Macmillan Learning Announces Winners of the EconEd Innovation and Education Awards

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New York, NY; May 22, 2024 --  Macmillan Learning, a privately-held, family-owned digital learning company, announced the winners of the 2024 EconEd Innovation and Education Awards. This year’s awards celebrate the innovative teaching methods of Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan, Associate Teaching Professor of Economics, Northeastern University and the exceptional academic and research achievements of economics student Samantha Mackley from the University of Missouri.

Both Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan and Samantha Mackley have each earned a $2,500 prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Macmillan Learning’s annual EconEd conference, scheduled to take place on September 27-28 in Chicago. Known for its rich academic discourse and diverse perspectives, EconEd is a platform for professional development, knowledge sharing, and community building among Economics instructors. Previous conference speakers included Macmillan Learning authors with more than 150 years experience at leading colleges around the world, including Paul Krugman, Justin Wolfers, Betsey Stevenson, Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, Eric Chiang, and more.

"We believe that collaboration and knowledge sharing helps elevate economic education and scholarship, which is why at EconEd we bring together the best of both worlds: the innovative spirit of educators and the supportive resources and deep knowledge of Macmillan Learning’s authors. We established a new award this year to honor the achievements of instructors like Dr. Venkatesan and students like Samantha Mackley who both embody excellence in economics education and exemplify the heart of our mission -- to inspire what’s possible for every learner," said Scott Guile, Executive Marketing Manager, Macmillan Learning.

Instructor Contest Winner: Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan, Northeastern University

Dr. Venkatesan has been awarded the EconEd Instructor Innovation Award for her groundbreaking project designed to deepen students' understanding of economic principles and their real-world applications, particularly focusing on externalities and sustainability. In her Principles of Microeconomics class, Dr. Venkatesan assigns a life cycle assessment project that engages students in analyzing the environmental impacts of littered items produced by public companies. 

The EconEd Instructor Award was created to recognize innovation in the teaching of Principles of Economics. Dr. Venkatesan’s innovative approach not only highlights the critical importance of value-oriented purchasing and investing but also enhances students' grasp of economic theories such as the theory of the firm (which explores how businesses operate, make decisions, and interact with the market to maximize profits) and consumer behavior (how individuals make decisions to allocate their resources (time, money, effort) to purchase goods and services). The judges noted that the assignment has “empowered students to see the tangible impact of economic incentives on environmental outcomes, fostering a generation of informed consumers and future leaders who are  passionate about sustainability.”

Student Contest Winner: Samantha Mackley, University of Missouri

Samantha Mackley has been awarded the EconEd Student Education Award for her outstanding academic achievements and dedication to advancing economic knowledge. Inspired by her Intermediate Microeconomics course, Samantha has actively engaged in economic research, contributing to studies on school lunch policies and crime and poverty analysis. She has also played a pivotal role in promoting economic literacy and engagement through her leadership positions in Undergraduate Women in Economics and Omicron Delta Epsilon, as well as her work as a founding editor of the undergraduate social sciences journal.

The Award was created to recognize an undergraduate Economics student who demonstrates exceptional academic achievements and makes noteworthy contributions to their community through their Economics acumen. Samantha’s dedication to advancing economic knowledge and her active engagement in research and community initiatives truly embody the spirit of this award. The judges noted that Samantha’s essay “eloquently captures the essence of economic studies and their profound influence on both personal growth and societal well-being.” 

About Macmillan Learning
Macmillan Learning is a privately-held, family-owned company that inspires what’s possible for every learner. We envision a world in which every learner succeeds. Through our content, tools and services, we aim to make that a reality. To learn more, please visit or join our Macmillan Community.