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Assistant Professor Economics
At Knox Since: 2000
After teaching at Vassar College and Northwestern University,
Jonathan Powers joined Knox College's economics department in 2000.
In the classroom, Powers, who received his Ph.D. from Northwestern
University, draws students into theoretical issues through everyday
examples. A specialist in microeconomics, industrial organization, and the teaching of economics, he has written numerous articles on his research topics, made several conference presentations, served as a discussant, and chaired several sessions at the American Economic Association meetings and other economic conferences. Outside of the classroom, Powers is active in faculty committees and recruitment events and is an engaged academic and honors advisor. He is also the coach of Knox's water polo clubs, which have gone to two National Club Championships in the past four years, and has been named Heartland Division Coach of the Year three times by the Collegiate Water Polo Association.
Because they offered me a job. Seriously, having been an undergraduate at Amherst and a graduate student at Northwestern, I knew I wanted to work at a small liberal arts college. It is a lot of fun to be able to teach smart kids in small classes, and there aren't a whole lot of places in the country where a professor gets to do that. I honestly can't think of a better place to teach.
Describe your current research.
I'm currently looking at and trying to explain the pattern of pricing that appears to exist in retail gasoline.
What do you do when you're not teaching, researching, or coaching?
Eating and sleeping, though not necessarily in that order. Knox keeps me pretty busy.
What were the last three books you read?
1491 by Charles Mann, The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki and Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers by Kwame Appiah.
What did you do to celebrate receiving tenure?
Finished grading. It was a little anticlimactic. President Taylor told me on a Monday afternoon, and I still had exams and papers to grade. But I guess that's the lesson: just because you get tenure, the work doesn't stop.