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Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics

2019-2020 Recipients: Antonio Bojanic, LaPorchia Collins, and Toni Weiss

Mr. Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss, 1976 graduate from Tulane University and member of the Board of Tulane, has endowed the Lawrence M. v. D.Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics. “The Schloss Prize is to be offered to outstanding full professors, associate professors, or assistant professors, or graduate or undergraduate students, who do outstanding work in the Department of Economics.”

Mr. Schloss has had a distinguished career in the financial services industry. Following his 1976 graduation from Tulane, he earned an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania in 1978. He then joined Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) in 1978 as an investment banker, and during his 22 years at DLJ rose to become Chairman of DLJ’s Merchant Banking Division. Upon the acquisition of DLJ by Credit Suisse in 2000, he became the Global Head of CSFB Private Equity. In 2010 he was appointed New York City's Deputy Comptroller for Pensions and the Chief Investment Officer and Trustee of the New York City pension funds, whose assets grew from $100 billion to $145 billion under his leadership. He was named 2012 CIO of The Year – Large Public Pension Funds by Institutional Investor.

The 2019-2020 recipients of the Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics are Antonio Bojanic, LaPorchia Collins, and Toni Weiss. They will receive a cash award of $5000.

Antonio graduated from Auburn University in 1994 with a Ph.D. in Economics. His B.A. is from Saint Mary's College in Minnesota (1990). His research interests include economic growth and development, and applied macroeconomics.

Much of Antonio's research focuses on economic development in his native Bolivia. He has published a book on the evolution of the Bolivian economy since the early part of the 20th century and several of his papers deal with macroeconomic aspects of Bolivian economic development. He has also served as an economic consultant with development financial institutions like The World Bank and DFID.

LaPorchia Collins is a professor of practice in the Department of Economics. She earned a B.S. in Agriculture Economics from Southern University and A&M College and a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics from The Ohio State University with an interdisciplinary specialization in College and University Teaching. For her efforts in teaching at Ohio State, she was awarded the 2015 Bernie Erven Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award; and, she was selected to participate in the OSTEP Graduate Teaching Fellows Program in which she organized professional development opportunities for graduate teaching associates within her department. LaPorchia’s research interests lie at the intersection of community/regional economics and health, with an emphasis on examining environmental influences on dietary choice and food security. Her research has been published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Outside of teaching and research, LaPorchia also has experience working in the government sector at both the state and federal levels.

Toni Weiss is the Lawrence MvD Schloss Senior Professor of Practice in the Department of Economics as well as the Executive Director of Tulane’s Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT). Her focus, both in the department and at CELT, is on creating an environment both in and out of the classroom that maximizes students’ academic, professional and personal growth while at Tulane. All of the work she does on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning she brings into the classroom, thus taking the theoretical and making it practical and functional.

In addition to her roles at Tulane, Professor Weiss does freelance economic consulting work. Her work has primarily focused on economic development within the City of New Orleans as well as on economic impact studies measuring the effects of a variety of special events that occur in and around New Orleans.

More details on Antonio’s activities can be found on his Department of Economics website, at https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/economics/people/antonio-bojanic.

More details on LaPorchia’s activities can be found on her Department of Economics website, at https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/economics/people/laporchia-collins.

More details on Toni’s activities can be found on her Department of Economics website, at https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/economics/people/toni-weiss.

The Department of Economics selection committee was unanimous in recommending that Antonio, LaPorchia, and Toni be the 2019-2020 recipients of the Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics.

The Department of Economics is very grateful to Mr. Schloss for his generous and ongoing support, which has made possible the recognition of Nora’s accomplishments. Previous Schloss Prize winners are Marco Castaneda (2009), Jay Shimshack (2010), Stefano Barbieri (2011), Keith Finlay and Douglas Nelson (2012), Alan Barreca and Jon Pritchett (2013), Doug Harris (2014), Sean Higgins (2014), James Alm (2015), Nora Lustig (2016), Jon Pritchett (2017), Patrick Button and Ali Enami (2018), and Wei Long (2019).