avelench@wellesley.edu

(781) 283-2183
Writing Program
B.S.F.S., Georgetown University; Ph.D., Stanford University



Ann Velenchik
Associate Professor of Economics; Director, Writing Program

Economist; Writing Program director; researching labor markets in Africa.


My work is in the general area of labor markets and household behavior in Africa. I have worked on migration, apprenticeship, the relationship between company size and wages and, most recently, on an interdisciplinary approach to questions of intrahousehold resource allocation. I have worked in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Zimbabwe and also done work on Senegal and Malawi. I became director of Wellesley's Writing Program in summer 2009. I believe that I am the only economist among the many members of the Writing Program Administrators organization. I am especially interested in the combination of writing and quantitative reasoning, but am also enjoying the chance to step outside my comfort zone.

Since my move to the Writing Program, I have been teaching two courses. One is entitled Wealth and Poverty in America and looks at the distribution of income in the United States over the past three decades. The other, Contemporary Economic Issues, is intended for students who arrive at Wellesley with significant previous coursework in Economics. In the Economics department, I have taught Principles of Microeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, and courses in economic development.

I am particularly interested in active learning techniques in economics, and have written and published several pieces on the use of the case method in the economics classroom. Most recently, I have participated in the development of a Web resource for teachers of economics as part of an NSF-funded project. My move to the Writing Program is also part of a long-standing interest in the learning experience of first-year students.

I am married to an economist and the mom of two great kids. I like theaters, restaurants, and elegant bars, but I spend more of my time at sports fields and school auditoriums watching my children play and perform. I do a little performing myself─you can find some of my work at Wellesley's iTunes U site.