Feb. 25, 2009 by Justin Bannister NMSU News Center
When Benjamin Widner moved to Las Cruces in the sixth grade, he wasn’t thinking about becoming an economics professor at New Mexico State University. Few sixth graders do. Fortunately, that’s where he ended up – now as the recipient of the 2009 Award for Outstanding Service to the American Society of Hispanic Economists (ASHE) by an Individual.
“It has been a very rewarding and productive year with ASHE and I am looking forward to future growth,” Widner said. “ASHE is a great resource for Hispanics in the economics field as well as those studying Hispanic issues. Our membership is very diverse in interest and research areas.”
Among other contributions to the organization, Widner developed ASHE’s Web site, http://asheweb.net, which is hosted by the College of Business. The site contains information about current jobs for economists in private, public and academic fields. Contact information for ASHE members seeking jobs is posted on the site as well.
ASHE was established to promote Hispanics in the economics profession. The group provides an opportunity for Hispanic economists and those studying Hispanic issues to meet and exchange information and research. The American Economic Association recently recognized ASHE as an official organization. With this recognition, ASHE is given a session at the American Economic Association annual meetings.
Widner calls Southern New Mexico his home, having moved to Las Cruces from El Paso in 6th grade. He attended NMSU, receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He earned his Ph.D. from Colorado State University.
“I only wish ASHE had existed when I was going through graduate school,” Widner said.”I am the first Ph.D. in my extended family and therefore had no real idea about graduate programs, academic employment, etc.”
This is the first year ASHE has ever given the award. In the future, they expect to award it every two years.