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RRI Faculty Research Associate Spotlight: Lindsay Allen

When Dr. Lindsay Allen was in high school,  seniors were required to complete a one-month internship with a local company, and Allen chose to intern in the Sales Analytics department of a local pharmaceutical company. This experience nurtured her passion for health care. “Since that time, nearly all my work experiences have been in health care, though in very different parts of the system,” Allen said. “I tell my students that there are so many facets of the health care system: internships, fellowships, and volunteer work can go a long way in helping them figure out what they love to do,” Allen continued.

She and her husband, Assistant Professor Alex Lundberg, simultaneously completed their Ph.D. programs, and had hoped to find positions at the same university. Allen became an Assistant Professor and health services researcher at the School of Public Health and Lundberg became an Assistant Professor at B&E.

Allen’s position gives her great satisfaction because she can see the many ways her research affects patients in the real world. “I also love the opportunities I have to collaborate with colleagues from WVU’s Economics Department, School of Pharmacy, and Department of Emergency Medicine,” Allen said. “These interdisciplinary relationships really strengthen our work.”

Most of Allen’s work pertains to how the health care system is organized and its effects on patient interaction with it. “Right now, I’m especially interested in acute care, and the role of non-traditional delivery models in meeting the demand for it,” Allen explained.

Jing Chen Wins the 2018 Barry M. Moriarty Award

Jing Chen receiving 2018 Barry M. Moriarty award from Dr. Steven Deller, UW-Madison

Which is better for economic growth—specialization or diversification?  According to Jing Chen, Regional Research Institute (RRI) Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) and Ph.D. candidate in Geography, regional scientists have suggested that the answer is both—specialization and diversity can coexist in a regional economy under diversified specializations. Chen’s curiosity was piqued as to how these two opposing theories could coexist, so he began his research to empirically test this proposition. The result was a paper titled “Interpreting Economic Diversity as the Presence of Multiple Specializations.”

Chen submitted his paper to the 57th Meeting of the Southern Regional Science Association that was held  March 15-17, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to compete for the Barry M. Moriarty Award. Entries were required to be original research by a sole author on a topic in regional science, with the author designing all maps, illustrations and audio-visual materials.

A panel of academicians and researchers recognized his scholarly work as the winning entry, presenting him with a plaque and $1,000. Chen said, “I am so excited to win this award. This paper was developed as a part of my dissertation research on economic diversity and regional development at a time when there were few empirical studies that had emphasized the coexistence of economic specialization and diversity.”

In his paper, Chen used three indices to measure regional economic diversity “to examine the relationship between economic structure and regional economic performance among 359 metropolitan statistical areas in the contiguous U.S.”  Chen also said, “The main contribution of this paper is to interpret economic diversity as the presence of multiple specializations to leverage the benefits of economic specialization and diversity simultaneously.”

Jing Chen Wins the Barry M. Moriarty Award

Which is better for economic growth—specialization or diversification?  According to Jing Chen, Regional Research Institute (RRI) Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) and Ph.D. doctoral candidate in Geography, regional scientists have suggested that the answer is both—specialization and diversity can coexist in a regional economy under diversified specializations. Chen’s curiosity was piqued as to how these two opposing theories could coexist, so he began his research to empirically test this proposition. The result was a paper titled “Interpreting Economic Diversity as the Presence of Multiple Specializations.”

Chen submitted his paper to the Southern Regional Science Association for consideration for the Barry M. Moriarty Award. Entries were required to be original research by a sole author on a topic in regional science, with the author designing all maps, illustrations and audio-visual materials.

A panel of academicians and researchers recognized his scholarly work as the winning entry, presenting him with a plaque and $1,000. Chen said, “I am so excited to win this award. This paper was developed as a part of my dissertation research on economic diversity and regional development at a time when there were few empirical studies that had emphasized the coexistence of economic specialization and diversity.”

In his paper, Chen used three indices to measure regional economic diversity “to examine the relationship between economic structure and regional economic performance among 359 metropolitan statistical areas in the contiguous U.S.”  Chen also said, “The main contribution of this paper is to interpret economic diversity as the presence of multiple specializations to leverage the benefits of economic specialization and diversity simultaneously.”

Amir Borges Ferreira Neto Awarded Fellowship


Amir Borges Ferreira Neto is a graduate research assistant in the RRI and a doctoral candidate in the College of Business and Economics. Just recently, he became a recipient of the W. Marston and Katharine B. Becker Doctoral Fellows Endowment. The Beckers are both WVU alumni.

Borges Ferreira Neto said, “I am honored and grateful to have been awarded this prestigious fellowship.” He continues, “On the one hand, the fellowship will allow me the opportunity to focus on both my doctoral and my personal research, which are consistent with the donors’ expectations of regional and public policy-oriented research. On the other hand, over the next couple of years I will be able to complement my doctoral training with  teaching experience while continuing to maintain focus on my research.”

