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Newsmaker: Brian O'Roark

Tom Fontaine
| Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Brian O'Roark is an economics professor at Robert Morris University in Moon. O'Roark is using music to make the subject more accessible to students.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Brian O'Roark is an economics professor at Robert Morris University in Moon. O'Roark is using music to make the subject more accessible to students.

Noteworthy: O'Roark earned the Undergraduate Teaching Innovation Award from the Middle Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration.

Age: 40

Residence: Chippewa

Family: Wife, Christie; daughters Emily, Katie and Maggie

Occupation: Economics professor at Robert Morris University

Education: O'Roark earned a bachelor's degree in economics and history from Grove City College and a master's degree and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Background: O'Roark won the award for incorporating popular music into the curriculum of his introductory economics courses, including a survey of the best economics songs of the past 50 years. It included “Material Girl” by Madonna and “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Quote: “It helps students to see the economic concepts we are learning in class are not entirely esoteric. They are things that do show up in everyday life. It gives them a different perspective on economics and a different perspective on music.”

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