assistant Professor | Research Interest: Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory


Staff and Graduate Assistants

Ryan Espedal | Graduate Assistant | Research Interest: Environmental Economics, Data Analytics

Betty Mittelstaedt | Graduate Assistant | Research Interest: Finance, Environmental Economics

Lisa Woods | Secretary Senior


Student Clubs

Economics Association is the economics students club open to all CWU students. Club members develop leadership skills, pursue research, organize lectures, attend conferences, and network. They meet every other Monday 6 – 7 pm at Shaw-Smyser Room 205 and online. For more information, please contact the club Faculty Adviser Dr.Yurim Lee or the club President Mia Young, or follow the department's and Dr.Lee's Instagram accounts for the most up-to-date information on club activities. 

Students attend the Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference (PNREC) every May. There students and faculty present their research to private and public sector economists, academics, and business leaders. The conference is held over three days in locations across Washington and Oregon and in the last few years was held in Hood River, OR; Seaside, OR; Tacoma, WA; Bellignham, WA; Vancouver, WA. 2023 PNREC will be held in Walla Walla, WA.

Economics Association students conduct ongoing research on student spending patterns in Ellensburg. CWU Student Price Index measures the average change over time in the prices paid by students for a market basket of consumer goods and services. CWU Students are invited to help us on this project by filling out our survey

Current Leadership: Mia Young (President), Landen Hashimura (Vice President), Kameron Eck, Jeremy Rexus, Marissa Harrison, Liam Schuler and Ian Seibel.  

Past Presidents: Kaylee Cooper (2021-2022), Jonathan Ehlers (2020-2021), Nathan Heile (2019-2020), Mallory Icenhower (2018-2019), Valerie Wells (2018), Eric Staats (2017), Deric Bloomingdale (2016-2017), Lauren Webster (2015-2016), Anastasia Allen (2014-2015), Jack Johannessen (2013-2014), Dannel Fischer (2011-2012)


Careers, Internships and Graduate School

Visit our Careers in Economics and Business Analytics page



* Available online

Business Analytics (BUAN)

BUAN 406 - Business Analytics *

BUAN 407 - Data Visualization and Management in Business *

Economics (ECON)

ECON 101 - Economic Issues *

ECON 102 - World Economic Issues

ECON 130 - Foundations for Business Analytics *

ECON 201 - Principles of Economics Micro *

ECON 202 - Principles of Economics Macro *

BUS 221 - Business Statistics *

ECON 306 - Gender in the Economy *

ECON 308 - Sports Economics *

ECON 310 - International Economics *

ECON 320 - Agricultural Economics and Policy *

ECON 325 - Introduction to Forecasting

ECON 330 - Money and Banking *

ECON 332 - Public Finance *

ECON 333 - Behavioral Economics

ECON 348 - Economic Development of the United States

ECON 349 - Economic Development of Asia

ECON 352 - Managerial Economics

ECON 355 - Economics of Labor *

ECON 401 - Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis

ECON 402 - Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis

ECON 424 - Introduction to Econometrics

ECON 426 - Economic Research

ECON 462 - Environmental and Resource Economics

ECON 463 - Energy Economics

ECON 490 - Cooperative Education

ECON 493 - Economics Boot Camp

ECON 496 - Individual Study *


Emeritus Faculty

Robert Carbaugh, PhD Colorado State University | Professor (1985-2022)

Donald Cocheba, PhD Washington State University | Professor (1970-2002)

Wolfgang Franz, PhD Washington State University | Professor (1969-1998) | In Memoriam

Gerald Gunn, PhD Colorado State University | Professor (1975-1998) | In Memoriam

David Hedrick, PhD University of Oregon | Professor (1989-2018)

Richard Mack, PhD Colorado State University | Professor (1972-2008)

Peter Saunders, PhD University of Colorado | Professor (1989-2020)

Roy Savoian, PhD University of California at Santa Barbara  | Professor (1998-2015)



Economics courses have been taught at Central Washington University for at least a century. Department of Economics was formed in the academic year 1947-1948 and was a part of newly formed College of Arts and Sciences, Social Science Division. Harold S. Williams, PhD University of Iowa was the first Professor and Department Chair, and Rueben Hall the first Instructor. Since then faculty with graduate degrees from following universities taught economics at CWU: University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin, University of Nebraska, University of Chicago, SUNY Buffalo, Montana State University, University of Texas, Washington State University, Colorado State University, Colorado State University, Michigan State University, Case Western University, University of Oregon, University of Colorado, Washington University at St. Louis, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Washington, University of New Mexico, Thomas Bata University, Kansas State University and Stanford University. 

Department Chairs 

Harold Williams, PhD University of Iowa, 1948-1967

Lawrence A. Danton, PhD University of Nebraska, 1967-1975

Gerald Gunn, PhD Colorado State University, 1975-1981; 1983-1985

Wolfgang Franz, PhD Washington State University, 1981-1983

Donald Cocheba, PhD Washington State University, 1985-1998

Peter Saunders, PhD University of Colorado, 1999-2000

Robert Carbaugh, PhD Colorado State University; and Koushik Ghosh, PhD Washington State University; 2000-2011

Timothy Dittmer, PhD University of Washington, 2012-2014

Carlo Smith, PhD University of Tennessee, 2014-2017

Toni Sipic, PhD University of Oregon, 2017-Present

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