Foster Core Faculty Feature – Debra Glassman

Get to know Foster’s Teaching Professor of Finance and Business Economics Debra Glassman, who teaches the core MBA course Analysis of Global Economic Conditions.

Photo of Debra


Please tell us a bit about your background.

I am a native of Wisconsin.  My undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan, and I got a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin (the “other UW”). 


What excites you about your subject area and what are some of your research interests?

I have taught a number of different courses, from international finance to international business.  In recent years, I have mostly taught macroeconomics – with a global focus.

Macroeconomics is fun because the issues of the day change so much from quarter to quarter.  Macroeconomics is always in the news.


How have you worked to make your classroom/course curriculum inclusive?

Students need to contribute to class in order to get participation credit.  This is a way to encourage everyone to say something in class.  The global nature of the topic means that students from different countries have varying experiences to contribute.


How do you maximize learning and keep students engaged?

Bringing current events into class discussion means that the classroom topics are reinforced whenever students tune in to the news.

There is a strong political element to macroeconomic policy-making.  The potential for controversy spices up topics like: what should we do about government debt? Who is to blame for inflation? Should we trust the Federal Reserve?  Although I try to be politically neutral, I do make fun of how little members of Congress understand about macroeconomics.

Debra teaching a class

Are you currently doing work outside of Foster that influences what happens in the classroom?

I have been writing mini-cases to illustrate how macroeconomics affects local companies.  Students will see these cases on the syllabus!


What advice do you have for students to ace your course?

Keep track of basic definitions and course concepts.  They are the starting point for every exam and assignment question.  And pay special attention when I say “Here is a frequent mistake made on the exam…”


How will students apply the knowledge and skills they gain in your classroom in their careers?

The ultimate goal is to make you better at forecasting what is coming next.