Outstanding Economics Alumni

Evan DeFilippis holds a 4.0 grade-point average and is pursuing majors in economics, political science and psychology with minors in African-American studies and mathematics. DeFilippis's career goals include working for experimental research institutions, such as the Abdul Jameel Latif Poverty Action Lab or Innovations for Poverty Action. Eventually, he hopes to found his own institution to bring economic and development aid to Africa through experimental economic interventions. This fall, he plans to study Swahili in Tanzania through the African Languages Initiative, sponsored by the National Security Education Program's Boren Awards for International Study.
DeFilippis is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Truman Scholarship, the David L. Boren Debater Achievement Scholar Award; the President's Award for Outstanding Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior; the Neustadt Student Writing Award; the Arts and Sciences Leadership Scholar Award;, and the Creative Writing Award. In addition, he has been named a Big Man on Campus, a nationally ranked Ethics and Policy debater, the Outstanding Honors Perspectives Student, and a Charlie and Julie Daniels Fellow with the Institute of the Constitutional American Heritage.
His interest in economic development was substantiated by summer and fall internships at OU's Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, where he co-led a project to found a Rare Earth Research Institute at OU. Fascinated with politics, he was a triple fellow in the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center as a Capitol Scholar, a Civic Engagement Fellow and a Research Fellow.
In addition, DeFilippis founded and heads several groups within OU's Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College, including a student lecture series, a documentary group and a current events discussion group. DeFilippis has devoted much of his time to volunteer work in his hometown, and has served as project coordinator for both Tarrant County Elderly Homes and Tarrant County Homeless Shelter.


Hello! I’m Evan Fry, and I’m in my Junior year studying Economics and Biochemistry at OU. When I first came to OU from Milwaukee, WI, Economics wasn’t at all on my radar in regards to my academic career. Since taking a few Economics courses as part of my general education requirements, though, I quickly came to see the advantages of having the ability to view the world from an economist’s perspective.

Economics and Biochemistry aren’t a typical combination of majors, but I view them both as vital to my educational experience. After graduation, I plan on entering the field of biotechnological development, attending law school to pursue a career in intellectual property law. Obviously, a strong technical background is vitally important for my future career plans. However, within the broader field of biotech, I see myself at the intersection of the lab and the boardroom, facilitating communication between researchers and entrepreneurs. This interdisciplinary collaboration is necessary to derive the greatest amount of value out of scientific innovation. In this arena, my background in Economics will prove useful for understanding the potential value of new technologies. It will also give me a greater appreciation for the financial and social implications of patenting, pricing, and commercializing healthcare-related products.

The critical thinking skills and practical knowledge I have gained by studying Economics have helped me be competitive when applying for awards, scholarships, and internships. Since fall 2011, I have held an internship at the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW) on OU’s research campus. My multidisciplinary perspective and readily applicable degrees differentiated me from other applicants to this selective program. My Economics coursework has proven invaluable in my work at CCEW as I have sought to understand and optimize the value of Oklahoma technologies, ranging from a revolutionary pediatric physical therapy device to a local consulting business run off of an iPad. At my internship at the Lawrence-Livermore National Laboratory this past summer, my ability to comprehend the impact of technologies beyond their mere technical capacity helped the Lab transition some of its innovation out of the closed environment of the Lab and into the mainstream economy. In addition, my Economics training has allowed me to understand ways that I can individually improve the political and economic systems of my country, for which I was recognized by receiving OU’s prestigious Robert Dean Bass Memorial Scholarship. The realization of my ability to affect widespread change by applying economic thought has been a wonderful hallmark of my college career.

Economics can be a great asset to nearly any degree. I encourage you to check out some of the Economics courses taught by our many outstanding faculty members. I hope to see you on campus sometime soon!