2016 Convocation

Speaker Name: DR. MARIA OTOO

B.A. Economics and Political Science, University of Illinois

M.S. and Ph.D. Economics, Georgetown University

OTOODr. Otoo is a Senior Economist, in the Industrial Output Section of the Research and Statistics Division of the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC.

She was born and raised in Illinois except for a brief sojourn with her family in Colorado.  Growing up in Springfield, Illinois imbued her with a tremendous admiration for Abraham Lincoln and love of cozy dogs, which are known to most of the world as “corn” dogs.

She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Unable to make up her mind, she received two degrees upon completion.  One was in economics and the other was in political science.  Of her time there she says, "I loved my time at the U of I and my only regret was that I could not cram more courses into four years." After graduation, she headed to Georgetown University in Washington, DC where she received a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics. 

Upon completion she was hired by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and remains there to this day.  She holds the title of Principal Economist and currently works on the industrial sector, particularly the motor vehicle industry.  Her work at the Board includes a mix of analysis, research, and forecasting. 

Shortly after finishing graduate school, she married and they have two wonderful children.  She currently resides in Washington with her family.

In her spare time, she studies Object Oriented Programming (OOP) in Python. She also enjoys reading science fiction or any fiction, caring for her two corgi dogs, trolling art museums and binge-watching TV.


Awards & Honors:

Eight Economic's students were recognized for distinction for the University of Illinois' Bronze Plate

Eight Economic's students were recognized for distinction for the University of Illinois' James Scholar Honors 

Four Economic's students were recognized for distinction with Chancellor's Honors Program

Four Economic's students were recognized for distinction with Phi Beta Kappa

Six Economic's students were recognized for distinction by the Department of Economics

Five Economic's students were recongized for distinction by Omicron Delta Epsilon


Degrees Conferred*:

Bachelors degree:  479 students

Master's degree:  86 students

Doctor of Philosphy:  14 students

*prelimary list - may not include all students and may include degree dates of August 2015, December 2015, May 2016, August 2016


Thanks to Participants:

Thank you to Special Guest Speaker, Dr. Maria Otoo

Thank you to the alumni, faculty and administrators that participated

From left:  Gene Grass, alumnus; Rachel Raia,alumna; Professor Rachel Thornton; Ben Deese, alumnus; Dean Karen Carney; Marty Perry, Department Head; Dr. Maria Otoo, speaker and alumna; Professor Elizabeth Powers; Professor Stephen Parente; Brad Bennett, alumnus; Anita Murrmann, alumna; Marsha Hatchel, Manager of Alumni Relations Program; Evan Tammen, LAS Development Officer


Are you an alumni interested in participating in future events?  contact Marsha Hatchel at hatchel@illinois.edu