ACRE: Our People

Director

David Mitchell, PhD

Email: dmitchell@uca.edu

Dr. David Mitchell is the Director of the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. He earned his B.S. and MA in economics from Clemson University and was awarded his PhD from George Mason University. While at George Mason, he had the pleasure of studying under two Nobel laureates: James Buchanan and Vernon Smith. Prior to earning his PhD, he worked in the insurance industry in both the United States and Germany. Before starting at the University of Central Arkansas, he taught at St. Mary’s College of California, Washington and Lee University, and the University of South Alabama. At the University of Central Arkansas, Dr. Mitchell teaches Principles of Economics, Public Finance, and Econometrics. His research interests include state-level public finance and entrepreneurship policy. He has published in the Southern Economic Journal, the Journal of Small Business Management, the American Journal of Managed Care, Small Business Economics and Forbes. He and his family live in Little Rock.

Assistant Director

ACRE-Seize-the-Daisies-Photography(HighRes)(11of209)Christy Horpedahl, MA

Email: chorpedahl@uca.edu

Ms. Christy Horpedahl is the assistant director at the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. Before coming to the University of Central Arkansas, Ms. Horpedahl taught as an adjunct professor at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. She was a faculty member in the Buena Vista University’s Gender and Women’s Studies program and has lectured numerous times on the causes of the gender pay gap. She has taught courses on censorship; utopias, dystopias, and intentional communities; the lives and works of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley; and George Orwell’s major works. Ms. Horpedahl received her masters of social science from the University of Chicago with a focus on the intersection of economics and psychology. Her undergraduate degree is from the renowned “Great Books” school, St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. She lives in Conway with her family.

Program Coordinator

ACRE-Seize-the-Daisies-Photography(HighRes)(6of209)Terra Aquia, BA

Email: tvotaw@uca.edu

Terra Aquia is the Program Coordinator at the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. She is from the Tennessee mountains, but has called Conway, Arkansas home since 2013. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in the spring of 2016 with a BA in history and a minor in anthropology. In her role, she works with a variety of scholars to create economics-focused educational content for K- 12 teachers in Arkansas.

Research and Program Assistant

Zach Burt, MPA

Email: zburt1@uca.edu

Mr. Zachary Burt is a research and program assistant at the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. He graduated from the University of Arkansas Little Rock with a BA in anthropology and a minor in history, and  a Master of Public Administration. His research at ACRE involves occupational licensing and property rights. Zach currently resides in Little Rock and his hobbies include cooking, travel, and exploring Arkansas’s rivers and mountains.

Communications Manager

Caleb Taylor, BA

Email: ctaylor32@uca.edu

Mr. Caleb Taylor is the communications manager at the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. Before joining ACRE, he worked as a journalist for six years at print and online outlets such as the Advance Arkansas Institute, Pennsylvania Independent, the Paragould Daily Press, and the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record. He graduated in 2011 with a BA in history from Henderson State University. He lives in Conway. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, chess, and playing tennis.

Policy Analysts

Joyce Ajayi, MPS

Email: oajayi1@uca.edu

Joyce O. Ajayi is a policy analyst with Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE). She brings to her work a background in law, government, and nonprofits. Her research interests include government transparency, issues related to women’s empowerment, and children’s rights. She is a candidate in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Leadership Studies program at the University of Central Arkansas. She holds a master’s degree in public service from the University of Arkansas’s Clinton School of Public Service and law degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and the Nigerian Law School. Her work on government transparency has been published in the Southwest Business and Economic Journal. Her writings have been featured in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

 


Joseph Johns, MA

Email: jjohns@uca.edu

Joseph Johns is a policy analyst with the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. Johns focuses his research on taxes and spending. He recently graduated from George Mason University as a MA Fellow at the Mercatus Center, where he assisted Mercatus scholars with state-level economic research. He currently lives in Little Rock and enjoys spending time outdoors.

 

 


Mavuto Kalulu, PhD

Email: mkalulu@uca.edu

Dr. Mavuto Kalulu is a policy analyst with the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. He is also an affiliated member of the graduate faculty in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies program at the University of Central Arkansas. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Mississippi in 2014, concentrating in public choice and industrial organization. His research interests include governmental transparency, good governance, and K–12 education. He also holds an MBA from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. His work has been published in the Journal of Development and Communications, the eJournal of Education Policy, and Citizenship, Democracies, and Media Engagement among Emerging Economies and Marginalized Communities (Palgrave Macmillan). His other work has been accepted for publication in the Southern Business Journal, Midwestern Business and Economic Review, and the Southwest Business and Economic Journal. His writing has been featured in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Jonesboro Sun, and the Log Cabin Democrat.

Administrator

ACRE-Seize-the-Daisies-Photography(HighRes)(4of209)Suzanne Massey, BBA

Email: smassey@uca.edu

Ms. Suzanne Massey graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a BBA, and before coming to ACRE, spent a number of years managing operations in the hospitality sector, the education field, and the finance industry. She has extensive knowledge and experience in accounting, human resources, legal compliance, and business administration. At ACRE, Suzanne oversees the financial accounting of the program by ensuring best practices, excellent controls, and attention to detail. In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys being outdoors, cooking, and reading.

ACRE Scholar

ACRE-Seize-the-Daisies-Photography(HighRes)(20of209)Jeremy Horpedahl, PhD

Emailjhorpedahl@uca.edu

Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl is an associate professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas as well as an ACRE Scholar. He received his PhD in economics from George Mason University in 2009, concentrating in public choice, public finance, and economic history. His research has been published in Econ Journal Watch, Constitutional Political Economy, the Atlantic Economic Journal, Public Choice, and Public Finance and Management. Dr. Horpedahl has also published op-eds in a variety of regional and national publications. In addition to his academic publications, several of his policy briefs and papers on favoritism and state tax codes have been published by the Mercatus Center at GMU.

ACRE Scholar

ACRE-Seize-the-Daisies-Photography(LowRes)(2of2)Thomas Snyder, PhD

Email: tjsnyder@uca.edu

Dr. Thomas Snyder is department chair and associate professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas as well as an ACRE Scholar. He earned his BA in economics at Florida State University and his PhD in economics at Florida International University. At UCA, Dr. Snyder has taught Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Environmental Economics, Economics of Developing Nations, Econometrics, Comparative Economic Systems, and International Trade. His main research interests are economic freedom, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. Dr. Snyder has published articles in several journals, including the Journal of Private Enterprise, the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, and the Eastern Economic Journal. He has also served four years as the resident master of EPIC Residential College, an entrepreneurship-based program for upper-level students at UCA.

Affiliated Scholar

ACRE-Seize-the-Daisies-Photography(HighRes)(15of209)Jacob Bundrick, MS

Email: jbundrick@uca.edu

Mr. Jacob Bundrick, a native of northwest Arkansas, is a lecturer of economics at the University of Central Arkansas and an affiliated ACRE Scholar. His research spans public finance, financial economics, and economic development. Mr. Bundrick’s research has been published in the Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, International Advances in Economic Research, and the Review of Regional Studies. His articles have been featured in Bloomberg BNA, the Baltimore Sun, Dallas Morning News, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Business, and Talk Business & Politics. He has also been a guest speaker on the Conduit News Radio, the Dave Elswick Show, and the Doc Washburn Show. Mr. Bundrick earned a BBA in economics from the University of Central Arkansas, where he received a scholarship to play football for the UCA Bears, and an MS in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University.