Grants and Scholarships

The University of St. Thomas recognizes the importance for students to expand their research experience outside the classroom setting. For students who yearn to further pursue their passions in research, the Young Scholars and Collaborative Inquiry Grants offer the opportunity for undergraduates to deepen their analytical skills through research.



The University of St. Thomas Economics Department recognizes the diligence and persistence put forth by the undergraduate economic majors and minors through a variety of different awards. Descriptions of the awards are listed below.

Candidates for honors in economics must complete an honors thesis under the supervision of an economics faculty member. A committee composed of the faculty supervisor and two other faculty members chosen by the student will read each thesis. Each member of the committee will determine if the thesis is suitable for the honors requirement, with a majority rule determining honors designation. Candidates must achieve a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in the major and 3.5 or higher overall. To be eligible, students must complete a minimum of 32 non-research credits in Economics. 

The Economics Department has been pleased to give the David A. Renelt Award to honor one of our outstanding senior economics majors.  As the citation on the plaque states: “This prize is awarded annually to the senior economics major who best exemplifies the traits of growing intellectual curiosity, high ethical principles, enduring spiritual devotion and endearing congeniality which characterized David Renelt.”    

David graduated from St. Thomas in 1987 with majors in Theology and Economics. He was a recipient of the National Science Foundation award in economics, and in the economics Ph.D. program at Harvard University.  He died suddenly of natural causes in 1991, and at the time of his death, he had already made significant contributions to the development of economics literature. His paper on cross-country growth rates is still widely cited in the development and growth literature.  

The Renelt Award is accompanied by a small tuition scholarship. The faculty decides the award during spring semester.  The department solicits nominations from both faculty and staff. Make sure to watch your inbox for details.  

The past recipients of this award are:  

Stephen Spates    

E. Beth Cline 

Helene Sedlachek 

Patrick Mahoney 

Eric M. MacCarver 

John W. Geelan Jr. 

Bryan J. B. Pedersen  

Kate Canepa  

Molly Kasperson  

Mark Jorgenson  

Ann Beuch  

Michael Walrath   

Elizabeth Stone  

John Cabak   

Joseph Kaufman 

Bridget McKeown  

Alexander Brosseau   

Kayla Kowitz  

Phil Bastron  

Patrick J. Persons  

Julianne Poggemann  

Gina Bugliosi  

Andrew Isakson 

Joe Hubly 

Jennifer Strong 

Breanna Arndt 

Jacob Mason 

Anna Kate Nolan 

Will Goodwin

Abby Starr

Lindsay Curtiss

Zachary LeVene


Here is a list of past Outstanding Senior Award winners: 

1960 – John S. Adams 

1961 – George J. Beran 

1967 – Jerome N. Jacoby 

1968 – Charles W. Prentice 

1969 – Kent James Teibel 

1970 – Benjamin Joseph Durand 

1971 – Gene M. Maras 

1972 – Charles C. Perron 

1973 – Terrence E. Kingston 

1974 – Michael R. Tervo 

1975 – Randall E. Frei 

1976 – Michael J. Kasinkas 

1977 – Paul J. Langer 

1978 – Steven R. Bednar 

1979 – William K. Mosca 

1980 – Perry Loh 

1981 – Katherine D. Hadjiyanis 

1982 – Laura E. Greeman 

1983 – Lorrie J. Klockmann 

1984 – James P. Bowen 

1985 – Robert J. Riley 

1986 – Melissa White 

1987 – David A. Renelt 

1988 – Steven Seitz 

1989 – Christopher Engstrom 

1990 – Heidi Eckert 

1991 – Daniel Quirk 

1992 – Pamela Wentz 

1993 – Craig J. Gmyrek 

1994 – James J. Sticha 

1962 – Donald Bauhs 

1966 – Michael Thomas Crane

1995 – Robert D. Anderson 

1996 – Nicole Bundy

1997 – Jeffrey Bry

1998 – Brian Copps 

1999 – Lisa Sharrock 

2000 – Christine Schumann 

2001 – Mychal Brenden 

2001 – William P. Gunderson 

2002 – Ann E. Beuch 

2003 – Kevin M. McLain 

2004 – Jessica M Molyneaux 

2005 – John M. Cabak 

2006 – Teresa L. Boggs 

2006 – Michael J. Kuharski 

2007 – Rebecca M. O’Donnell 

2008 – Amelia M. Dieken 

2009 – Lee A. Reiners 

2010 – Sean O’Malley 

2010 – Catherine Lavigne 

2011 – Paul T. Armstrong 

2012 – Tyler R. Petersen 

2013 – Justin M Rubin 

2013 – Anh T. Do 

2014 – Timothy O’Connor 

2015 – Breanna Arndt 

2015 – Shannon Heitkamp 

2016 – John Kummer 

2017- Anna Kate Nolan

2018- Kathryn Foltz

2019- Natalie Del Ponte

Every year, students of economics compete in the Economics Department Data Analysis Competition. Here are the past award winners:


  • 1st Place: Jessica Mohr

Project: The Impact of Children on the Labor Force

  • 2nd Place (tie): Tanya Fenn, Jessica Schreck and Maria Vitale

Project: The Effect of Work Hours on Physical Health

  • 2nd Place (tie): Samantha Broten, Graham Mueller, and Anne Sacket


  • 1st Place (tie): Regina Burroughs, Jessica Mohr and Austin Swenson

Project: Park and Ride Placement

  • 1st Place (tie): Natalie Del Ponte, Alyssa Leraas, and Anna Thorn

Project: Policy and Ridership: The Effects of Minimum Wage


  • 1st Place: Kathryn Foltz and Linnea Graham

Project: Effects of Zebra Mussels on Market Value in Hennepin County

  • 2nd Place (tie): Jessica Mohr and Cole Werner

Project: School District Funding and Student Academic Performance

  • 2nd Place (tie): Anna Starks and Ryan Toth

Will Hancuch '19

"Parental Medicaid Expansions and Crowd-out: Evidence from Longitudinal Data and Insurance Transitions" (Mentor: Matthew Kim)

  • 2019 Midwest Economics Association Annual Conference, Undergraduate Research Paper Competition, 1st Place

Alex Haag ’17 and Mark Ward ‘17

“Two Envelope Paradox” (Mentor: Loren Langan) 

  • Minnesota Economic Association, 2016 Undergraduate Student Term Paper Contest, Third Place 

Tyler Petersen ‘11 

“Bringing Home the Bacon: How Does Slicing the Pork Affect the Electability and Fundraising of Congressional Candidates?” (Mentor: Monica Hartmann) 

  • Minnesota Economic Association, 2012 Undergraduate Student Paper Contest, Third Place
  • Midwest Political Science Association, 2012 Best Paper in a Poster Format Presented by an Undergraduate Student