Professor Erin Cottle Hunt of economics has been awarded an information literacy grant, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Skillman Library.

In her Econ 252 Intermediate Macroeconomics, Prof. Cottle Hunt will use the grant to enhance students’ engagement with economic data. Through class discussions and scaffolded assignments, students will learn how to define, access, and interpret macroeconomic data, situate it in a larger social context, and draw connections between different economic indicators. They will first prepare a policy brief describing economic data series from an assigned category, analyzing how the data was interpreted in a news article they have identified, and discussing how people could interpret the data differently. In the middle of the semester, students will write a short report about their data series, including the data trends, the potential impact of such changes on the life of an average American, and the types of economic research questions that might arise from this trend. For end of the semester presentations, students will examine their macroeconomic data over a longer term and further discuss the consequences of changes. They will assume the role of research economists, explain and interpret these changes, synthesize their data analysis with a theoretical model, and offer policy advice about what actions should be taken by policymakers. Librarian Lijuan Xu will be collaborating with Prof. Cottle Hunt on the class.

For more on the information literacy grants, including a list of past recipients, see