Last week, our content marketing specialist, Allie Todd, sat down with CSFE’s newest Student Affiliate, Libby Weitkamp, to talk to her about her academic career at WCU and work with CSFE Director, Edward Lopez. 

From Wake Forest, North Carolina, Libby graduated from Heritage High School, where her love for research began. Apart from the importance of research, her heart also lies in the community. Community is one of the many reasons that she chose to come to WCU. She wanted to be able to combine her research goals with her love for helping her community. 

Now a sophomore at WCU, Libby is majoring in Innovation Leadership & Entrepreneurship with a minor in Economics. Her first economics class at WCU is where her interest in economics began, specifically, the concept of moral hazard. Libby stated that “the ability to explain behaviors in an analytical way was incredibly interesting to me.” 

Thus began her path to becoming a CSFE Student Affiliate and assisting Dr. Lopez on his research endeavors this semester.  

Earlier this February, CSFE published “Is now a good time to be optimistic?” which Libby was an integral part of.  

“Optimism research was fascinating, it was very interesting to learn about optimism as a characteristic and how that impacts the economy, the workforce, and other variables of everyday life,” said Libby.  

This study focused on building onto what we already view economic progress to be, how we can shape discussion based on what the collective view of progress is, and how optimism coincides with many measurements of human betterment.  

“Our research is directly related to our community and our way of trying to understand better how they [our community] view economic progress,” said Libby. She continued by saying, “that way, we can build the foundation on which there can be further discussion between the community, economic developers, urban developers, and economists; and how we can pursue economic development in a way that is more unified and supported.”  

This semester, Libby is also working on designing a survey to gather and understand peoples’ attitudes regarding economic development and growth, which is a part of CSFE’s Human Progress Research Initiative. 

We are very excited to welcome Libby Weitkamp as a Student affiliate and to witness the impact of her research throughout her WCU academic career and beyond. Libby is also a member of the Brinson Honors College Board of Directors, co-chair for the Community Service Committee, a yoga instructor, and very involved in her sorority Delta Zeta.  

On the horizon, Libby would like to attend graduate school for behavioral economics, and potentially receive her doctorate and teach economics at the collegiate level.  

Thanks to Libby for making her work a part of CSFE.