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Student Spotlight

Christa Jensen

Christa Jensen

Doctoral student receives international award for economics paper

September 10, 2010

Christa Jensen, a Ph.D. student at the WVU College of Business and Economics, recently won an award for research that examines how commercial and industrial waste moves between geographical areas and how it relates to economic and socio-economic characteristics.

A native of Tennessee, she received an undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Spanish. She received a master’s degree in economics at WVU in 2008.

The paper, co-authored with Stuart McIntyre of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, is titled "What Causes Waste Flows? An Interregional Analysis of Welsh Waste Shipments."

Jensen, a graduate research fellow at WVU’s Regional Research Institute (RRI), and McIntyre chose Wales because it is one of the few places that collect data on solid waste shipments within the country.

“My interests have always been at the intersection of economics and the environment,” she said. “I enjoy studying how economic decisions affect environmental outcomes. Some of my current research aims to determine how consumption decisions affect waste creation. However, it occurred to me that waste is almost never created and disposed of in the same location.”

Jensen said she is interested in the “origin of waste and its final destination at a regional level.”

The award, Early Career/Doctoral Student Award for Best Paper, was presented at the 39th Annual Meetings of the British and Irish Section of the Regional Science Association International in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Christa came to WVU due to our specialty in regional economics and the University's international reputation as a center of excellence regional science—an interdisciplinary mix of economics, geography, planning, resource economics, and related fields,” commented Dr. Brian Cushing, associated professor of economics. “I think Christa's experiences and success show the value of collaboration across academic and research units at WVU. Christa has always been a superb student and a real go-getter. She loves academic research and has jumped at any opportunity to expand her horizons and knowledge, even opportunities that have taken her out of her comfort zone temporarily, including overseas travel to work with internationally known scholars. Her success is no surprise.”

Jensen’s RRI advisor, Dr. Randall Jackson, said he thinks Jensen has a solid career in research ahead. “Christa’s academic goals are increasingly well-defined, and she has a good sense of her career prospects and priorities,” he said. “I am completely confident that she will succeed in attaining the career goals she sets.”