Department of Economics

Hamilton Scholars Program

Two Economic Students Participated in the

Hamilton Scholars Program  


Two Senior Economics majors, Samanta Colletti and Brian Jacobowski, participated in the prestigious Hamilton Scholars undergraduate research program this last academic year.  The Hamilton Scholars program is designed to support the research of a select number of outstanding undergraduate students at SMU each year.  See the below picture representing last year’s class of eight Hamilton Scholars.  Brian Jacobowski is on the front row, far left and Samanta Colletti is on the front row, far right.  The benefactors of the program are Jack and Jane Hamilton.  Mr. Hamilton is in the middle of the front row and is currently serving as a member of the Dedman College Executive Board.

Prior to the beginning of the academic year, students, upon the approval of their sponsoring professors, submit their proposals and wait in anticipation the decision of the Hamilton Scholar judges.  The program is highly competitive and coveted by the students as it pays a stipend of up to $5,000 to support the research of the student and advising professor.  The Director of the program is Professor Caroline Brettell, Dedman Distinguished Professor of Anthropology.  As Professor Brettell points out, “Undergraduate research is important – through the Hamilton program in particular – because it gives students the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on important questions and to develop the kind of close mentor-student relationship that is a privilege and a treat as part of a university education.” 

In the below picture, Samantha and her advising professor, Isaac Mbiti, are celebrating Samantha’s selection as a Hamilton Scholar at a Hamilton Scholars Dinner held at the home of Professor Brettell on April 9.  In the next picture at the dinner are Brian Jacobowski and his advising professor, Tom Fomby, on the right, with Professor Louis Jacobs of the Earth Sciences Department on the left.  Samantha did her Hamilton Scholar research on the economic impact of mobile phones in Africa and on the policy and regulatory environments that were conducive to the expansion of mobile phone networks in Africa.  Brian Jacobowski focused his research on the economic, financial, and political factors that affect the ebb and flow of merger and acquisition activity in our economy and resulting implications for public policy in the area.  Samantha is planning to pursue a PhD in economics in the near future.  Brian is currently a Research Analyst in the Investment Banking division of the Royal Bank of Canada in Dallas and is working on completing the requirements for the CFA.