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Econ Prof Encourages Awareness of Women's Econ Status
By Kari Johnson
UW-RF News Bureau
MARCH 17, 2005--While the month of March each year is dedicated to celebrating
women's history, women and economic development is an issue that UW-River
Falls Professor Jackie Brux tackles inside and outside the classroom all
year long. An active consultant, researcher and teacher, Brux focuses
her energies on international economic concerns surrounding women in less
She has traveled to eight countries and will add a trip to Bolivia this
summer to her growing list. She has been awarded numerous grants, published
a number of textbooks and scholarly papers, and presented her research
at conferences. She is an asset to the UW-RF economics department as a
force for international awareness.
Brux became interested in economics her senior year in college during
the period known as the "world food crisis" years. It was during
this time the problem of world hunger entered into the living rooms of
American families via their televisions. By seeing the suffering and working
with organizations to reduce hunger, Brux decided to become part of world
"I decided in my senior year in college to get an economics minor
and then go for a Ph.D. in economics," said Brux, who had never even
taken an economics course. "It was sort of a 'calling,' since I was
strongly pulled in the direction of helping people in Third World countries."
Brux's calling has become her professional mission to make a difference
through travel, articles, grants, programs and teaching. Brux has been
to Burkina Faso, Chile, Russia, Mexico, Vietnam, Ghana and Cuba.
In each country, she took on different roles from teacher to consultant.
In Mexico she was a teacher, exposing UW-RF students to poverty many had
never seen before. Brux said the students were horrified by the poverty,
but added Mexico is one of the more prosperous countries in the Third
Brux was a paid consultant in Burkina Faso, where one-fourth of all children
die before the age of five as a result of scant health care.
Experiencing this utter poverty is a shock to anyone's sensibilities,
she says. Ghana had the most poverty Brux had ever seen. In the capital
city, women had no homes. They slept under awnings attached to buildings
and worked during the day as transporters, who moved goods from place
to place. Brux was studying economic reform while there.
This summer she is going to Bolivia as an unpaid consultant. She will
assist in agriculture development for women with special attention to
credit and extension services as well as education.
All the research and experience Brux gains through her travels result
in papers or presentations. She has written more than 20 papers discussing
international economics issues. Her latest paper, "Rural Development
and Micro-Enterprise Credit: Strategies that Work for Low-Income Indigenous
Women and Their Families in Rural Latin America," discusses how to
integrate women into rural development projects through agriculture extension
and micro enterprise credit. This paper has been accepted for presentation
at the Minnesota International Economic Development Conference in Minneapolis
on April 29-30.
In addition to scholarly articles, Brux has written and received many
grants. One particular grant was the Center for International Business
Education and Research (CIBER), awarded in 2003 to internationally enhance
the UW-RF College of Business and Economics (CBE). The grant establish
a scholarship for CBE students studying abroad Students present or publish
scholarly work from their study.
Brux also helped established the CBE International Resource Room, designed
for faculty and student scholarly research. For faculty, there are conference
and grant opportunities and faculty research papers. For students, there
are study abroad options, sources for funding study abroad, international
internship or work opportunities, and conference information.
Brux founded and is the director for the River Falls Association for International
Development (RF-AID), which celebrated its second year last fall. The
association's mission is to enhance curriculum offerings, to develop and
support research and other projects, to acquire grant money, to serve
students, and to participate in consulting opportunities. Additionally,
it hopes to better serve and improve the circumstances of students and
people in less developed countries such as Africa, Asia, Latin America
and Eastern Europe. Brux is currently developing am e-mail listserv for
If the travel, papers, grants and programs weren't enough, Brux is also
an author and co-author of a textbook, Economic Issues and Policy. Brux
said she decided to create her own textbook because she thought those
available were not very engaging. It has been well received by students
and is in its third edition.
Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:21 Central Daylight Time