Newsmaker: Brian O’Roark
Noteworthy: O’Roark earned the Undergraduate Teaching Innovation Award from the Middle Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration.
Family: Wife, Christie; daughters Emily, Katie and Maggie
Occupation: Economics professor at Robert Morris University
Education: O’Roark earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Grove City College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Background: O’Roark won the award for incorporating popular music into the curriculum of his introductory economics courses, including a survey of the best economics songs of the past 50 years. It included “Material Girl” by Madonna and “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
Quote: “It helps students to see the economic concepts we are learning in class are not entirely esoteric. They are things that do show up in everyday life. It gives them a different perspective on economics and a different perspective on music.”