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Student Reflection

My Upton Forum was both overwhelming and incredibly enlightening at the same time. It was my first glimpse into the far-reaching and international network of the Beloit College Department of Economics. It was a transformative experience that I will always treasure.

- Zoe Lengjak ‘13

 

The Upton program was a valuable and enriching capstone to my economics experience at Beloit. The opportunity to talk to an eminent scholar in the field I had dedicated four years to studying was thrilling. The scholar my year took me seriously and engaged me without derision or judgment, even though I openly questioned certain aspects of his work. That I felt comfortable to talk with this academic giant and express my feelings and concerns is a real testament to the program and to the Upton scholar himself. The coursework encouraged creative, independent thinking in a seminar class structure, and Upton week was a great culmination to that semester of developing with other students the ability to think for ourselves. That is exactly the reason I went to Beloit. To be able to really engage with my professors and the guests they bring on campus is a blessing that only a small liberal arts school can provide. I think the Upton forum is a great example of a department coming together around this fundamental Beloit principle that our views as students, no matter how half-baked, or misguided, or premature, deserve time and consideration. That we are valuable, and our ideas are valuable, and we are more than just faces in an auditorium or marks in a grade book. Our professors have the faith in us that we can reason through problems on our own, develop our own systems of belief, and argue with each other respectfully without teacher intervention. That is a Beloit gift and more specifically, an Upton program gift, and throughout that whole week I really dwelt on how lucky I was to be part of this institution and this department. 

- Brooke Cooperstein ‘13

 

Passionate about international development, I constantly seek to understand why some nations prosper while others lag behind. Reading Timur Kuran's The Long Divergence was absorbing and made me think deeply about how religion and institutions in general affect economic development. The Upton Forum allowed me to directly interact with the author himself, a rare learning opportunity for an undergraduate student. 

 In addition to Kuran's residency on campus, the Forum well integrated a senior seminar, economics thesis writing, and other intellectually-stimulating events and components. My participation in the program reinforced my passion in development economics. The insights I gained are informing me well in my current work and graduate studies in international development. Thank you Beloit Economics Department for this wonderful experience! 

- Teng Ted Liu, ‘13

 

The Upton Forum week has been the most productive week of my college education. The visiting scholars hold very diverse perspectives, which kept my spirit high, and weariness away throughout some 14-hour, nonstop Upton Forum days. It was challenging and amusing.

At the same time, I really want to thank you for the wonderful econ senior seminar classes. Every time I interact with the scholars, I can vividly feel the change in myself, which is a direct result of your classes. I have become so confident to ask questions, and express myself. Thank you Emily!

- Sylvia Feng'10