Half-century of success began at St. Joseph

Michael Selami - Class of 1964

Michael Selami – Class of 1964

Staff report

“Revealed Preference of the Federal Reserve: Using Inverse Control Theory to Interpret the Policy Equation of a Vector Autoregression” … “Saddlepath Solutions for Multivariate Linear Rational Expectations Models” … “Small Sample Properties of Three Tests for Granger-Causal Ordering in a Bivariate Stochastic System” … Congratulations! If you made it this far without jumping to the next article, then you undoubtedly are interested in what’s behind the verbiage of the opening of this paragraph.

Taking a step backward, the almost indiscernible list of titles begins with a young man from Westchester, who attended Divine Infant School before entering St. Joseph High School when the Christian Brothers first opened the doors in the fall of 1960. Michael worked hard during his four years here and he earned stellar grades from all of his teachers, culminating in his being the valedictorian of the Premier Class of St. Joseph High School, the Class of 1964.

Michael Salemi then matriculated to another Christian Brother school, St. Mary’s College, in Winona, Minnesota. Earning his undergraduate degree in Economics in 1969 and graduating eggregia cum laude, he would not give education a rest, earning his M.S. in Economics in 1969 from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Economics in 1976 from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Michael Salemi has made both economics and the teaching of economics his passions for more than fifty years. Although most of his professional career has been serving the students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Professor of Economics (including his last two years there as Chair of the Economics Department) a primary focus has been on improving the teaching and learning of economics.

To that extent, he has published, either alone or with colleagues, no fewer than 66 journal articles, along with a textbook and a video that serves as part of The Great Courses (Money and Banking: What Everyone Should Know). Not all of these articles have titles as head-spinning to the inexperienced economist as first presented above, but all of them are rooted in his desire to push students to their academic capacities.

“The most rewarding aspect of my career has been the opportunity to design and teach challenging courses in economics,” Salemi said. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to help students at UNC – both graduate and undergraduate – to grow as scholars and individuals.”

In addition to his writing, Dr. Salemi has presented his papers throughout the country and often serving as the featured speaker at universities across the nation.

While researching has been a particular joy to Dr. Salemi, the end result did not come without hurdles to overcome.

“The most challenging aspect of my career has been continuing to publish research in good journals. I enjoy research but the process from conception to publication can be very frustrating,” he said. “Especially challenging is shepherding one’s work through the editorial process.”

Notwithstanding Dr. Salemi’s busy schedule, he manages to find time to provide service to a number of communities, where he has served as a member on multiple boards or as an administrator/chair of departments and committees. All of his efforts have been acknowledged by his peers and others as he has received a multitude of awards and fellowships.

Dr. Salemi credits part of his success to his high school.

“St. Joseph High School taught me the value of hard work, discipline, and respect for teachers,” he said. “I was always someone who liked to achieve in the classroom. At St. Joseph, the desire to achieve academically was supported.”

Dr. Michael Salemi, St. Joseph High School is very proud of you and we wish you many more years of happiness and success! Congratulations!