ACRE: Our People


Jeremy Horpedahl, PhD
Jeremy Horpedahl is the Director of ACRE, and an associate professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas. 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. Prior to taking on the role of Director, Dr. Horpedahl was a researcher with ACRE since joining the UCA faculty in 2015.

Educational Programs Manager

Terra Aquia, MAT

Terra Aquia is ACRE’s Educational Programs Manager. She received her B.A. in History in 2016 and a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2022. In her role, she works with a variety of scholars to create interdisciplinary social studies educational content for K- 12 teachers & students in Arkansas. Her research focuses on best practices for interdisciplinary teaching and active-learning pedagogy.


Suzanne Massey, BBA

Suzanne Massey oversees the administrative and accounting components of ACRE by ensuring best practices, excellent controls, and attention to detail. Suzanne 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. In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys being outdoors, cooking, and reading.



Research & Program Coordinator

Elise Ormonde


Elise Ormonde is a Research & Program Coordinator for the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. She received her B.A. in Economics, minor in Psychology from Hendrix College in 2022. Additionally, she is interested in conducting research within applied microeconomics and targeted economic incentives. Outside of work, Elise enjoys traveling, reading and walking with her dog, Dempsey.

Policy Analysts

Joyce O. Ajayi, PhD

Joyce  Ajayi is a policy analyst with Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. She brings to her work a background in law, government, and nonprofits. Her research interests include political economics, government transparency, leadership development, and social change. She received her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from the University of Central Arkansas in 2022, concentrating in community leadership and change. 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 and the Jonesboro Sun.

ACRE-Affiliated UCA Economics Faculty


Rania Al-Bawwab, PhD, MS, MA, MBA
ACRE Visiting Assistant Professor

Rania Al-Bawwab is the ACRE Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics. She earned a Ph.D. in economics at Middle Tennessee State University, an MBA and MA in economics at Troy University, an MS in Agriculture at Jordan University of Science and Technology and a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture at University of Jordan. Dr. Al-Bawwab’s research interests include public choice, Austrian economics, political economy, Islamic finance, and Islamic economics. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and writing. Her native language is Arabic and she has published a collection of short stories in Arabic titled The Promise.


Jacob Bundrick, MS
ACRE Affiliated Scholar

Jacob Bundrick, a native of northwest Arkansas, is a lecturer of economics at the University of Central Arkansas and an affiliated ACRE Scholar. Prior to joining the UCA faculty, he was a full-time policy analyst with ACRE from 2015-2019. 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.

Collin Hodges, PhD
ACRE Undergraduate Research Fellows Coordinator
Collin Hodges is an Assistant Professor of Economics at UCA where he teaches courses in Global Environment of Business, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics. He co-leads an ACRE economics reading group each semester and also serves as the ACRE Undergraduate Research Fellows Coordinator. He completed his Master’s and Ph.D. at West Virginia University, and earned his Bachelor’s in Economics from the College of Charleston. His primary research fields are health and public economics, with particular emphasis on research related to contemporary public health crises. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including Contemporary Economic Policy and Growth & Change.

Mavuto Kalulu, PhD
ACRE Affiliated Scholar
Mavuto Kalulu is an Assistant Professor of Economics at UCA and an affiliated ACRE scholar. He was a full-time policy analyst with ACRE from 2014 to 2022 before joining the UCA faculty. 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, Southern Business Journal, Midwestern Business and Economic Review, the Southwest Business and Economic Journal, and Citizenship, Democracies, and Media Engagement among Emerging Economies and Marginalized Communities (Palgrave Macmillan). His writing has been featured in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Jonesboro Sun, and the Log Cabin Democrat.

Thomas Snyder, PhD
ACRE Scholar

Thomas Snyder is chair of the Department of Economics, Finance, and Insurance & Risk Management, and a 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, Senior Seminar, 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 PolicyJournal of Economics and BusinessBE Journal of Economic AnalysisJournal of Regional Analysis & Policy, and the Eastern Economic Journal. He has also served four years as the resident master of EPIC Residential College, an entrepreneurship-based program at UCA.