SFU Economics welcomes two new faculty members

September 07, 2023

SFU's Department of Economics is thrilled to announce the addition of two new faculty members to our exceptional teaching and research team this fall. Michael Gilraine is joining us as an Assistant Professor and Sepideh Fotovatian as a part-time Lecturer. 

Michael Gilraine comes to us from New York University, where he worked as Assistant Professor after earning his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2017. As a Faculty Research Fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research, his current research focuses on the economics of education, exploring topics such as correlations between air pollution and student achievement, the effects of public housing on children, and issues surrounding school choice and intergenerational wealth. 

His other research interests include environmental economics, industrial organization, and applied econometrics. He will begin teaching in the department in Fall 2024.

Sepideh Fotovatian has been with the SFU Economics department since 2019 as the Undergraduate Curriculum Coordinator. She has been instrumental in the development and teaching of ECON 220W, a new course with a focus on communication skills in the context of economics. She says, "It is one thing to have economics knowledge and yet another to be able to express that knowledge professionally. ECON 220W supports student success in upper-level courses, graduate school, and employability." In 2022 Sepideh won the department's Lawrence Boland Outstanding Instructor Award.  

Her doctoral thesis at Monash University focused on the integration of international students in higher education and the role of language and interaction. Sepideh was a Limited Term Lecturer in SFU’s Faculty of Education from 2012 - 2019, where she taught a variety of courses related to language education, identity and sociocultural theory, and teacher education. 

We are delighted to have them on our faculty team.