Jeannette Wicks-Lim was drawn to economics not because of its focus on numbers but because of its impact on people. Jeannette's interest in economics evolved slowly, beginning in her first years at the University of Michigan when she became active in social change organizations that addressed such issues as racial discrimination, homelessness and reproductive rights for women. "I realized that access to economic resources, such as jobs, housing and medical care, was a crucial component to achieving the political goals of these various groups," she says, "and that access to economic resources is essential to people fulfilling their civic and human potential."
By coming to understand our economic system--how the labor market works, why people have high or low incomes, how to provide affordable medical care--Jeannette believes people can work more effectively on social issues. In her graduate work at the University of Massachusetts she is researching living wage ordinances that have been established around the nation in recent years.
As with her personal approach to economics and activism, Jeannette believes in teaching economics "not just as facts and figures but as a social science that reflects ideological perspectives."
Marlboro's Town Meeting offers students a unique and important opportunity for community participation and activism, she says; "teaching that kind of community social responsibility is so necessary but so rare." She sees tremendous opportunities for student engagement offered both by Marlboro's governance structure and within its academics, with the emphasis on self-initiated study within small classes and tutorials.
BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1993; Graduate coursework, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1996—1997; Doctoral candidate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1997—present.