Olga Shanks

PhD Candidate Economics

Researcher

Teacher

Stata expert

Olga Shanks

PhD Candidate Economics

Researcher

Teacher

Stata expert

Teaching

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY, Fairfax, VA

Graduate Lecturer – Introductory Econometrics (Jan 2022 – May 2022)

Teaching Assistant to Dr. Thomas Stratmann (Aug 2020 – Dec 2021)

  • Econometrics I (graduate)
  • Introductory Econometrics (undergraduate)
  • Public Economics / Public Choice (graduate)
  • Causal Inference (graduate)

Online Course Developer with Dr. Stratmann (Jan 2021 – Aug 2021)

  • Public Economics / Public Choice (graduate)
  • Causal Inference (graduate)

Teaching Philosophy

In economics as in other sciences, it is important to never lose sight of the fundamentals. It is impossible to truly master something new if it is not built on top of a strong foundation of first-order principles and concepts. That’s why I emphasize fundamental concepts in my class, so we proceed in learning starting from the same basic understanding. I tailor the review of these concepts to the level of knowledge required for the class, because “fundamental” does not need to mean “simple.” This approach empowers my students, regardless of their individual backgrounds, to participate in the future learning with confidence, and gives them a common platform to stand on.

The second principle I hold dear is active learning. I believe that it is only through the act of doing that we truly learn. Seeing a formula derived on a slide will not have the same effect as deriving it yourself, so I engage my students in active participation in the learning process by having them do derivations and calculations in class, share their results, and teach each other.

Lastly, I believe that the most effective way to understand and remember theory is through application. With that in mind, I schedule dedicated time in my class for working through examples in Stata. We work with real data sets and test how theories we learn apply in practice. Not only does it deepen the students’ understanding of theory but gives them practical technical skills they will likely need to succeed in their future careers.

Core Principles:

  1. Emphasis on the fundamentals
  2. Active learning
  3. Repeated application of theory