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School of Education

Cohort: 2012

Advisor(s):

  • Robert Hampel, Carlos Asarta

Specialization(s):

Economic Education

Research Interest(s)

Gender economics, economic literacy, instructional methods in secondary and higher education

Laura Ahlstrom

Prior to beginning her PhD at the University of Delaware, Laura Ahlstrom earned a B.S.E. in Social Studies Education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in History from Villanova University. Her Master’s thesis focused on Loyalist women during the American Revolution. Ahlstrom taught advanced placement economics and other social studies courses at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, where she also served for two years as president of the Tredyffrin-Easttown Education Association. Her research interests include gender economics, economic literacy, and instructional methods in secondary and higher education. She believes that economics instruction should begin in elementary school, which would allow for a “spiraling up” of the curriculum and improve economic literacy in our society.

Dissertation

Where are the Women? The Gender Gap among Undergraduate Economics and Finance majors

Since the 1980s more women than men have been attending and graduating from institutions of higher education; however, certain undergraduate majors lack gender diversity, including Economics and Finance. Although the overall ratio of male to female Business majors is approximately equal nationwide, women comprise only about 25-30% of the economics and finance majors. Ahlstrom plans to use institutional data from the University of Delaware to assess what factors contribute to the gender gap in these fields and to investigate how males and females differ in their navigation of the major selection process.

 Education

  • B.S.E. in Social Studies Education, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Millersville, PA
  • M.A. in History, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

 Professional Experience

  • Teaching Assistant, Economics, University of Delaware (2013–present)
  • Graduate Assistant, Master of Arts in Economics and Entrepreneurship for Educators, University of Delaware (2015)
  • Graduate Assistant, Delaware Social Studies Education Project, University of Delaware (2012–2013)
  • Teacher of advanced placement economics and other social studies courses at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA
  • President of the Tredyffrin-Easttown Education Association, Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA

Publications

Presentations

  • “Women in Economics and Finance: What the Research Shows,” University of Delaware’s Women in Business Summit, April-May 2016.
  • “Gender Differences in Primary School Attendance in Nigeria,” University of Delaware Graduate Student Forum, April 2016.
  • “Individual and Household Determinants of Child School Attendance in Nigeria,” University of Delaware Steele Symposium Poster Session, April 2015.
  • “Introduction to the Three-Range Aggregate Supply Curve: A Cooperative Learning Activity,” Allied Social Science Associations Conference Poster Session, January 2014.