Name: Steve Mullins
Title: Professor of Economics
Courses Taught: Basic Economics, Aggregate Economics, the Economics of Poverty and Discrimination, Public Finance, Environmental Economics, and Econometrics
I have been in the Breech School since coming to Drury from graduate school at Oklahoma State University in 1983. I typically teach Basic Econ, Aggregate Economics, the Economics of Poverty and Discrimination, Public Finance, Environmental Economics, and Econometrics over a two year rotation. I have also taught Managerial Economics and Macroeconomics in the MBA program.
Part of my writing has been associated with Dr. Rohlf's outstanding introductory textbook. I have written a workbook that accompanies his text that has been published online and in two printed editions. My other work has focused on the interconnection between Macroeconomics and issues relating to economic justice. I have done research on the impact of economic growth on the poverty rate in the U.S., and my most recent work measured how much the unemployment rate has been inflated as a result of unprecedented increases in the duration of unemployment benefits that occurred during the recent recession.
I am also interested in the link between contemporary energy use, carbon emissions and global warming (apologies to those attached to the more neutral 'climate change'). I have worked with some students whom have gone on to earn their Ph.D.s on their research in this area.
Another component of my professional career involves consulting as a forensic economist in a variety of legal matters. Civil legal disputes require that the court consider awarding compensation for economic damages to the injured party, and I have provided such estimates in patent infringement, age discrimination, employee injury, wrongful death, and personal injury cases.
I am also an aviation enthusiast – a passion I owe to my father who was a pilot in Europe during the Second World War. I built an experimental aircraft from a kit some years ago and currently fly a homebuilt that is capable of mild aerobatics. Watch a video of me in flight!
How does the Breech School of Business prepare students for their professional career?
How many web pages do I have to answer this one? Everything that makes Drury and the Breech School special helps prep our students for their futures, but the individual connections that we make with and for our students by way of special research projects, internships and service learning projects clearly help students get ready for life after Drury.
The contrast between what takes place at Drury and my undergraduate experience at OSU serves as an example. The classes I took and taught at OSU were so large it was impossible for students to work with their professors on any individual level. I rarely had the opportunity for out of class conversations with my undergraduate professors at OSU, let alone to work with them on research or service learning projects. Drury is a drastically different place.
Just this last week one of my economics students was offered an internship with a French bank that has offices in New York City. She has this outstanding opportunity as a consequence of her Breech professors' knowing about her personal interests in the connections between economics, finance and banking combined with contact that the Breech faculty have maintained with an alum who has been employed at the sponsoring bank for over a decade.
What sets Breech apart from other business schools?
In addition to the benefits afforded to our students by our modest size and personal approach mentioned above, the Breech School provides its business education in the context of the broader Drury University community with its commitment to the traditional liberal arts, and all Breech students are given the opportunity to study abroad.
Do you have any favorite memories inside the Breech building?
Something fun or crazy is always going on in Breech. Bill Rohlf already told the story about Curt Strube - the director of the Breech School when I was hired - riding a pony down Drury Lane wearing a cowboy hat for his 50th Birthday…..that was a classic. Halloween is always a blast as well. Penny Clayton has an awesome pig costume and Janis Prewitt does a great impression of Sarah Palin.
Every student should ask Rohlf about his problems with a desktop computer after moving it into his new office. Only after our CIS professor took a look at the brand of the computer was the problem diagnosed. Bill had set up his upside down.
What advice would you offer to a new student beginning their course of study in the Breech School of Business?
Take advantage of our modest size. Talk to your professors and advisor about your interests and aspirations. They will bend over backwards to help you do well in your classes and make important connections with folks outside the DU community who can assist you after you graduate.