Herbert G. Grubel Award

The Herbert G. Grubel Award is given to the graduating MA student with the highest cumulative grade point average (CGPA) obtained in the MA required courses during the preceding Fall and Spring terms. This award is named after Herbert Grubel, emeritus professor at Simon Fraser University and Senior Fellow at The Fraser Institute.

2023 - Jeremy Bell

Jeremy Bell is a Partner at George and Bell Consulting. He advises benefit and pension plan sponsors on actuarial and investment issues. As well, he advises institutional investors – endowments, foundations, First Nation trusts, insurance companies and corporations – on investment issues.

He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and is a CFA Charterholder. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Victoria and is pursuing a Masters in Economics at Simon Fraser University.  He has served as a Director on the ICBC Board of Directors, an Alternate Trustee on the Municipal Pension Board and an Investment Committee Member on the Alberta Public Service Pension Plan.

Past winners

2022: P. Marie Zagre

I joined SFU in the fall semester of 2021 for my master's degree. At first, I was interested in macroeconomics and applied econometrics.

My interest in economics was pure chance. After my high school, I chose this field of study because it seemed more concrete to me than mathematics (another field in which I was interested). Attending my baccalaureate classes gave me a taste for what I was studying, especially macroeconomics. This is an area that both fascinated and intrigued me. Regarding econometrics, I think my interest stems from my love of programming and data. I love the demanding challenges I face when I have to program an algorithm, it stimulates me intellectually.

Right after my baccalaureate, I continued my master's. Indeed, I have always liked the academic environment and I take pleasure in learning new things. My field of interest has changed over the course of my master's program. I still have an interest in macroeconomics but have also developed an interest in behavioral and experimental economics, in short, a more microeconomic side.

Otherwise, as an activity I swim, I play the piano and I love to read.

Right after my master's, I started my doctorate. I'll see what the future holds for me.

2021: Jingru (Kelly) Yang

During my undergraduate studies, I initially focused on pursuing accounting and finance at SFU's Beedie School of Business. When I became a research assistant to assistant professor Ray Zhang, I started looking more closely at the foundations of accounting and financial theory. This subsequently led to my decision to pursue my master's degree in economics so that I could find the answer to this question in my mind.

I am very grateful to Brian Krauth, Alex Karaivanov, Lisa Agosti and Azam Bhatti for their advice and help before applying because I did not have much prior economic and mathematical background. Thanks to all the professors for their support, which gave me the opportunity to enrich my insights in the field of economics. I plan to take the Chinese government department examination and join the public service. I hope I can use what I have learned flexibly in my daily life.

2020: Alim Faraji

Before my graduate studies, my academic life was mostly about computer science and mathematics. I knew I wanted my professional life to be more related to the humanities. Economics seemed like a reasonable choice for me, as I had strong mathematical and quantitative skills.

I appreciate SFU’s trust in my capabilities as I applied to the program without much related background in economics. Thanks to the supportive faculty, I had the chance to enrich my understanding of economics in different areas. After finishing the program, economics was no longer just a reasonable choice for me. It was the right one.

2021: ThinH Dao

I had not been in an academic environment for a long time before joining the Economics MA program at SFU. Getting back to study after 10 years of working is a real challenge for me however I enjoyed the program a lot. I am interested in mathematics and its application in economics and I am completely satisfied with what I gained from the program. It was not only about maths, economics, but I also had an opportunity to start learning two programming languages. I would like to give my special thanks to professors and staff in the Economics department for their warm treatment and great support so far. It is a big pity that I had no chance to have a footprint on SFU due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, SFU is on the top of my list to visit when I have the chance.

2020: Fatemeh Tehranikia 

When I was a bachelor student majoring in Pure Mathematics, I used to search for the applications of all of those theories and theorems in human life. Much as I loved mathematics, I decided to change my major, as everything seemed too abstract in mathematics textbooks to be pertinent to everyday life. When I joined SFU in fall 2019 to pursue a master’s degree in Economics, I was not yet quite sure whether changing major was a sensible decision for me. Now that I have finished my studies at SFU, I can say not only has Economics advanced my understanding of how to apply mathematical tools to everyday life, but it also has taught me how to think thoroughly; how to look at phenomena meticulously; and more importantly, how to rationally deal with irrationalities.

I am grateful to all faculty members and staff working in the Economics Department for providing the students with a positive, welcoming atmosphere in which one can ask, learn, and attain success. I owe a debt of gratitude to Alex Karaivanov for all the great advice he offered to me and for all his support; to Gregory Dow, Arthur Robson, Bertille Antoine, and Kevin Schnepel for supporting my applications for my PhD studies; and to Lisa Agosti for always being there for us. Not least of all, I am also grateful to the great and supportive 2019 cohort, whose companionship was a blessing to me.

2018: Xiangyu (Anthony) Zhang

When I was in high school, physics was always my favorite subject since it can explain almost everything in the nature world around us. Later, I got to know economics. It turns out that almost everything in our social life can be theorized or modeled in economics! And the uncertainty in economics makes it even more charming! Here at SFU, I studied as a master student in Economics. With brilliant and supportive professors as well as smart and diligent classmates, this economics MA program brought me a lot. And I am grateful to this wonderful experience!

About the Donor 

Herbert G. Grubel is Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at Simon Fraser University and Senior Fellow at The Fraser Institute in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

He has a B.A. from Rutgers University (1958) and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University (1963). He has taught full-time at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania; and has had temporary appointments at universities in Berlin, Singapore, Cape Town, Nairobi, Oxford, Canberra and Bologna.

Herbert Grubel was the Reform Party Member of Parliament in Ottawa for Capilano-Howe Sound from 1993 to 1997, serving as the Finance Critic from 1995 to 1997.

He has published 27 books and more than 130 professional articles in economics, dealing with international trade and finance and a wide range of economic policy issues.  His recent research interests include the economics of monetary union and the economics and politics of Canadian immigration.