Q&A with Diya Mazumder, PhD
Associate Professor of Economics
I love that Soka is a liberal arts college, with a passion in motivating a diverse group of students from all four corners of the world.
Please provide a brief background about yourself.
I am an Associate Professor of Economics. Environmental issues are my passion. My research agenda focuses on effectiveness of environmental policies, primarily in the area of urban transport. I ask whether carbon taxes reduce fossil fuel consumption. Does it encourage people to buy smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles? I’m increasingly getting interested in studying resource management policies. How can we ensure that our natural resources such as wetlands and national forests are protected in the face of unprecedented economic growth?
From which institutions do you hold degrees?
I received my undergraduate degree from Presidency College, Kolkata India. I went on to pursue my Masters of economics from the University of Calcutta, India. I then received my doctorate in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.
What attracted you to Soka?
I love that Soka is a liberal arts college, with a passion in motivating a diverse group of students from all four corners of the world. My classes include students from Nepal, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, China, Japan, India and the U.S.
What distinguishes Soka students in your opinion?
Our students are highly motivated, curious to learn, and hard workers. They are not afraid to ask questions, and I am constantly challenged to think in new and interesting ways through their eyes.
What inspires you?
The national anthem of India, composed by Rabindranath Tagore, describes the country’s natural resources as the central facet of our national identity. This song has inspired me to make environmental issues the forefront of my study in economics.
Do you have other reflections about your experience as a faculty member at Soka?
I love teaching and pursuing my research interests here. Working with students, being in the diverse cultural and intellectual environment here keeps me continually motivated.
A version of this article appeared in the Fall 2019 Edition of SUA Founders magazine.