Teaching Philosophy:

Since receiving my Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles,

I have taught a range of classes including microeconomics,

macroeconomics, natural resource economics, industrial organization,

and public choice. I have had class sizes as small as eight, to as large as

250 students. I have taught entry-level freshman as well as masters-level

graduate students. Through this extensive teaching experience I have

discovered that one of the most effective ways to grab and hold a listener's

attention is to introduce a new concept with accompanying visual aids.

Heeding this lesson, I have developed the following teaching pyramid to

elaborate my teaching objectives. Similar to the food pyramid - that triangle

of good sense that used to be stamped on the side of nearly every cereal box

and that tells you how much you should eat of the different categories of food in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle – my teaching pyramid reminds me of the important teaching objectives I strive to implement every day I am in the classroom. Attending to these three objectives as much as possible when I teach leads to healthier, more balanced student development.

 

 

 

Constituting the foundation of the pyramid, my primary teaching objective is to effectively transmit the fundamentals of the course material in a clear, concise, and engaging manner. If the students do not have a grasp on the basic tools they need to succeed in the class and to make headway in understanding what economics is all about, how can I blame them for finding economics rather ‘dismal'?

 

My second teaching objective is to train students to engage in what I call “second-effect thinking.” If our textbook claims, for example, that rising unemployment leads to less consumer spending, I then ask, what does less consumer spending lead to? I seek answers such as lower federal income tax returns, larger government budget deficits, greater welfare spending, and other such valid long-term, rippling behavior. I encourage students to really think things through, and not merely offer automatic, simple, abbreviated answers.

 

Finally, my ultimate teaching objective is to instill a love of learning in my students. Being the economist that I am, and knowing that most behavior is incentive-driven, I try to impart the magic of knowledge to my students by demonstrating to them the liberating power knowledge can bring. Want to impress your parents over spring break? Tell them that you learned in intermediate economics how to calculate income distribution quintiles in the United States, and in so doing you discovered that as a student you are among the lowest fifth of all current income earners. Then ask your parents for more subsidies to finance your college education. I try to show students how exciting (and useful) a little bit of economic knowledge can be, and I believe I help to get this message across through my own enthusiastic teaching style.

 

In the end, to be an effective teacher, mentor, and advisor, you must love the day-to-day life of being a university instructor. You must enjoy running into students, answering their unexpected questions, and helping nudge tangled concepts into a degree of clarity in their minds. Personally, I am so passionate about teaching not just because I can make a difference in my students' lives, but because I know that they make a difference in mine. I can not think of a more fulfilling profession.

 

 

Courses Taught:

     Cost-Benefit Analysis

     Econometrics

     Graduate Microeconomics

     Industrial Organization

     Introduction to the American Economy      

     Microeconomics

     Microeconomics for Public Policy Administration

     Macroeconomics

     Natural Resource Economics

     Public Choice

     Public Finance

     

     

    Student Comments:

     "First I'd like to say thank you for everything you taught me this semester. This was my first semester taking

        any type of economics course. There were times when I really struggled with your course, but I never had

        one class period when I felt like I didn't learn anything. You are an excellent and fair professor! I want to make

        sure you know that. ... Once again, thank you for being a great educator and a great person who really

        worked to deliver understanding to your students!"  P.G.

     "I have taken courses in nearly every department at UMSL...and you were the first instructor in a long time

        that made me excited about something. There's distinct good in that reality."  K.F.

     "...this is why you're the best. Thank you for being someone who tries to work with people rather than talk down

        to them."  J.B.

     "I think you are one of the best, I learned a lot from you not just about Econ but how to study."  C.M.

     "Again thank you for...opening my mind as a conservation biologist and eliminating my biases! Have a good

        summer!"  D.D.

     "A few of us went for drinks after the final to unwind and we all just really enjoyed your class so much. For

        a person who never had much confidence in classes with a lot of math and science, I just feel that I

        overcame a huge obstruction. Thanks so much for everything."  L.R.

     "I must say that in spite of my grade I did learn a great deal of information from your class."  C.P.

     "I'm learning a tremendous deal in your class!"  A.H.

     "I like your class quite a lot and really enjoy your sense of humor and approach."  L.R.

