Student Spotlight with Christi Economy

Chrisi Economy

Mark Stehle

ALOHA STATE: From Hawaii, rising senior Economy, 21, is the second-oldest of her five siblings. An international relations and economics major, she grew up on the Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island.

NIFTY SIXTY: Economy was one of only 60 U.S. students who were recently awarded a Truman Scholarship, which is given annually to college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, nonprofit/advocacy, education, or other forms of public service.

THE BUCK STOPS HERE: In preparation for her scholarship interview, Economy says she read quite a bit on President Truman just in case she was quizzed about the 33rd president. “[Candidates] in the past have been asked, ‘Would you have dropped the atomic bomb if you were Truman?’” she says. (She would not have.)

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: Economy has no interest in politics but does find international development appealing, particularly education and literacy. “For me, education was what really made a difference and what got me to Penn today, so I’m interested in providing that same experience to kids in other countries,” she says.

HEARD IT ALL BEFORE: Partly due to her last name, Economy says she had some reservations about majoring in economics, but after taking lecturer Rebecca Stein’s “Introduction to Microeconomics” class, she decided to pursue the degree. She says she’s heard all the Economy/economics jokes. “They’re kind of all old now,” she says. “I haven’t heard any new ones in awhile.”

CURRENT AFFAIRS: During the fall semester, Economy interned at the Center for Democracy in the Americas in Washington, D.C., and she recently completed an internship at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to informing the public about worldwide issues. She handled the Council’s social media accounts and worked in the travel department.

HUMAN CAPITAL: The Truman Scholarship provides awardees with $30,000 toward any graduate school, leadership training, and fellowship with other students. “What I’ve heard from past Truman Scholars is the network of people it connects you with is what’s really valuable, more so than the monetary award,” Economy says. She plans to work towards a master’s in public policy or global human development.

EL HADO PROPICIO: Through an internship with the Department of State, Economy will intern this summer at the U.S. embassy in La Paz, Bolivia. “I’m really excited and a little nervous,” she says.

Originally published on May 9, 2013