Review Board Member Bios

Auburn University

Nicolas Ziebarth serves as the Chair of the ARDC Review Board and is the Ekelund and Herbert Associate Professor of Economics at Auburn University and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research is focused on American economic history, particularly the first half of the 20th century. Nicolas wrote his dissertation under Joel Mokyr at Northwestern University on the Great Depression drawing on hand-collected establishment schedules from the Census of Manufactures in the 1930s. His work has appeared in such journals as AEJ: MacroJournal of Economic History, and Journal of Law and Economics among others. As an undergraduate, he majored in economics, mathematics, and philosophy at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Emory University

Benjamin Druss is the first Rosalynn Carter Chair in Mental Health at Emory University.  He is working to build linkages between mental health, general medical health, and public health, and works closely with Carter Center Mental Health Program, where he is a member of the Mental Health Task Force and Journalism Task Force. He has been a member of two Institute of Medicine Committees, and has served as an expert consultant to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Elena Pesavento is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Emory University. She is an Econometrician specialized in Time Series Analysis. Her research interests are in the area of non-stationary variables, structural breaks, unit roots, near unit roots and cointegration with applications to the fields of international finance and macroeconomics.  Dr. Pesavento received a bachelor degree in Statistics from University of Padova in Italy and a Ph.D. in Economics from University of California San Diego. She has been at Emory since 2000.  She is currently on the editorial board of Empirical Economics.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Veronika Penciakova is a research economist and assistant adviser on the macroeconomics and monetary policy team in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Her major field of study is macroeconomics with a focus on firm dynamics, financial frictions, and innovation. Prior to joining the bank in 2019, Dr. Penciakova was a pathways intern at the U.S. Census Bureau and research assistant and instructor at the University of Maryland while pursuing her graduate degree. Dr. Penciakova received her PhD in economics from the University of Maryland, her master’s degree in development studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and her bachelor’s degrees in economics and international affairs from George Washington University.

John Robertson is a senior policy adviser and economist on the macroeconomics and monetary policy team in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. His research has been widely published, covering a variety of macroeconomic and microeconomic topics, and he is one of the Bank’s senior monetary policy advisers. He also contributes to the Atlanta Fed’s macroblog, which provides commentary on economic issues, including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, and the Southeast economy, and he gives public talks on a range of economic subjects. Dr. Robertson joined the Atlanta Fed’s research department in December 1997 from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. A native of Dunedin, New Zealand, Dr. Robertson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and earned his PhD in economics from Virginia Tech in 1992.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Daniel Dench joined Georgia Tech’s School of Economics and the Health Economics & Analytics Lab (HEAL) in the Fall of 2020. His research in health economics has dealt primarily with how policies affect the use of harmful substances. Most recently his work has focused on whether restrictions in advertising or taxation of electronic cigarettes affect whether adult smokers quit traditional cigarettes. He also runs experiments in higher education studying how shifts to information and incentives can influence motivation to complete work. Finally, he studies issues related to school choice, such as how enrollment mechanisms affect segregation in large urban schools districts. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Daniel completed his PhD in economics at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and was a research assistant at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Manasa Gopal is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Tech. Her research interests lie in financial intermediation and corporate finance, studying business lending in the U.S. with a special focus on the role of nonbanks in small business lending. Dr. Gopal received her Ph.D. in Finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University in May 2020.

Georgia State University

Carlianne Patrick an associate professor in the Department of Economics at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Her research is focused on policy-relevant topics investigating how local variation in economic incentives and other conditions affect economic agents. One strand of research focuses on the effect of, and theoretical justification for, policies aimed at altering firm decisions, such as where to locate (i.e., economic development policies). Another explores the effect of local public goods and tax policies on households’ location decisions and housing. A third studies how locational characteristics influence labor market outcomes.

Amy Spring joined the Sociology Department at GSU in 2015 after completing her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and a research fellowship at UW’s Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology. Her primary research centers on neighborhood context, residential mobility, and spatial inequality in the city. Her recent work examines processes of residential mobility and neighborhood selection, utilizing data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. In collaboration with colleagues at several other universities, she is examining how the location and characteristics of neighborhoods inhabited by nuclear and extended family members influences the likelihood of moving between poor and nonpoor neighborhoods and between neighborhoods of varying racial composition. She is also investigating how neighborhoods affect health and wellness, especially at older ages. She is also collaborating with colleagues at several other universities to assess the ongoing impacts of the recent foreclosure crisis on racial residential segregation.

Tulane University

Gary (Hoov) Hoover is the Executive Director of the Murphy Institute and a professor in the Department of Economics at Tulane University. Since 2012, he has been co-chair of the American Economic Association Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession, and is the founding editor of the Journal of Economics, Race and Policy. Hoov has served as Vice-President of the Southern Economic Association and a fellow of CESifo Group Munich. Previous appointments include President’s Associates Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma and chair of the university’s Department of Economics, the William White McDonald Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the University of Alabama and Assistant Dean for Faculty and Graduate Student Development in the Culverhouse College of Business Administration.

University of Georgia

Rebecca Nesbit is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. She received her Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2008, specializing in nonprofit management, volunteerism and philanthropy. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Brigham Young University. Dr. Nesbit’s research explores issues of philanthropy and volunteerism, public policy and management in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Peter Newberry is Associate Professor in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. He earned his PhD in Economics at The University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012 with a focus on Industrial Organization and Econometrics. Much of Peter’s research is on the Industrial Organization of digital markets, with an emphasis on issues that are unique to these markets. His work has been published in leading economics and marketing journals such as The RAND Journal of Economics, The International Economic Review, and The Journal of Marketing Research. He teaches courses in Industrial Organization and Sports Economics.

University of Tennessee

Celeste Carruthers is the William F. Fox Distinguished Professor of Labor Economics in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee with a joint appointment in the Department of Economics and the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research. Her research centers on education policy with crossovers into public economics, labor economics, and economic history. Recent and ongoing projects examine the effect of financial aid on college choices, career and technical education, and the consequences of segregated schools in the early 20th-century United States. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public expenditure analysis, causal inference, and econometrics.

Vanderbilt University

Gilbert Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the department, he was a research assistant at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) where he used federal surveys to report state-level measures of population health and health care. Dr. Gonzales’ research examines how state-level social policies and health reforms affect health and access to medical care in vulnerable families and children. His dissertation, for instance, examined the impact of same-sex marriage laws on health insurance coverage among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples and their children. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Pediatrics, JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Gonzales completed his Ph.D. in Health Policy at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, a Master of Health Administration from the University of North Texas Health Science Center and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Biology from Baylor University.

Community Member

Annette Tower joined the Marketing Department at Clemson University in 2019 and holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Tennessee. In her research, she leverages econometric models and innovative datasets to investigate strategic marketing issues such as resource allocations, inter-firm relationships and global marketing strategies. Annette has work experience in PR, sales, small business development, and is a native of Germany.