This fellowship is awarded to the top students by the Center for Free Enterprise at WVU and is based on a student’s ability to communicate basic economic principles through research on state policy. Fellows are expected to engage in the ongoing dialogue on state economic policy through public speaking opportunities and new commentary and publications. Borges Ferreira Neto explained, “Because of this fellowship, I expect to finish my doctoral program with both research and teaching experience concurrent to publishing and participating in conferences to strengthen network opportunities.”

Students are awarded a $20,000 annual stipend to work on research relevant to West Virginia economic policy while pursuing doctoral studies.

William H. Miernyk Reception

Reception Poster 2

2005 marked the first presentation of The William H. Miernyk Research Excellence Medal.” The Medal was presented at the annual SRSA meeting April 7-9, 2005 in Arlington, VA. Bill’s health would not permit him to travel to the meeting.

A small reception for Professor Miernyk was held on the evening of Wednesday, April 6 in Morgantown at the Radisson Hotel with several of his former colleagues and students. An enjoyable time was had by all and we invite you to view the photo album below.

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Labys Receives Miernyk Award

Walter LabysWalter C. Labys, who has been on the WVU faculty since 1975, was honored April 2001, at a special 35th Anniversary celebration for WVU’s Regional Research Institute, with the “Miernyk Award for Career Scholarly Achievement,” 2000. This award was established in honor of Professor William H. Miernyk, the Director of the Institute from its establishment in 1965 until his retirement in 1983. It recognizes individuals whose careers have been marked by sustained scholarly productivity, dedication to students, service to scholarly organizations, and an enduring commitment to the Regional Research Institute and West Virginia University. Like Dr. Miernyk, Professor Labys’ distinguished career at WVU has been dedicated to these ideals.

Speakers for the event included Professors William Miernyk who presented the award, Peter Schaeffer, Division Director of Resource Management, and Ronald L. Lewis, Interim Director of the Regional Research Institute who also presented Labys with a travel honorarium from the Institute. Attending this special event were faculty research associates of the Regional Research Institute, former students, colleagues, such as Jean-Baptiste Lesourd of France, J. Hiliary Kelley, former dean of Comer, and numerous friends and family members.

Walter C. Labys is Benedum Distinguished Scholar, Professor of Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, and Adjunct Professor of Economics in the College of Business and Economics. He also holds the position of Gunnar Myrdal Scholar from the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1959, a M.B.A. from Duquesne University in 1962, a M.A. in economics from Harvard University in 1965 and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Nottingham in 1968.

He is a graduate of the Preparatory School at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe. He served as Economic Affairs Officer with the United Nations in Geneva from 1969 to 1971 and as a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of International Studies of the University of Geneva from 1971 to 1975. He was appointed at West Virginia University in 1975 to help found the Ph.D. Program in resource economics; in 1990 he was given the University’s highest academic award, Benedum Distinguished Scholar and in 1998 was named Outstanding Researcher. During 1981-82, he was a Visiting Scholar in the Energy Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Faculty Research Associate with the Regional Research Institute, and served as founding President of the WVU “Faculty Club.”

Over the past thirty-two years, Dr. Labys has pioneered in the development and application of econometric methods important for analyzing commodity price behavior, the building of structural commodity models, and the impact of commodity markets on the stability and growth of surrounding developing economies. His numerous books and articles have been of particular interest not only to other economists but also to industry and government planners at national and international levels.

Throughout his career, Dr. Labys has taken a strong interest in the relationship of his research to international policy making. He was honored as the first Gunnar Myrdal Scholar by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. He has served as research Fellow at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (The United Nations University) in Helsinki. He also has been a visitor at the following universities: the Faculty of Economics and GREQAM at the University of Aix-Marseille; the Department of Applied Economics at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna; the Center for Industrial Econometrics at the University of Montpellier in France; the Research Center for World Commodity Markets at CNAM-Paris; he Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow; the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna; the Institute for International Economics in Stockholm; and the London School of Economics in England. He has acted as a consultant or research advisor to several international organizations and has visited more than 80 nations. He has worked with the U.S. Information Agency, the U.S. Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Dr. Labys has authored or collaborated on 15 books, more than 120 research articles and chapters, and has presented more than 130 invited addresses, colloquia and papers. In January of 2000 he delivered the millennium lecture at the Center for Economic and Policy Research at St. Vincent College. He has directed more than 40 masters and doctoral theses. Selected studies have been translated and published in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Polish, and Russian. He has two children, Paul and Lottie by his late wife, Jane Reardon Labys. Walt married Kathy Lohmann, who retired as English teacher at Morgantown High School.