<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Peter Calcagno
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"Contagious Intellectual Curiosity" Drives Economist
By Toni Everly and Link Leskosky

"Dr. Calcagno exemplifies what a high quality institution would want in a professor. Heplaces students first, but he doesn't avoid the work necessary to contribute to his discipline," said Chris Westley, an economics professor at Jacksonville State University and close friend of 15 years.

Dr. Peter Calcagno, a Detroit native and second generation American whose family roots can be traced back to Italy, has been a professor at the College of Charleston for seven years. After realizing the power of economic principles in college, he felt compelled to not only teach on this subject but make a prominent career out it.
This man whose love for the Beatles and specialty in the kitchen are the Italian dishes chicken parmesan and lasagna, discovered his passion for economics his sophomore year in Professor Richard Ebeling’s macroeconomics class, at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

Calcagno recalls a class discussion about labor and immigration laws and how Ebeling helped his students to think logically and build a passion for economics. This experience generated Calcagno's interest and he went on to earn his Ph.D at Auburn University, where he specialized in public economics and applied economics.

As for the importance of academic research work, Calcagno says it helps establish credibility and keeps him current on evolving principles of economics. His research has involved political action committeees, voter participation and corruption, and legalized casino gambling.

Calcagno has also enhanced the College's business school by initiating new programs and receiving a half a million dollar grant.

Edward Lopez, a professor and friend, says, "Pete combines a contagious intellectual curiosity with a commitment to the principles of freedom, economic progress and fairness. This gives Pete the kind of entrepreneurial vision to build programs like the Initiative for Public Choice & Market Process. He's the kind of faculty member that others can emulate."

While students are unsettled with our economic state and their future, Calcagno brings great insight on our country and where we stand. He feels our recovery is going to be "a jobless recovery," and that our government should cut unnecessary spending. "If you want to do more, do less," he says.

Calcagno says he if he ever had the opportunity to meet the president of the United States he would advise him to "Stop the spending, cut programs, and just focus on representing government duties."

He advises his students that the way to overcome the economy is by taking advantage of every opportunity possible. "Students need to be outgoing, convey to employers they are knowledgeable and be prepared for anything," he says.

Calcagno says his biggest failure as a college student was not taking advantage of every opportunity possible and so today he encourages his students to not make the same mistake he did.

Although Calcagno says he believes his greatest accomplishment at the College of Charleston has been the development of the Initiative for Public Choice & Market Process, a program that give students the opportunity to learn about the economics, political and moral foundations of a free society, Chris Westley declares his greatest accomplishment was "marrying Dawn (his wife). And he'd agree."