Professor Fawson arrived at Utah State University in the winter of 1990 and has taught economics and economic systems in the department of economics and finance for the past 21 years. During his tenure at Utah State University Dr. Fawson has served as Director of International Programs, Vice Provost for Academic and International Affairs, Department Head and Senior Associate Dean in the Huntsman School of Business. Professor Fawson has served as faculty mentor in the month-long interdisciplinary Design Thinking for Innovation program based in Leysin, Switzerland. In addition, he has been involved in designing and teaching the new Business by Design class that will be required of all business majors starting in the fall of 2012. Dr. Fawson is passionate about designing and delivering transformational learning experiences for students and has been a program leader for a variety of faculty-led international learning experiences. He is currently on sabbatical leave with the Charles Koch Foundation in Arlington, Virginia where he is working on business school and faculty research initiatives sponsored by the Foundation. His research interests cover a broad spectrum of applied research topics in public finance and development economics.
Simmons received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Oregon in 1980. He is currently professor of political science at Utah State University, where he has been honored three times by the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences as researcher of the year. Also at Utah State University, he is the director of the Institute of Political Economy. Simmons is a senior scholar with the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. and a Senior Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center, Bozeman, MT. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Utah League of Cities and Towns and is a member of the Utah Governor’s Privatization Commission. Randy T. Simmons emphasizes the importance of economic reasoning to better understand public policy. He believes the study of politics cannot be separated from the study of markets and uses this framework to evaluate environmental and natural resource policies. The real challenge of the social process, as he sees it, is to design institutions that have outcomes that closely represent the wishes of individuals. He believes that markets are often the best way to achieve this objective when they are insulated from political influence. His core filed in political science is Public Choice.
Michael D. Thomas is a public choice economist who earned a PhD in economics from George Mason university in 2009. He has also studied at Duke University while a fellow at the History of Political Economy Center in 2008-2009. Michael has published papers in the Journal of City and Town Management, the Review of Austrian Economics, and the Journal of Private Enterprise. He is currently working as an Research Professor at Utah State University, studying transportation economics, regulation policy, and welfare economics. His wife, Diana W. Thomas is an assistant professor of economics. Michael’s interest in monetary economics was stimulated while earning a Masters degree at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and while selling mortgage loans during 2001-2003 as a loan originator. Michael received his bachelors degree from the University of Alabama in 2001 and is an avid college football fan.
Dr. Thomas earned her Diploma in Business Administration from Fachhochschule Aachen in Germany and her BS in Finance from George Mason University in 2004. After working as a junior portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investors in Frankfurt Germany for a year, she returned to George Mason University in the Fall of 2005. She earned her MA in Economics in 2007 and her PhD in Economics in 2009 both from George Mason University. She joined the Huntsman School faculty together with her husband Michael who is currently an adjunct professor of Economics in the fall of 2009. Her primary fields of research are public choice, development economics, and Austrian economics. Dr. Thomas has published papers on political entrepreneurship and the regulation of late medieval German beer markets. She is currently at work on a project exploring informal property rights institutions in the developing world.
William F. Shughart II is senior fellow at The Independent Institute, the J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at Utah State University, and past president of the Southern Economic Association. A former economist at the Federal Trade Commission, Professor Shughart received his Ph.D. in economics from Texas A & M University, and he has taught at George Mason University, Clemson University, University of Mississippi and the University of Arizona.
Charles E. Kay is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Political Science and a Senior Research Scientist with the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University. He received his Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Utah State University, his M.S. in environmental studies from the University of Montana, and his B.S. in wildlife biology also from the University of Montana. Dr. Kay has conducted ecological research for Parks Canada, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Agricultural Research Service, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, among others.
Brian Steed was born and raised in Logan, Utah. He attended Utah State University earning both a BA and MA in political science. He attended law school at the University of Utah earning his Juris Doctorate and a Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law in 2002. He earned his PhD in Public Policy from Indiana University in 2010 under the direction of Elinor Ostrom, the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences. His professional experience includes a year in the United States Senate, several years in Utah State Government, and two years as a deputy county attorney in Iron County, Utah. He currently works in the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, where he teaches in the Department of Economics. As an academic, Dr. Steed has worked on projects sponsored by various governmental and non-governmental agencies. His research examines the intersection of law, economics and policy, with a particular focus on land, resources, energy, the environment, and international development.
Ryan M. Yonk
Ryan M. Yonk is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Research Director for the Center for Public Lands and Rural Economics in the Department of Economics at Utah State University, and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Utah University. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Georgia State University.