Dr. Emir Kamenica, professor of economics at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, will be the speaker at Shepherd University's 141st Commencement Saturday, May 10. He also will be awarded an honorary doctorate.
Judge Gina Groh, U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia, will be the President's Award recipient.
Kamenica, a refugee from the war in the former Yugoslavia, earned a scholarship to Harvard University, where he graduated with an A.B. in applied mathematics and a Ph.D. in economics. Kamenica's academic career has been in the department of economics at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, where he is a tenured full professor at the age of 36. His research is in behavioral economics and applied microeconomics and has touched on analysis of a wide range of topics including the nature of suspense and surprise, the dilemmas of consumer choice, dating preferences, placebo effects and voting behavior.
A member of Shepherd University's class of 1986, Judge Gina Groh was nominated by President Obama in 2011 to fill the seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia that had been vacant since 2006. Groh had been appointed in 2006 to a newly created judgeship in the state's 23rd Judicial Circuit Court by then-Governor Joe Manchin and was re-elected to a full term in 2008, presiding over cases in both Berkeley and Morgan counties. Prior to becoming a judge, Groh spent nine years as a litigation associate at firms in Martinsburg and Washington, D.C., and later served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Berkeley and Jefferson counties for more than eight years. She earned her juris doctor degree from the WVU College of Law and currently serves on the board of directors of the Shepherd University Alumni Association.