Academics: Majors and Programs

Spelman College Graduates with President Beverly Daniel Tatum

Success Adds Up for Economic Majors (continued)

You can’t predict where a Spelman student succeeds, but rising to rarified heights is normal. The executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, is a Spelman economics graduate.

Jerri DeVard, C’79, oversees communications, brand management and marketing. Prior to joining the company, the consumer brand veteran, had her own marketing firm and had worked at companies including Harrah’s, Citigroup and Verizon.

At the latter, as senior vice president for marketing and brand management, and in other senior positions she honed the skills she wields today. The HBCU inspiration also earned an M.B.A. in marketing at Clark Atlanta University.

Finding the Framework of Economics

At Spelman, economics majors study one of the most complex disciplines.  But, under Chair Romie Tribble, Ph.D., that means learning “to apply the analytical and theoretical framework of economics in the investigation of societal problems by exhibiting a comprehension of the economic method and its mode of inquiry.”

All economic majors have gained quantitative skills. But those who work with the public directly must also understand human impact of economic decision-making as the sources and uses of dollars and cents as they play out in how people feed, clothe, warm and shelter themselves.

The result is that Spelman has economics alumnae working at leading domestic and global companies, the public sector and at important nonprofits.

For example, Bathsheba Bryant, a Spelman class of 2008 honor graduate with a degree in economics, is expanding the reach of her discipline. After working for the National Agricultural Statistics Service, in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bryant went back to school.  Now, she is pursuing a doctorate in the department of African Studies, specializing in development and public policy, at Howard University.

Related article by Romie Tribble Jr., Ph.D., professor and chair of economics:
How to Weather the Economic Downturn