A Love for Teaching
“I was introduced to economics while I was in high school, and I felt an instant connection with the subject,” says Bisrat Kinfemichael, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics in the School of Management. “Right away, I was fascinated by how economics principles explain human behavior regarding consumption, and the study of demand responsiveness to price changes was also intriguing for me at the beginning.”
Even amidst his own professional success, Kinfenmichael has always understood the value of education and the importance of investing in future talent. “I’ve been fortunate to work in various industries, the private sector, non-government, and government organizations, but eventually I realized I love the academic life for its independence and how it provides an opportunity to positively impact students,” he says. Kinfenmichael has especially enjoyed his time teaching at New York Tech. “The students come from different backgrounds, cultures, states, and countries. They are smart, eager to learn, and strive to contribute to the well-being of society.”
His passion for teaching has led Kinfenmichael to help develop a vital and practical curriculum, including a new M.S. in Risk Management. After presenting the Economic Risk course at the Senate Curriculum Committee meeting and assisting with the state program approval process, Kinfenmichael began teaching the course in the fall 2022 semester. “To my knowledge, New York Tech is the first institution to offer a course in economic risk,” he says.
Originally from Ethiopia, Kinfenmichael earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics from Addis Ababa University and went on to get a Ph.D. in economics from Southern Illinois University. Throughout his academic career, his research has focused on structural change, labor productivity, and economic convergence. In 2020, his work attracted the attention of the Office of Productivity and Technology at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), resulting in an invitation to make a presentation at the BLS office in Washington, D.C. Since then, Kinfemichael has expanded his research to analyze the composition of the United States economy in terms of output and employment share of sectors over time, and how that affects aggregate American labor productivity. “The project examines the rise in service sectors’ contribution to the economy with widely varying productivity levels, such as the highly productive information industry and the low productive accommodation and food sector, and how that affects total labor productivity,” he explains. The resulting paper is currently under review at Economics Letters.
Kinfenmichael says that in today’s competitive job market and ever-changing economy, earning an M.B.A. can mean all the difference in job prospects. “Contemporary business operations and environments are also becoming more advanced and complex,” he says. “New York Tech’s M.B.A. program equips business students with cutting-edge applications and tools that help them navigate today’s competitive business landscape.”