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Dr. Michael K. Salemi, 2014 Finalist, earned his B.A. in economics eggregia cum laude from St. Mary's College, a master's degree in economics from Purdue University in 1969, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1976. He joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976 and currently serves as Professor Emeritus of Economics.
Salemi also has received several teaching awards, including the 2012 Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award from the Southern Economic Association, the Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction from the University of North Carolina from 1987-1990 and 2005-2010, the 2007 Great Teacher in Economics Award from the Gus Stavros Center at Florida State University, the 1998 Marvin Bower Medal from the National Council on Economic Education for significant contributions to American students' understanding of economics, and the 2001 Villard Research Award from the Association of Economic Educators. Involved with teacher education since 1974, Salemi has chaired the Committee on Economic Education of the American Economic Association (AEA) and was co-principal investigator for an AEA-National Science Foundation project to promote interactive teaching strategies in college-level economics courses. He was elected to the Society of Economics Educators and served as president in 2004.
Salemi is the author of more than 40 published articles in macroeconomics, domestic and international monetary theory, and economic education. His recent projects deal with optimal monetary policy, strategies for reforming the college-level principles of economics course, and using discussion of classic and current articles to teach undergraduate economics.