Education & Social Sciences

Wabash County Economic Report - WCER Representatives


Brianna_Adela_MartinezBrianna Adela Martinez

Brianna is a first year student at Manchester University who plans to double-major in Economics and Sports Management, with a minor in Spanish. She attended Andrean High School in Merrillville, Indiana where she participated in athletics, theater, and community service organizations. Currently, Brianna runs Cross Country and Track at Manchester University, along with being in the university’s honor program. She has worked part-time at Martinez, Sharmat & Associates Real-Estate Appraisal Company in Lansing, Illinois for the past two years. Her responsibilities concerning the Wabash County Economic Report have centered on aspects of the housing market, as well as the commercial and agricultural real-estate markets.

John_TopsoglouJohn Topsoglou

John is currently a senior at Manchester University majoring in Environmental Studies with a Policy Concentration. He graduated from Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was a presenter at the 2012 Manchester University Student Research Symposium the paper focused on food and agricultural policy, which relates to his interests in food, cooking, and health. His background includes the study of economics and its relationship to social and environmental policy. In terms of the Wabash County Economic Report, he has focused on compiling a measure of the local cost of living, accounting for such items as gasoline, food, household products, personal care items, clothing, electronics, and toys. His goal is to work in either the public or private sectors on food and agricultural policy.

Kari_HuangKari Huang

Kari is currently a sophomore at Manchester University majoring in Accounting. She graduated from Elkhart Central in Elkhart, Indiana. Before working on the Wabash County Economic Report, she worked as a Student Orientation Leader to help guide new and prospective students at Manchester University. Her extracurricular activities include Accounting and Business Club and Ultimate Frisbee Club, as well as training for marathons. She has worked mostly on the housing sector portion of the WCER. She plans to go on and work in the field of forensic accounting.

Thomas_BlakeThomas Blake

Thomas is currently a junior at Manchester University majoring in Accounting and Economics. He graduated from Plymouth High School in Plymouth, Indiana. During the past two summers he has served as an accounting intern at Umbaugh & Associates, one of the largest financial advisors to government units in the Midwest. In addition, he is currently working on research looking at the impact of a variety of factors on student performance and retention. His research paper won the Jo Young Switzer award for “Best Quantitative Research Paper” at the 2012 Manchester University Student Research Symposium. He is currently focusing on the labor and employment sections of the Wabash County Economic Report. Thomas is also actively involved in a variety of campus clubs and activities. He serves as the treasurer for both Circle K International and the Economics Club. In addition he is a captain on the Ultimate Frisbee Club, a member of the Accounting & Business Club, and a member of the Newman Catholic Fellowship. After graduating, Thomas plans to become a certified public accountant and join a local, small to medium sized accounting firm.

Dick-HarshbargerDr. Richard Harshbarger

For 39 years, Dr. Richard Harshbarger was the economist of Manchester University. A native of Indiana, Professor Harshbarger graduated from Bairbridge High School in Bairbridge, Indiana. He graduated from Manchester University in 1956, and received his Ph.D. degree from Indiana University in 1964.

Dr. Harshbarger joined the faculty of Manchester University after graduation from Indiana University. He taught courses in all areas of economics, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, money and banking, and international economics. For twenty-years, Dr. Harshbarger was chair of the Department of Economics and Business. When he joined the department in 1960, there were faculty members in the department. Over the next 39 years, the faculty doubled in the department. In 1960, most majors were in business education or secretarial science. The program grew to enable students to receive majors in accounting, business administration, and economics. With this expansion in the offerings, the enrollment in the department became the second largest program on campus by 1999.

With the help of the Lilly Foundation, Dr. Harshbarger developed the Economic Index of Wabash County. Dr Harshbarger compiled and disseminated this Index from 1985 to 2011, providing data and analysis to the local news media and to the Indiana Review.

As a faculty member, Dr. Harshbarger participated in many study committees. He was chair of the Faculty, and a long time member of the Faculty Development Committee and the Religious Life Committee. He was a member of the American Economic Association and the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences. As a member of the board of the IASS, Dr. Harshbarger chaired the economics section. He was a member of the Indiana Economic Forum and was president for one term. Dr. Harshbarger participated in many area economic development studies.

In the local community, Dr. Harshbarger was a member of the Town Forum and the North Manchester Redevelopment Committee. After retirement, he joined the North Manchester Shepherd’s Center and was president for four years. Due to the Wabash County Economic Index, Dr. Harshbarger made a number of presentations to local Wabash County groups.

As a member of the Manchester Church of the Brethren, Dr. Harshbarger served on numerous boards and committees. He was moderator of the South/Central Indiana District in two different periods. He was a member of the District Board for a number of years. He served on the Camp Mack executive board for two different terms and was also the chair of the Board. Dr. Harshbarger served two different terms as moderator for the Manchester Church of the Brethren. He was the chair and a member of the Manchester Church of the Brethren for many years, focusing mainly on stewardship of the local church. Dr. Harshbarger also served on the advisory committee for fundraising activities of the Timbercrest Retirement Community. At the national level of the Church of the Brethren, he served on the committee recommending employment packages for local churches.

Dr. Harshbarger is married to the former Jane Newcomer, a graduate of the Manchester University Class of 1958. They have two children, Lisa, a graduate of the Class of 1982, and Jon, a graduate of the Class of 1984. Dr. Harshbarger is a member of three generations of Manchester University graduates as his parents were members of the Class of 1928.

John_DealJohn Deal

John Deal received a B.S. degree in Political Science from UNC-Charlotte in 1979. After spending time managing businesses in the private sector, John received a doctorate in Economics from North Carolina State University in 2004. His primary fields of study were agricultural economics, international trade, and economic development. He came to Manchester University in 2005, and has been the chair of the Department of Economics since joining the faculty. He has taught at the undergraduate level for a total of twelve years and at five different colleges or universities. In addition to teaching principles and intermediate theory courses, Dr. Deal has taught a variety of other courses including Environmental Economics, Game Theory and Behavioral Economics, International Trade, and Economic Development. He is currently working on research in the area of economic education, and attempts to incorporate creative teaching techniques, such as the use of material from The Simpsons television series, in the classroom. John serves as one of the two principal supervisors on the Wabash County Economic Report.

hendryxMatt Hendryx

Matt is Visiting Associate Professor of Economics at Manchester University. He received degrees from Indiana University, London School of Economics, and the University of Wisconsin. He has taught at SUNY-Fredonia, Manchester University, Ivy Tech, and Indiana Institute of Technology over the last twenty-five years. Particular areas of interest to him include Public Sector Economics, Health Economics, and Economics and Philosophy. In terms of the Wabash County Economic Report, he serves as one of the two principal supervisors.