Podcast features women of USI economics

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recorded a podcast featuring the women of USI's Economics Club at the Romain College of Business.

University Communications

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recorded a podcast featuring the women of USI's Economics Club at the Romain College of Business.

The USI Economics Club attracted the attention of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis when they weren’t even a club yet. 

The bank released a 20-minute episode of their Women in Economics Podcast on Jan. 29 that featured the women of USI’s Economics Club. The episode was recorded in September 2019 and is available on their website stlouisfed.org.

The reserve is among 12 other reserve banks that make up the United State’s central bank along with the Board of Governors in Washington D.C. The economists discuss and analyze monetary policies and look at other issues related to improving the nation’s economic performance.  

The federal reserve held a Women in Economics Symposium back in February 2018, aimed to help women in economics understand their opportunities and help them build a network. The event included about 150 participants from 14 states and 40 different colleges.

Daria Sevastianova, associate professor of economics, took a group of 20 female economics students to the symposium, one of the largest groups from any college. That caught the attention of the federal reserve and they reached out to Sevenstianova and said they wanted to do a podcast. 

“Basically, Dr. Sevastianova got an email from the federal reserve saying they wanted to feature her on a podcast as well as the club here which we didn’t actually have a club here at the time,” Emily Bacon, a senior economics majors, said. “So we thought that was a great way or a really good reason to  kickstart and get one going.”

Bacon is the co-founder and president of the economics club and said the club is a good opportunity to become more involved with the major and build networks and connections. She was excited about the podcast and thought that it would be a good way to get the word out about economics and the major. 

“The federal reserve is like a really big deal, especially in economics, I remember freshmen year and talking about the reserve and the role that it plays in the economy,” Bacon said. “So to hear that they were coming here and that we were going to get to sit in on a podcast and be interviewed, it was really cool and exciting.”

Sevastianova said she felt grateful and humbled to have been featured on the podcast because it was recorded on campus rather than in St. Louis where the previous podcasts had been done. 

“Ours is unique because it was recorded at the kickoff meeting of the club,” Sevastianova said.  “You know, we showed up on their radar and because of that representation at the Women in Economics Symposium.”

The podcast took a while to be released because it was done in a conference room instead of a recording studio. 

“It was a rare opportunity and fun to actually participate in the podcast production,” Sevastianova said. “They were asking questions and they had very fancy microphones in front of all of us.”

Sevastianova said she was pleased with how women in economics were being represented and getting national attention in the podcast. She thinks it can help empower women and to grasp opportunities. 

The club aims to have larger-scale events with the upcoming presidential elections to see how economics ties into debates and even get political science majors and faculty involved.

“These are all economic issues,” Sevastianova said. “With political divisions being profound right now, universities should be places where we can have academic freedom where we can have open speech and we can openly talk about these things and hopefully come to a better understanding.”