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Spotlighted Student: Elizabeth Zoidis, 2011

Haverford College is integral to Elizabeth (Liz) Zoidis’ family on both her mother and father’s side. Her grandfather (Perkins Pedrick class of ’58) was thrilled when his daughter (Liz’s mother) married Paul Zoidis class of ’81. And so the tradition continued.

Liz’s minimum requirements in a college experience included a small liberal arts college with cross-country and figure skating teams. After attending honor-code guided Pingry secondary school in Martinsville, New Jersey, Haverford’s Honor Code philosophy captured her attention. Because Haverford offered what she looked for in a college she didn’t delay in enrolling. She has cherished every minute, having all of her expectations met.

Appreciating the self-motivated learning that Haverford requires of its students, she’s discovered that she is able to incorporate and integrate her Economics training in many other disciplines, including English and History classes.

An AP Economics course in high school led her to take Economics classes in college. The Introduction to Microeconomics with Professor Jilani demonstrated that she enjoyed the process and method of economics. Even puzzling through and resolving problem sets was fun and rewarding! The decision to declare a major in Economics was effortless as was her decision to choose a Concentration in Mathematical Economics. She will also graduate with a Minor in Spanish.

She spent spring semester of her junior year abroad in Granada, Spain where she took an International Economics class. The course met twice a week and consisted of a different lecturer at each session, materializing into a series of lectures and conferences. The lectures were taught in Spanish which proved challenging and clearly strengthened her mastery of the language. The culmination of the course required her to write a paper, in Spanish, summarizing everything she had learned.

As a rising Junior Liz spent the summer in Vietnam working for a private equity management company, America Indochina Management. Her role as a marketing research intern gave her the opportunity to learn about American consumer goods, and what business opportunities arise from the integration of Vietnam and Cambodia into the Global Economy.

Being as dedicated to Haverford as she is she gives campus tours to prospective students, and she serves on the Committee on Student Standing and Programs, The Senior Class Gift Committee, and she is an Economics Student Representative and a Teaching Assistant for Professor Jilani. She’s also on the cross-country team and was a member of the Bi-Co Ice Skating team through her sophomore year.

Born and raised in Westfield, NJ, during summer and winter breaks she’s often able to spend time with her family at their Telluride, Colorado vacation home hiking, cross country training, skiing and snow-shoeing. Last winter her family took her to Egypt and this winter they will be exploring Tanzania.

This past summer she interned in New York City at The Conference Board, an organization that is a think-tank for business leaders. She researched labor productivity growth patterns in the US during recessionary periods.   By analyzing changes in productivity behavior across states and industries she was able to identify potential factors contributing to the increase in labor productivity growth during the most recent two recessions. After she performed regression analyses to test how strongly these potential factors influenced the growth patterns she presented the conclusions in a visual presentation and in a working paper published by The Conference Board.

Since the 1970’s, labor productivity growth patterns in the United States and the European Union have significantly diverged. While productivity growth in the U.S. accelerated between the years 1973 and 2008, the countries of the EU experienced a productivity slowdown during this same time period. By looking at aspects of the labor market such as employment protection legislation, union participation, wage bargaining, and temporary help rates, all of which factor into a country's degree of worker protection, in her thesis she will investigate whether the level of worker protection influences labor productivity growth.  (Note: the US is known for low worker protection while the EU has generally high levels of worker protection).

Following graduation Liz plans to work as a consultant or as an economics research analyst in either an investment bank or in a government agency. She’s particularly invested in South American and Latin American economies and aspires to be an economic advocate for those sectors.

Founders Green on a warm spring day.

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