Rose Marie L. Bukics, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Economics, was honored by the American Educational Publishers Association for her book Reading, Writing, and Thriving: How to Make The Wall Street Journal a Key Part of Your Business Curriculum.
The book offers faculty at the nation’s colleges and universities insights on integrating content from the journal in introductory and upper-level economics and finance courses. Published last fall and distributed by The Wall Street Journal educational representatives, Reading, Writing, and Thriving sets forth 21 individual assignments for students that involve the Journal. Each includes a detailed description, summary of its pedagogical purpose and benefits, and ratings of its difficulty to complete (for the student) and grade (for the instructor), based on the time commitment involved. The book also provides insights on developing semester-long plans for using the Journal in courses and ideas for designing new assignments.
The American Educational Publishers Association gave the book its Distinguished Achievement Award for excellence in educational publishing. On June 30, the Journal saluted Bukics at its national meeting of educational representatives.
The recipient of Lafayette’s James E. Lennertz Prize, which recognizes exceptional teaching, devotion to students, and extraordinary ability to challenge students to realize their full intellectual potential, Bukics has been using the Journal in her courses for more than 20 years.
“The Wall Street Journal is a powerful tool for students, and the book is a sort of pedagogical bible for putting it to work for the students’ benefit,” Bukics says. “Any faculty member in economics and finance who wants to maximize learning for students would be interested in this material.” Reading, Writing, and Thriving also can be downloaded at the Journal’s site for educators, www.professorjournal.com.
Alaina Masler ’09, who graduated summa cum laude with majors in Spanish and economics & business, is one of many students who say that reading the Journal enhanced their experience in Bukics’ courses. “The Journal assignments, in addition to being generally enjoyable, helped me to apply the concepts I learned in class and in the textbook to current events,” she says. “I could see how this material was relevant and practical. The assignments helped me understand today’s most significant economic and business trends.”
Stephanie Kramer ’09, an economics and business graduate, adds, “In time, we were no longer just reading the Journal, but challenging some of the pieces with our own opinions and input.”
Aware that Bukics was actively incorporating the Journal in her courses, the paper’s educational reps asked her how she used it so they could share tips with faculty at other institutions. Their inquiries gave her the idea to write Reading, Writing, and Thriving.
Bukics’ favorite assignment in the book is one of the first ones she developed, the Financial Newscast, which challenges students to synthesize and analyze news and assess how the future might be impacted by current events. Working in teams of three or four, students create a prototype for a 15-minute newscast on an all-news channel. “While you will use the news as reported The Wall Street Journal in the week of that precedes your presentation date, your ability to place such events within the context of the news over the past several weeks is critical,” the lesson reads.
Bukics says, “I like this because it gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and command of the economic and business environment in a non-traditional way and allows them to express themselves creatively.”
Bukics also likes challenging students to create their own Journal-based assignments through an assignment called Professor for a Moment. “Students have shared creative new ideas and variations on existing assignments,” she says. Some of these ideas are included in the book while others, Bukics says, may find their way into a second volume of Reading, Writing, and Thriving.