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May 1, 2024

MSU Department of Economics names Sophie Handley 2024 Outstanding Senior

The MSU Department of Economics named Sophie Handley their 2024 Outstanding Senior. 

Headshot of Sophie Handley.

“I chose Economics as my major because it provides me with a unique analytical framework to evaluate information and behavior, as well as the underlying motivations driving it,” she said. “I hope to use my education for a future career in economic research.”  

During her time at MSU, Handley provided econometrics tutoring, was a diversity, equity and inclusion volunteer committee member for the department, and she was involved in the College Fed Challenge Team. She also received the Board of Trustees Scholarship and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

“One of the best parts about being a professor is having the opportunity to work with extraordinarily talented and motivated students of economics, like Sophie,” said Antonio Doblas Madrid, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Economics. “I coach the MSU team for the Fed Challenge, an academic competition where teams from colleges and universities around the country present monetary policy proposals at the Federal Reserve. Sophie joined the team in Fall of 2023. Thanks to her initiative, teamwork, and public speaking, she quickly rose to a position of prominence, being elected to be one of five speakers by her peers. Sophie and her teammates represented MSU very well, both in the competition, reaching the regional final of the (highly competitive) Chicago-Fed district, and visiting the Board of Governors in Washington DC for the inaugural Fed Challenge Open House in February of 2024. Preparing for the competition and Q&A with Fed economists took a tremendous amount of dedication and effort. Remarkably, she did this this while excelling in challenging classes and writing an award-winning research paper.”

“I sincerely appreciated my experience participating in the Fed Challenge,” she said.

“Collaborating with the team and entire class to create a rigorous and polished proposal was an invaluable learning experience. Analyzing economic data to create our proposal gave us a clear understanding of macroeconomic trends and the mechanics of monetary policy, which I will continue to take with me into my career and interests. I strongly recommend it to students interested in macroeconomics, monetary policy, and opportunities at the Federal Reserve," Handley said.

Students and professor stand with fed challenge chairperson.

MSU College Fed Challenge Team with Fed Chair Jerome Powell. From left to right Jack Starling, Sophie Handley, Christina Staniak, Jerome Powell, Lorenzo Durán, and Antonio Doblas-Madrid.

After graduation, Handley will work for PNC as a bank operations analyst and take classes at the University of Pittsburgh to prepare for a Ph.D. in economics.

There are several great students graduating students this year, but Sophie has excelled among the excellent, deserving the Outstanding Senior award! Congratulations, Sophie!” Professor Doblas Madrid said.