World-renowned economist to receive distinguished scholar award

Contact: Jeanne Baron

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A veteran researcher known for being the first to study real-world topics that later became front and center in national policy discussions will be honored by Western Michigan University as a distinguished scholar.

Dr. Susan Pozo, professor of economics, will receive the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award during WMU's Fall Convocation activities at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14, in the Bernhard Center.

The event will feature WMU President Edward Montgomery's State of the University address as well as the presentation of four other sets of annual campuswide awards: the Emerging Scholar, Distinguished Teaching, Distinguished Service and Annual Make a Difference awards. It is part of daylong convocation activities that start at 8:30 a.m.

Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

Established in 1978, the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award is the highest annual honor WMU bestows on faculty members. The award program recognizes those whose work constitutes a significant body of achievement, largely while a faculty member at WMU, that is widely recognized within the national and international academic communities.

Pozo's research

Headshot, Dr. Susan Pozo.

Dr. Susan Pozo

Pozo is a professor of economics and directs WMU's global and international studies program. A faculty member since 1982, she is a prominent and prolific researcher who is internationally recognized and highly respected in policy as well as academic circles.

She focuses her research on a variety of topics, including immigration policy, refugees, undocumented migration, returns to international human capital, empirical distribution of foreign exchange rates and measures of exchange risk, and underground financial and economic activity.

Pozo's research portfolio includes 61 refereed journal articles, 11 book chapters, four edited books and one sole-authored book.

"She publishes in the top journals of our profession, and her published research is cited extensively by other researchers," a WMU colleague nominating her wrote. "This is remarkable evidence of the broad respect for the quality of her research and the contribution of her research to important societal issues."

Many nominators credited Pozo for the relevance of her research and being the first person to study topics such as remittances (monetary transfers between immigrants and the family left behind) and the consequences of immigration enforcement and immigration policies, topics that now are continually discussed in development policy circles and journals.

"Susan Pozo is an incredibly passionate and productive researcher whose body of work has shed light on real-world issues that affect our communities every day," a University of Arizona nominator wrote. "With solid data and methodology, she has been relentless in posing questions and pursuing answers that affect the most vulnerable among us."

Additional activities

Pozo serves as referee for numerous prestigious journals, reviews grant applications for several government agencies and is invited to present her research at premiere conferences. She is president of the American Society of Hispanic Economists and since 2014, has been a research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany. While at WMU, she also has served stints as a Fulbright Research Scholar in Montevideo, Uruguay, as well as a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, a visiting researcher at the University of Salamanca in Spain and a visiting scholar at the University of Montevideo.

A common theme in the award nominations Pozo received is her willingness to conduct research in a collaborative way and to actively mentor young researchers, often teaming with them on important studies and articles.

"A final and long-lasting aspect of Susan's academic work is her contribution to the formation of a new generation of academic economists working on migration," wrote one nominator she mentored who now works at the University of Oxford. "My experience having her as a dissertation advisor at WMU was excellent, and I have heard similar feedback from other former students. The formation of these economists amplifies substantially the reach and recognition of WMU at an international level."

Pozo earned a bachelor's degree in foreign area studies-Latin America from Barnard College of Columbia University in 1976 and a doctoral degree in economics from Michigan State University in 1980.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.

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