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Meet the New Faculty: Mark Colas, Grant McDermott, & Woan Foong Wong

Mark Colas originally hails from San Francisco, California, and is excited to be returning to the West Coast and joining the faculty at the University of Oregon. Mark received his B.A. from UC Davis in 2009 and will be receiving his PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin this Spring. Before starting graduate school, Mark spent two and half years living in mainland China, where he studied Mandarin Chinese and conducted research on internal migration in China. Mark is a Labor and Urban Economist whose research interests include migration, sector and occupation choice, and the determinants of inequality.



Grant McDermott originally hails from the Cape Winelands of South Africa. He attended the University of Cape Town for his Bachelor studies, and graduated with double honours degrees in economics and business science in 2005. He specializes in environmental and natural resource economics. His applied skill set emphasizes econometrics, Bayesian analysis and data science tools. He’s presently employed at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara, and will be joining the Department of Economics at the University of Oregon as an assistant professor later this year.

Woan Foong Wong is an international trade economist who is receiving her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on trade costs, specifically factors that impede and facilitate trade flow. These include transport costs, trade agreements, and resource misallocation. A Malaysian native, she attended high school in India and subsequently completed dual degrees in Economics and Music Composition at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. Prior to graduate school, she worked at the Peterson Institute for International Economics which cemented her interest in trade policy.