Associate Professor of Economics Rebecca Neumann has received a 2016 Governor’s Financial Literacy Award. She is being recognized for her work on campus and in the community to help young people develop greater understanding of their financial situations.
Neumann was honored at a ceremony at the state Capitol on Feb. 14.
Her work stems from a one-credit course, “Economics as Personal Finance,” that she developed 10 years ago for the economics department. The course has become a campus-wide resource that has so far served more than 3,100 students, and is now a requirement of the UW System Lawton Undergraduate Minority Retention Grant Program at UWM.
Neumann also serves on the board of directors and chairs the Education Committee for Make a Difference – Wisconsin, an organization that empowers teenagers with financial literacy educational resources and real-world lessons. She is a volunteer in both the Money Sense and Money Coach programs, bringing financial literacy to teens in area high schools.
In his nomination letter, Scott Adams, chair of the department of economics, called Neumann’s work in financial literacy “a concrete example of how the university can do good for the young people of our state.”
The work comes naturally to Neumann.
“I grew up with a really strong financial literacy background – my dad was an accounting professor,” Neumann said. “But along the way, I also had some financial issues, which I share with my students.
“Students need to know that it’s not easy – there are a lot of ways to get into trouble with credit,” she said. “But also a lot of ways to use credit positively for your future.”