Dr. Marie Mora tapped to lead national Economics Mentoring Program
Posted: 09/27/2013
Share |

Dr. Marie T. Mora, professor of economics at The University of Texas-Pan American, has added another national role in her growing reputation of one of America's leading labor economists and advocates for the need for diversity within the profession.

- Dr. Marie T. Mora
In August, Mora, who is also a vice provost fellow for Faculty Affairs at UTPA, became the new director of the American Economic Association's Economics Mentoring Program. The program is designed to increase the number of under-represented racial/ethnic minorities who complete doctoral degrees in economics as well as to diversify the demographic composition of the economics profession through mentoring and providing research and professional development opportunities to minority emerging economists.

"It is a program I have been involved with for several years because I firmly believe in the importance of having diversity in the economics profession and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. I do not believe we can understate the importance of mentors and role models in these fields," she said.

Mora said she has received a lot of congratulatory messages but one particularly struck her.

"It was from a male colleague in New York who was excited because he has two daughters and wants them to have role models," she said.

Mora has served as president (2006-2010) of the American Society of Hispanic Economists and as 2011 chair of AEA's Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession. She has also been a mentor in the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics Program and has become a key leader in the National Science Foundation-funded ADVANCE Program at UTPA designed to promote representation and advancement among female faculty, particularly in STEM fields.

Underrepresentation of Hispanics, blacks, and Native Americans in the economics profession means that often academic research and subsequent policy recommendations which directly and indirectly affect the economic outcomes of these populations, and thus the nation overall, are shaped without the perspectives of these groups, Mora said.

"As such, some of the research which is often used in inform policy decisions may have incomplete information about what actually occurs 'on the ground,'" she said.

An expert on Hispanic labor market issues in particular, Mora is serving a three-year appointment as a member of the Data Users Advisory Committee of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which gives advice and insights on data collected by the Bureau. In June, she also became a member of the Texas Border Colonias Study Steering Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, providing guidance to the Dallas Fed as it updates and expands its 1996 study on Texas colonias. Earlier this year, she provided insight to the Dallas Fed on Hispanic workforce issues and the impact of educational access and success among Hispanics as well.

Mora's latest book, "Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s," co-authored with UTPA faculty member Dr. Alberto Dávila, was just released by Stanford University Press.

"We are proud of Marie and the excellence that she brings to her profession and to the community - both locally and nationally. Her passion is amazing, and so is her dedication to preparing our students to succeed in an increasingly diverse and globally competitive workforce," said UTPA President Robert s. Nelsen. " She is just one example of the outstanding faculty we have here at Pan Am, who devote themselves daily to helping create positive change in lives of their students and in our nation's priorities and policies."