     "I wanted to thank you first and foremost for the awesome semester, now I only think in terms of economics

        ...FOR EVERYTHING!!!"  C.H.

     "Between your class and budgeting, I learned more this semester than any other graduate semester in

        the past. ... Your class has taught me a great deal in 4 short months."  A.D.

     "I never, ever thought I would say it, but I think economics actually has a place in my life!"  R.C.

     "I hope you don't mind this unsolicited email... I just have to say well done."  D.K.

     "It speaks volumes that I enjoy your class so much...I genuinely am intersted in economics for the first time

        (which is like a whoa moment for me)."  K.E.

     " Though I won't be making a career change to an economist, I can say I find economics to be fascinating

        and I enjoyed the class immensely. Thank you."   J.B.

     " I have never thought I will actually understand or enjoy econ. Even though this class is introductory I want

        to get more economic classes in the future. I really want to learn more about it. Thank you for teaching

        economics in such an interesting and understandable way."   A.K.

     " This is why I like you so much.  Taking care of students.  Thanks a bunch."   M.B.

     "I really appreciate you being a great teacher.  It really keeps me motivated.  Thank you. "  S.L.

     "You did an excellent job teaching our Economics of Natural Resources class...you have an energetic

        style and are obviously interested in what you are teaching. You encouraged students to become informed

        on issues outside the classroom as well..."  L.J.

     "I would like to thank you for being a good professor, your lectures make lots of sense to me."  G.S.

     "I just wanted to thank you for the education you have passed on to me over the last 3 1/2 months. I thought

        you did an excellent job."  S.L.

     "I sure enjoyed your class. I tried to attend every class and was always glad when I did. This was the

        second time that I took it and I found it much more enjoyable this time. I even tried to sign up for your class

        next semester because I did learn so much.... Thank you so much."  A.V.

     "I wanted to let you know that I really did enjoy your course (even though my grade might not reflect it), and your

        teaching methods are great. I went into the course thinking that this will be the hardest class in the world, and

        even though I might have to take it again I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your course."  O.R.

     "I so enjoyed your lectures, you keep it interesting at all times. Seems like the hour just flies by. Take care. Great

        semester."  C.M.

     "I just wanted to expend a thank you for teaching me this semester.  I was very worried about Microeconomics,

        when I signed up for your class, but luckily I made it through just fine.  I really appreciate you taking your time

        to teach me."  M.S.

 

     "Most, the professor! Professor Kosnik, thank you for being one of the very few professors who showed interest

        in me as a student and person. This was my first semester here at UMSL adn you ahve made a profound

        impact on my life. I remember how rapidly you responded when I was emailing you questions about the

        course and text book before we had even began class. Thank you for considering the students when it came

        to options for the text book! Thank you for coming to class everyday and beign upbeat and fully invested in

        the material you were teaching...I cannot say it enough, but thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!"

     "Professor Kosnik is the s***! Love her!"

     "Probably the best teacher I have had in all my years of going to school. She made everything easy, and

        followed up with a ton of examples to help you get a better understanding of the big pictures."

     "I enjoyed Professor Kosnik and the way she taught the course. The information taught seemed to be a little

        difficult for me at times, but I had a positive attitude throughout the semester because of how positive and fun

        Professor Kosnik made it each class period."

     "Great professor very knowledgeable, helpful, and easy to understand."

     "Dr. Kosnik is one of the best instructors I have encountered while attending UMSL Unviersity. The way she

        teaches is remarkable. If a person doesn't pass her course is because they either didn't try or they don't can't

        comprehend."

     "Your a fantastic teacher who makes this class interesting! Your funny without trying to be and it keeps the class

        fresh. Your communication is also great. I would definitely recommend you."

     "Professor Kosnik is an amazing teacher. Everything we need to know for the exam is clear and she ties the

        information we learn in class to real life examples, making the concepts easier to grasp. Overall, one of the

        best teachers I have had at UMSL."

     "After taking economics last semester with a different teacher that I ended up having to drop, this second time

        around has been much easier. This is because I feel I am being taught in a smarter way (homework, better

        study materials, better lectures) and the grading this time around is reasonable. If I decide to take more Econ

        courses, if possible I'll choose the same teacher next time around, i.e. Kosnik."

