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Graduate Student Profile: Kelsey Fortune, Economics

Meet UC Davis Graduate Student Kelsey Fortune

  • Department
  • Program and year of study
    Ph.D., 4th year 
  • Previous degrees and colleges
    BA Mathematics and Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Where did you grow up?
    Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
  • Where do you live now?
    Central Davis, in a wonderful little house
  • What's your favorite spot in Davis?
    I love the farmers’ market. It is a perfect representation of the Davis community.
  • How do you relax?
    Aside from the normal things, reading, working out, etc., I enjoy renovating my house; painting cabinets, installing new countertops, retiling the bathroom. I also have an annual pass to Disneyland, so you can find me there as often as possible!
  • What was the last book you read for pleasure?
    I’m currently reading A Disorder Peculiar to the Country by Ken Kalfus.
  • What was the last film you saw at the theater?
  • Research interests
    My research falls in three categories: behavioral, experimental, and energy and environmental economics. However, I find myself interested in public, labor, education, and industrial organization as well. Having broad interests made the transition to working on my own research a challenge.
  • Dissertation title or topic
    I am currently running an experiment exploring the effect of real time feedback on driver behavior and realized fuel economy. This will hopefully become an important part of my dissertation.
  • Please share a surprising or noteworthy fact or finding from your research
    It’s too early to tell! I just started collecting data.
  • Which professor or class inspired you to pursue graduate studies?
    My intermediate microeconomics professor, Kamran Bilir, inspired me to pursue economics. I was in the first course she taught as a professor making her very accessible, and in a male dominated field, it was a big deal to interact with a lady economist.
  • Which scholarly text do you wish you had written? Why?
    Can I have everything on Hunt Allcott’s CV?
  • What's the best thing about being a grad student?
    Teaching! I love being a teaching assistant and plan to teach my own course next year. Helping students understand and get excited about economics is my favorite part of grad school.;
  • What's the worst?
    It is hard to avoid feeling stuck. Progress can be very slow and milestones few and far between.
  • If you weren't a grad student, what would you be doing?
    It’s hard to imagine doing anything other than grad school, but if I had to do something else, it would be teaching.
  • Finally, please ask yourself a question - "Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader?"
    Talk like Yoda I would.

Graduate student profile courtesy of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science.

About Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes over 100 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.

UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.

For information on Graduate Studies’ current strategic initiatives, visit the Graduate Studies strategic plan page.

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