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College of Business hosts Market Outlook 2015


On April 3, Florida Gulf Coast University students will have the opportunity to attend the Market Outlook 2015 Conference at no monetary cost.

Douglas G. Duncan from Fannie Mae, David E. Altig from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Gary Jackson, FGCU professor of economics and director of the Regional Economic Research Institute, will be speaking at the event.

Christopher Westley, Ph.D., associate director of the RERI and one of the organizers of the conference, says this is a great opportunity for students who have questions about the state of the economy.

“It’s not every day they have a chance to mingle with these types of thinkers and policymakers,” Westley said. “Students have questions about what’s going on.”

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Finance and economics students were given the opportunity to submit questions in the form of essays to ask the speakers. Almost 100 students submitted questions. A committee made up of Professors Westley and Gizelle Perretti, along with two employees from the Mortgage Bankers Association of Southwest Florida, will read these submissions and select three students to personally ask their questions at the event.

Those three students will receive scholarships of  $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively.

Although this is not the first speaker event the Lutgert College of Business has sponsored, it is the first to have an essay contest. Westley says the contest was implemented to increase student involvement in the event.“We wanted to include students in any way we possibly could,” Westley said.

Westley is expecting approximately 200 people to attend the event, and he is expecting about 70 of those people to be students.

Students and Lutgert faculty will not be charged for tickets, but anyone else who wishes to attend must pay $20 for a ticket. Tickets will be available at the door for $30. There are still student seats available for the event, so interested students should email Westley at [email protected] by noon on March 27 to reserve a spot.

Despite the focus on business students, Westley says that all students could learn a lot from this event.

“I think this event would be important to students because there is economic research that suggests that one’s lifetime earnings is explained in part by the state of the business cycle when they graduate,” Westley said.

Market Outlook 2015 will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Cohen Center Ballroom. The event is being sponsored by the city of Bonita Springs, Naples Daily News, Southwest Florida Mortgage Group at Christensen Financial Inc. and the MBA of Southwest Florida.

Any funds raised by ticket sales will go toward the cost of the event and scholarships for essay contest winners.

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