     "Professor Kosnik offered me my first taste of economics. Before this class, I knew nothing about the subject

        matter. While I found this class extremely difficult, it was my favorite of the semester. It opened up a

        completely different way of thinking for me; one that I plan on using from now on. Because of her, and this

        class, I have been considering getting an economics minor if not majoring in it completely."

     "I really enjoyed this course [1001]. Professor Kosnik was excellent and she helped me understand the topics

        at hand. This professor and her class has convinced me to take up an economics minor with my degree. I am

        thankful I decided to take this class because doing so will affect my future careers. I want to thank her for her

        hard work to help me succeed."

     "I really loved this professor. Whenever I came to office hours, she happily helped me to understand a concept

        or homework problem. She shared things that made her relatable and ultimately a great professor."

     "Prof. Kosnik is an Econ Rock Star! She's really smart!"

     "This will be my 5th economics course (undergrad, and now graduate courses) and Professor Kosnik is

        by far, the best instructor I have had yet. I really enjoy (and more importantly, understand) economics

        the way she presents it and love the fact that she is so enthusiastic about the subject. Truthfully, if my

        previous instructors would have been as good as her, I may have pursued an economics minor in my

        undergrad."

     "She is right up there with Prof. Winter's, not just a teacher but a mentor! You Rock Kosnik."

     "I appreciate how well prepared Prof. Kosnik is for class and her enthusiasm. She uses great examples

        in class, and makes a very difficult subject easier to comprehend."

     "I really enjoyed Prof. Kosnik, her enthusiasm is great for keeping me engaged."

     "Professor Kosnik is terrific. She is a great lecturer and can communicate very complicated material in an

        accessible and easy to understand manner."

     "Although the class was very difficult, Professor Kosnik is a great instructor who uses a lot of examples

        regarding policy - which is a huge plus for PPA majors!"

     "This class [1001] was very informative and I've found that what I've learned is amazingly helpful w/ everyday

       choices. This sort of class should be required as it truly illuminates choices at all levels of life. Professor

        Kosnik is very engaging and is the best instructor I've had here at UMSL. I highly recommend this class to

        others and am thinking of changing my major because of her teaching."

     "Professor Kosnik is very enthusiastic and fun to listen to. She may be a hard professor, but she's very

        refreshing as well."

     "I love Prof. Kosnik. She is sooo fine & entertaining, and outstanding at what she does. I want to major or

        minor in economics now and take all of her available courses."

     "I really enjoyed this class because the professor is so happy about economics."

     "I have taken class before & gotten a D. Your teaching method and approach was very clear and I have

        grasped the material really well! You made it interesting! Thanks!"

     "Bravo! There has been some enlightenment taking this course."

     "Good teacher makes somewhat boring material easy to stomach. Give her a raise."

     "Dr. Kosnik is very friendly and approachable, and very easy to talk to."

     "Dr. Kosnik is always cheerful and upbeat. She's also enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and resourceful, which is

        great because I learned a lot."

     "I love your examples!!!!"

     "Prof. Kosnik accepts all views on the material and she encourages total participation."

     "You allow and even encourage discussion. You never put anyone down for speaking. You create a good

        environment."

     "Sense of humor, but able to remain serious."

     "Dr. Kosnik's organized and presents the material in a way I can relate to and understand. It seems as if

        she cares that we learn this stuff (how refreshing!). She's also very clear cut and gets to the point."

     "Goes straight to the point and uses time efficiently. Also, she checks email and answers promptly - Thanks!"

     "She always asks if we have any questions, and generally explains complicated things quite well."

     "The professor has a great ability to relate the course material with my outside-of-class life."

     "She knows what she's talking about. CLEAR in what she expects. I had no idea what economics was and

        it has opened my eyes and been very interesting."

     "Talks to us like we're normal people, not stupid."

     "Made it interesting by using personal, real life examples, with a good sense of humor."

     "Dr. Kosnik did a good job. The class discussion was awesome."

     "Prof. Kosnik is fabulous. Shows tons of interest in material and makes it exciting."

     "This has been one of my most rewarding 100 level classes that I have ever taken."

     "Best professor I have had at MSU."