Faculty Profiles

Our faculty are active researchers, writers and speakers; many of them internationally known for their contributions toward the advancement of their fields of study. But, most of all, they're passionate, caring teachers.

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    Deep Shikha

    Professor, Economics and Political Science

    Deep Shikha, Ph.D. is Professor of Economics at St. Catherine University. Previously, she served as the associate dean for the School of Business and Leadership, Economics Department Chair, coordinator for the Center for Women, Economic Justice, and Public Policy. Her major fields of expertise are in financial economics, resource economics, gender economics, and quantitative business analysis. She has several workshop/presentations to her credit, and has authored/co-authored several articles. Recently, she has presented several workshops on the global financial climate. Dr. Shikha has almost 35 years experience, primarily in the area of education.

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    Caroline Krafft, PhD

    Associate Professor of Economics

    Caroline Krafft is an economist specializing in development economics, primarily labor, education, health, and inequality in the Middle East and North Africa. She collaborates with St. Kate’s students, international non-governmental organizations, and a global network of scholars in her research. Current projects include work on early childhood development, labor market dynamics, life course transitions, human capital accumulation, and fertility. Caroline teaches courses in economics and statistics, and serves as the program director for the Women and International Development major. She is particularly interested in how economics can help societies understand and address social issues, and is writing a textbook on that topic.

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    Nawojka Lesinski, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Economics and Political Science


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    Kristine West, PhD

    Endowed Professor in the Sciences; Associate Professor, Economics

    Kristine Lamm West completed her PhD in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota in 2012. Her primary fields of interest are labor economics, program evaluation, and the economics of education. Recent research projects investigate topics ranging from unions and performance pay to the impact of vision services on student achievement. Her research has been published in The Journal of Human Resources, Industrial Relations, Economics of Education Review, and Education Finance & Policy.

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    Lanlan (Lacey) Chu, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Economics

    Lacey Chu completed her Ph.D. in Economics at Texas Tech University in 2017. She joined St. Catherine University in Fall 2020 after working as an assistant professor at Buena Vista University in Iowa. Her primary research interests are in the fields of health economics and industrial organization, with a particular focus on health, aging, caregiving, and gender. Current research projects include cross-national comparison in prevalence and predictors of healthy aging, impacts of informal care on caregivers and recipients, and gender disparities in health and well-being. Her work has been published in journals such as Social Science & Medicine, Journal of Aging and Health, Journal of Women & Aging, and Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics.