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March 16, 2023

Featured Economics Department Staff Spotlight: Belén Feight

Meet Belén Feight, MSU Department of Economics fiscal officer and office manager.

By Katie Frey


"I am from Spain and came to Eastern High School for one year as an exchange student. Little did I know that many years later, after going back to Spain for college, I would end up back in Michigan!" Belén Feight said. Feight is the office manager and fiscal officer for the MSU Department of Economics and has been with the department for 22 years.

"My husband convinced me to apply for MSU," she reminisced. "I had a wonderful mentor and friend I worked with, Margaret Lynch, who retired in 2021 and sadly passed away last year. She is one of the main reasons I stayed in the job all these years."

Woman wearing Michigan State apparel at a tailgate.

As office manager, Feight coordinates operational needs, provides solutions to problems, and works with staff to improve processes so they can all work as efficiently as possible. As fiscal officer, she assists Steven Haider, department chair, with budget planning and management, oversees all of the financial accounts, evaluates processes, reviews and updates department policies and procedures to make sure they follow MSU’s policies, and works with faculty on grant post-award matters.

Although Feight feels she might not always be warm and fuzzy, she works hard to take care of people and give them an honest answer.

"The most rewarding part of the job is the people," she said. "I love being able to help and the feeling that what I do matters. When you have a day where you can help someone do their work better, you finish a long project, or you are able to find an answer to a problem, that is a good day!"

"A department as large as ours can only run effectively with a strategic-thinking and efficient office manager and fiscal officer, and Belén is that administrative leader for us," Professor Steven Haider said, chair of the department. "It's hard to stress her importance to this department, and I can speak for all of us when I say we appreciate her work and her dedication to this department for 22 years."

Outside of work, Feight enjoys spending time with her family, Zumba dance classes, camping and traveling.

"I am really good at navigating public transportation and not getting lost in big cities, but I still struggle when someone tells me something like, "Go North and then turn West," she mused.

She has one bittersweet memory from her time as office manager and fiscal officer that has stayed with her all these years.

"We have one advisor whose office is within our main office and one day we see Mike Sadler, who was MSU's football punter at the time, come out of her office," she remembered. "I recognized him, along with another staff member, and he started chatting with us, talking about MSU, and he was the nicest kid, talking to us like we were his friends."

Feight is an example of how it's the people – the students, faculty and staff – who make the Department of Economics at MSU a welcoming environment where people can learn, research and work.