Marquise McGraw

Hometown: Bronx, NY

high school: Bronx H.S. of Science

college: Cornell University

MAJOR: Economics

GRAD. PROGRAM: George Mason University (2011, MS); University of California, Berkeley (PhD Candidate)

Marquise J. McGraw is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.  He is an empirical researcher whose experience spans the worlds of academic economics, public policy, higher education, diversity initiatives, and nonprofit management. He specializes in urban economics and labor economics with particular emphasis on applying the tools and insights of those fields to pressing public policy issues. He is also an award-winning teacher, mentor and adviser to many undergraduates, and often involves undergraduates in his research.

Marquise’s current research, supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship,  investigates the links between various types of infrastructure initiatives and the development and performance of local economies in the United States. As part of this agenda, he is examining the role of small airports on the local economy, as well as the role of intercity passenger rail in small metropolitan economies. (The airports paper won 2nd place at the 2013 All-California Labor Economics Conference poster competition.) He is also examining schools as “green” infrastructure; that is, how have “green” construction practices spread to schools, and whether there has been any subsequent impact on student achievement. This work is supervised by  Prof. Enrico Moretti, for whom he also serves as a research assistant. From July 2010 to January 2011 he served as a research assistant for the late Prof. John Quigley.

A skilled and highly effective instructor, Marquise teaches upper-division Urban Economics (ECON 155) during the UC Berkeley summer session (Summer 2013 and 2014).  In 2012, he was one of twelve Graduate Student Instructors (GSI), and only the second GSI ever from economics  to win a Teaching Effectiveness Award from the UC Berkeley Graduate Division and GSI Teaching and Resource Center. He also won an Outstanding GSI Award from the UC Berkeley Department of Economics and Graduate Division. Additionally. each semester Marquise leads the one-day discipline cluster workshop in the social sciences for first-time GSIs at Berkeley. In this role, he provides practical advice and support to help new GSIs succeed in the classroom.

Marquise is committed to efforts to diversify the economics profession. A proud graduate of the American Economics Association’s 2005 Summer Training Program in Economics, he returned in 2012 to serve as a teaching assistant in the program held at the University of New Mexico. Living in the dorms with his students, he provided support and academic assistance while also co-teaching advanced labor economics and research methods and design. To this day, he continues to mentor many of the AEA program students as they pursue their goals. In 2013, Marquise was tapped as an outside consultant for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Math X Econ program for high school students, where he drew upon his well of experience to provide insights for their outreach efforts.

Prior to enrolling at Berkeley, from 2007 to 2009 Marquise worked for the Federal Aviation Administration at its Washington, DC headquarters. There, he worked as an Economist in the regulatory analysis division, analyzing proposed changes to the Federal Aviation Regulations and quantifying the cost impacts and projected benefits of the changes. From June 2006 to May 2007, Marquise worked for the Brookings Institution’s Economic Studies group as a research assistant.

Marquise graduated from Cornell University in May 2006 with a BA in Economics. While there, in 2004 Marquise became a research assistant for the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute. In 2003, he also co-founded and in 2004 became the project coordinator of the Cornell Let’s Get Ready! SAT preparation program, which provides free SAT preparation to low-income students in the Ithaca, NY community. Among other things, this involved managing volunteers, building partnerships with community organizations, and grant writing.

Outside of his research and teaching responsibilities, Marquise enjoys bicycling, traveling, and wine tasting. He also enjoys volunteering for his alma mater, Cornell University, and participating in the Veritas Graduate Christian Fellowship.

Marquise is a native of the Bronx, NY, where he grew up in a housing project with his mother and sister. He takes pride in being a product of the NYC public school system, having attended Garrett A. Morgan C.E.S. 132, Diana Sands C.I.S. 147, and ultimately the Bronx High School of Science.

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