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St. John’s Honors Outstanding Students in Economics and Finance

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nicholas Onofrio Carleo, Christopher Carney, Pengzi Huang, Salomon Iskhakov, Iveta Karapetian, Liam J. Kenny, Jr. and Michael James Richards became the newest members of St. John’s University’s Theta Chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon during its 52nd annual induction ceremony held on Monday, May 5, 2014 in the D’Angelo Center, Queens campus. These students demonstrate outstanding academic standing in their major, maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA in their economics and finance coursework.  

“I am so proud of these young people for having accomplished so much up to this point,” said Dr. A. Joyce Furfero, moderator of the society and emcee for the event. “They deserve a lot of credit. I wish them well as they graduate and enter the real world. I hope that they continue on the high road throughout their careers.” 

Each year, the international economics honors society recognizes an individual who has distinguished him/herself in economics or an economics-related field outside of academia. This year’s keynote speaker and outside inductee Thomas Anderer spoke to the students and their parents about the importance of career and retirement planning. The 37-year veteran of IBM who retired in 2005 as chief financial officer of IBM’s Venezuelan operations and has come to St. John’s to teach economics and finance as an adjunct. 

The society also inducted Dr. James Bareese, professor of risk management, insurance and actuarial science, whose scholarly work applies economic theory to insurance and risk management issues. Barrese holds the Robert F. Carroon Chair of Risk Economics in Tobin’s School of Risk Management. 

Facilitating the event were Dr. Victoria Shoaf, dean of the Tobin College of Business, who opened with a history of the society and its importance to the students and then handed out the certificates during the induction ceremony; Fr. Patrick Flanagan, theology professor from St. John’s College, who gave the invocation; Fran Vroulis, the ODE coordinator, and Charlotte Mischner, the assistant coordinator, who made all of the behind-the-scenes arrangements for the induction and dinner. 

Omicron Delta Epsilon is one of the world’s largest academic honor societies (681 chapters). It was created in 1963 through the merger of two honor societies, Omicron Delta Gamma and Omicron Chi Epsilon. Omicron Delta Gamma (or The Order of Artus) was founded in 1915 by renowned economists, John R. Commons, University of Wisconsin, and Frank Taussig, Harvard University, with the intent to encourage a closer academic and social relationship between honor students and faculty on an informal basis and to facilitate the exchange of information and views. Omicron Chi Epsilon was founded in 1955 by Alan A. Brown, a student at City College of New York, with the intent to provide means not only to confer suitable honors on the more promising students and to encourage scholarship by organized meetings at conferences and through the publication of its official journal (American Economist).