Dr. Margaret Brooks Wins 2019 Leavey Award for Teaching BSU Economics of Innovation Course

POSTED: August 11, 2019 | BY: Margaret Brooks


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Dr. Margaret Brooks, a professor of economics at Bridgewater State University (BSU), was recently named one of eight recipients of the 2019 Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education.

Dr. Brooks, who is President of RI Council for Economic Education and serves as director of BSU’s Center for Economic Education and its Office of Financial Literacy Initiatives, was honored for developing and teaching her “Economics of Innovation” course at BSU.

The Leavey Awards, administered by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, were created in 1977 to reward educators across the country who develop innovative ways of teaching students about the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship. Each winner received a $7,500 award.

In four decades, more than 600 teachers – from elementary school to college level – have received over $4 million in prize money. Previous Massachusetts Leavey Award recipients include Julie Giglia, Whitman-Hanson High (Leavey Class of 2018) and Jacqueline Prester, Mansfield High (Leavey Class of 2015).

Dr. Brooks’ “Economics of Innovation” course examined the impact of innovation on individuals, businesses, markets, and global economies. Students looked at new financial products and technology; the robot revolution in homes and workplaces; transportation advances such as drones and self-driving cars; and the growing impact of electronic devices on people’s daily lives. Students also developed their own entrepreneurial projects and presented them – all online — for peer review in a Shark Tank-style competition.

Dr. Brooks, who was recently recognized by the Providence Business News at its 2019 Business Women Awards, advocates for financial literacy both on campus and in the region through her leadership as President of both the Rhode Island Council for Economic Education and the Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition since 2014.

“I am deeply honored to receive the 2019 Leavey Award, along with seven other innovative K-16 business educators from across the country. I believe entrepreneurship and innovation are key to building and sustaining a successful economy. I am very impressed by the creative ideas and business plans developed by my BSU Economics of Innovation students. I truly hope many will follow through on their innovative projects to bring about a better future for themselves, their communities, and their world.”

This year’s Leavey Award recipients were honored at a dinner and awards ceremony on Thursday, July 18 on the campus of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. While on campus, Dr. Brooks and the other Leavey Award recipients made presentations about their award-winning programs to business educators who were participating in a graduate seminar entitled “Innovative Entrepreneurs, Dynamic Economy.”

See the 2019 Leavey Awards video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nIIftZOnrA

For more information, contact Carolyn Santangelo, senior director of chapter and partner relations, at 610-933-8825, ext. 234, or csantangelo@ffvf.org.

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