Associate Professor of Economics
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.
"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
"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 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  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
"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."