Stuart Sam “It’s a misconception that economics is the study of money. First and foremost, it’s a way of thinking about the world.”

Ariane Schauer was on “the fast track” at a major banking corporation. But she felt there were values—beyond money—that even economists should appreciate. “I just really enjoy teaching,” she says. “It doesn’t feel at all like work.” But there is a difference in salary when someone switches from corporate banking to teaching. “So it’s really very nice,” observes Ariane, “when students come to me with comments that let me know I made an okay decision.”

Ariane is the daughter of Swedish and Afghani parents, speaks three languages fluently “and some Persian,” and grew up moving around Europe and the Middle East. She feels quite at home being part of the SMC “internationalist” campus. And teaching economics has given her a forum to help people understand the conflicts and evolution of the family of man.

“It’s not equations and graphs that ultimately matter in economics,” she says. “It’s more a philosophy, a framework for viewing the world. And I think that most students expect it’s going to be a dry, boring class. But,” she continues, “that’s the best part of teaching. To be able to change that conception. To give students an economic approach to understanding their lives. And to get them interested and having fun while they learn.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.