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Cynthia Harter

Cynthia Harter
  • Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education
  • Ph.D., Purdue University
  • M.A., Purdue University
  • B.A., Tulane University


Contact Information


Dr. Cynthia Harter originally began studying economics because of an interest in business operations that stemmed from her parents owning a transportation company that moved freight throughout the inland waterways systems using towboats and barges.  Her interest quickly switched to policy applications as an undergraduate and then to a fascination with how people teach and learn economics as she progressed in graduate school.  She moved to Richmond in 1999 when her husband was hired at EKU.  At the time, the EKU Center for Economic Education was on the brink of becoming deactivated by the state economic education network due to lack of activity.  Dr. Harter became the Director of the Center in 2001 and spent 12 years funding Center operations through grants and other sources of support.  As Director, she wrote a number of program and research proposals including a proposal for an anonymous donor who was interested in endowing the Center in 2004.  She did obtain several grants that kept the Center operating, including the endowment that was subsequently matched by the “Bucks for Brains” state program that existed at that time.  Dr. Harter was hired as a full-time Assistant Professor in 2013 in a position that included time reassigned to direct the Center.  Under her direction, the EKU Center for Economic Education has been and remains one of the most active in the state network.

Dr. Harter has published articles on the teaching and learning of economics in numerous journals, including the Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Education, Perspectives on Economic Education Research, International Review of Economics Education, Journal for Economic Educators, and Eastern Economic Journal.  Her research has been widely cited by others in the field of economic education research, and practitioners in the network have used her research results to gain support with schools, funders, and other stakeholders for teacher programs in economics and personal finance.  Because of her “outstanding contributions in economic education research,” Harter was awarded the National Association of Economic Educators’ Henry H. Villard Research Award in 2017

With an interest in and experience researching the teaching and learning of economics, Dr. Harter teaches undergraduate courses and graduate courses that are tailored for educators where she uses simulations, literature, music, and other activities that teachers can use with students at all levels.  She has developed online graduate classes especially for teachers in required topics using an approach that combines content with resources and methodologies that teachers can use with their students.  She also teaches economics principles and is moving into upper-level undergraduate courses as well.  She advises students of economics to realize that we are all making economic decisions every day from the time we decide when to get out of bed to the time we decide to call it a day and return to bed.  Taking a class in economics should help you improve your decision making so that you can make the most out of your resources.

Dr. Harter likes to travel and has conducted and participated in education programs in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Argentina, and Mexico.  She made it to Hawaii on a recent family vacation and fulfilled a childhood dream she has had since seeing the Brady Bunch visit there on TV.  She also enjoys reading biographies and realistic fiction and watching the rest of her family perform on stage.


Subject  TitleDatesLocationTerm
ECO 231Fundamentals of Macroeconomics  Internet Classes Summer 2022
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