Dr. Carlos Asarta, associate professor of practice in economics at the UNL College of Business Administration, came nearly halfway around the world to study and eventually teach at Nebraska.
Now part of his major focus at CBA is to make sure other children have the same opportunities that he had through groundbreaking research in financial literacy.
Asarta, originally from Toledo, Spain, received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNL. His interest in studying financial literacy began when he attended a couple of conferences on economics and financial literacy.
“I was very surprised with the findings in the literature showing a general lack of financial literacy among high school students," Asarta said.
“Partnering with the Nebraska Council for Economic Education and its President [and fellow CBA faculty member], Roger Butters, to conduct research in financial literacy has been very rewarding and productive.”
TAKING ECONOMICS DIGITAL
Earlier this year Asarta, along with Butters, announced an agreement with McGraw-Hill Higher Education to develop the first-ever fully digital curriculum for the economics course. The curriculum includes electronic learning tools that help present interactive content in a way that is not possible through traditional textbooks.
“Today’s students are using technology more and more to learn. Our partnership with McGraw-Hill will revolutionize the way students learn economics.”
DEFINING TEACHING EXCELLENCE
Asarta was recently awarded his fourth certificate of recognition for contributions to students by the UNL Teaching Council and UNL Parents Association. He has been recognized nearly every year during his brief tenure at the college.
“In troubling economic times it is especially important for people to have basic financial literacy,” Scott Fuess, chair of the CBA economics department added. ”Through both his teaching and research, Carlos is fulfilling a valuable role, helping to teach people to make sound decisions on money matters.”
LEADING STUDENTS TO DISCOVERY
Asarta has also taken an active role in advising students that participate in UNL’s UCARE program, which gives undergraduates the chance to do their own research projects and co-author research papers.
“I worked with one of our undergraduate students, Shannon McCoy, for the past two years on a UCARE grant,” said Asarta. “He was instrumental in supporting my research efforts in the area of financial literacy and became a co-author, along with Roger Butters, in a recent paper that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Economics and Finance Education.”