Faculty Friday: Ray Miller

In a special weekly series, the College of Liberal Arts is featuring a faculty member from one of our 13 departments. We asked questions about why they are passionate about the subjects they study and teach, and how they found their path to CSU. See all “Faculty Friday” features here.  

Ray Miller

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

1. Why do you research and teach early economics? What do you like most about it?

I was originally introduced to economics as a freshman undergraduate with an interest in majoring in business. It was the combination of logical reasoning, creative thinking, and quantitative methods that first drew me to the field. (Ok, I was also told it would pay more to have a major in economics.) Much of my work now centers on applying economics to analyze social and health disparities. This line of research grew out of my genuine desire to make the world a happier and more equitable place.

2. Which class is your favorite to teach and why?

So far, I’ve only taught Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 204). I enjoy introducing students to an economist’s approach to analyzing real-world problems that affect them every day. I look forward to teaching graduate macroeconomics next semester.

3. What did you want to be when you were little? When did you know you wanted to go into higher education/research?

I wanted to be a professional basketball player. If for some unthinkable reason that didn’t work out, I wanted to be a veterinarian—then a lawyer, an engineer, an actuary… Let’s just say I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. It wasn’t until my first job as a research assistant after college that I realized I wanted to go into academia.

4. How did you get to CSU?

My Ph.D. dissertation was on the lasting impact of early life inequalities with a particular focus on health disparities. Following my graduate studies, I spent several years as a post-doctoral researcher at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. There, I continued to study the determinants and consequences of health disparities and social inequality. Given the overlap between my interests and those of the economics department and University, I was very excited to join CSU this fall.

5. What is one thing students would be surprised to learn about you?

Following my undergraduate studies, I spent two continuous years backpacking. I visited over 25 countries on four continents.