Thank you from Ismael Torres, 2013 President’s Associates Scholar

From: Ismael Torres
Subject: Thank you, thank you, thank you
Date: June 13, 2016 at 8:37:54 PM MDT
To: Benjamin Widner 

Hey Dr. Widner,

For many days now I have really wanted to write this email to wholeheartedly thank you, and the Economics Department for not only giving me the knowledge and ability to perform substantive economic work, but for also giving me the faculty to compete with students from around the country. 

I’m going on my third week of my internship at the Department of the Treasury, and I can’t be more grateful to you and NMSU for investing your time in me. I haven’t even graduated yet, and I feel as though your teaching has already given me the opportunity of a lifetime. 

I found out that even though hundreds of students around the country applied to the Treasury, my boss (who is the economist heading economic policy for the US on China) decided to hire only a few students. Her choices were a 30 year old graduate student in Global Political Economy from Johns Hopkins, a 28 year old Economic Policy graduate student from Harvard Kennedy School, a 28 year old Public Policy graduate student from Princeton, and myself, to intern in our office. She told me that previously the only undergraduate students she has ever made exceptions to hire were from Ivy League schools, and I’m certainly the first exception they have made to hire an undergraduate from a public university. 

At first, this intimidated me to no end. I was surrounded by people of “better” education who all seemed to have endless connections through their networks to our colleagues and superiors. Yet now, after investigating foreign currency manipulations, working on massive data sets of international trade discrepancies, and writing analysis on the Taiwanese political economic transitions, I can’t help but feel like I don’t just keep up with the other interns, but I can delve into economics mathematically and theoretically more comfortably than all of them. Everyday I realize how lucky I am to have had you teach me macroeconomic theories from interest rates to inflation. Grateful for your advice in classes and post-graduation wisdom. Grateful to have been taught by Dr. Peach so that I can use econometrics as a tool to better understand the relationships observed in the real world. Grateful for professors who dedicate themselves to teach a thorough understanding of economics and who have prepared me for where I am now. 

It feels so rewarding to use the lessons you have taught me to affect real change in the world. This past week, some analysis I wrote was used in the bilateral economic negotiations between the US and China when Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, negotiated at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. 

All of this, all of my work so far at the Treasury, is not so much my success. I feel as though it would be wrong to take any credit without recognizing and thanking you for making it possible.

So, thank you Dr. Widner! I will always be grateful for the time you spend teaching me and all of your students. I wouldn’t be here without you.

Sorry for the length of this email, I really do just appreciate the effort you give to us. I look forward to finishing my degree with you all this upcoming year!

Many thanks,
Ismael Torres