You could say Alicia Dang, assistant professor of economics, is seasonally adjusted. She grew up in Vietnam and lived all over the globe before settling in Schenectady.
She earned an International Baccalaureate from United World College in Hong Kong and a B.A. from Brown University. She completed her master’s degree from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom before returning to the United States to complete her Ph.D. at George Washington University. She has also spent time living in Paris and Seoul, and has traveled in Austria, Slovakia, Singapore, Taiwan and other parts of Asia and Europe.
Dang’s research focuses on the role of policy, technology and political connections in economic growth and industrial competitiveness. Before arriving at Union in 2020, she worked on various projects with the World Bank, United Nations and the Asian Development Bank.
“I try to incorporate the perspectives gained from my international travel and policy work experience into my teaching with the goal of inspiring my students to develop academic and professional interests in issues facing the world outside their own,” she said.
In her free time, Dang enjoys outdoor activities such as running, hiking and biking, and attending cultural events and music festivals.
FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:
Whatever shows up first on my phone - usually it is a horse race among WhatsApp, email, weather and SMS. Oftentimes I choose to read the messages on WhatsApp first because they will usually be messages from family and friends who live half the globe away.
ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:
The ECO 101 textbook. I do not think I have read a book for leisure multiple times, but recently, as part of a book club on racial justice, I have been reading “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee. I highly recommend this book. It provides a powerful narrative backed up by compelling historical, contemporary and quantitative evidence on the costs of racism to society as a whole, not only some subpopulations or single individuals. This book opened my eyes to how much interconnectedness there is between the issues of race and economics, and how important it is for us to understand these issues and fight them together.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:
On the day before my final round, all-day interviews at Union, my flight kept being delayed and I ended up arriving in Schenectady around midnight, feeling completely drained and very much not ready for the “big day.” I shared those feelings with my Ph.D. advisor, and in response, he wrote, “Don't worry about it, you'll do fine! It's as though you had a fly-out abroad: you might have some jetlag, but it won't make much difference.” I took his advice, and the next day, I kept telling myself the dizziness and exhaustion I was feeling was jetlag from an international flight. So much power could be generated by just one thought, and I am here now.
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:
Sithu's sushi station in Reamer, where I get freshly made and delicious sushi for lunch every day and relax a little with a quick chat with Sithu. Sometimes my students happen to walk by. It is an activity that has given a sense of routine and joy to my life as a professor who started this job in the middle of the pandemic.
Pumpkin flax granola and milk, since 2014
NETFLIX OR AMAZON:
Netflix for its rich Korean drama content. Some of my favorite series are “Reply 1988” and “Reply 1994,” “Hospital Playlist” and “Hometown Cha Cha Cha.”
ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:
I would love to be able to grow mushrooms organically/from scratch at home. This would be my first project once I have my own backyard, and I would love to give free homegrown mushrooms to my colleagues and students!
ANOTHER SUBJECT YOU WISH YOU COULD TEACH:
History. I believe that meaningful and informative knowledge about the past is important for us to understand our present and figure out the direction for our future. Although I do a little bit of telling these stories in my courses, I would love to be able to do it as insightfully and beautifully as a true historian one day.
MOST CREATIVE EXCUSE YOU HEARD FOR A LATE ASSIGNMENT:
I did notice that on the days a written assignment (hard copy required) was due for my ECO 101 course, most of the printers on campus seemed to suddenly break down at the same time!