January 29, 2009 — The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia has awarded Kenneth G. Elzinga its 2009 Faculty Prize. Elzinga, the Robert C. Taylor Chair of Economics, has been a member of the faculty since 1967.
Awarded every other year to an outstanding U.Va. faculty member, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Faculty Prize is meant to foster an ongoing dialogue about Jeffersonian ideals. The recipient, selected by the Jefferson Scholars Alumni Advisory Committee, recognizes and celebrates commitment to leadership, scholarship and citizenship, the same criteria used in the selection of Jefferson Scholars.
"I am both honored and flattered to receive this prize from the University," Elzinga said. "It has been a blessing for me, over the years, to be a member of this academical village and it has been a privilege to have had so many Jefferson Scholars in my classes."
Each fall, Elzinga's introductory economics course is the largest class offered at the University, attracting over 1,000 students. His Antitrust Policy seminar, taught using the Socratic method, often has a waiting list of two years.
Not only well-respected and popular among the student body, Elzinga is also highly recognized among his peers. He was the first recipient of the Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professorship, a recipient of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Professor Award and the Commonwealth of Virginia's Outstanding Faculty Award. He has also been given awards in education from the Kenan and Templeton Foundations and, in 1992, received the Thomas Jefferson Award, the highest honor the University accords its faculty.
"Professor Elzinga's passion and commitment to his students and his work is evident in his popularity at the University and his long list of accomplishments," said Jimmy Wright, president of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.
Elzinga's major research interest is antitrust economics, in particular pricing strategy and market definition. He has testified in several precedent-setting antitrust cases. The author of more than 70 academic publications, he is also known for three mystery novels, co-authored with William Breit (under the pen name Marshall Jevons), in which the protagonist employs economic analysis to solve crimes. The novels have been used in classrooms across the country to illustrate introductory economic principles, and have been translated into seven languages.
A former Fellow in Law and Economics at the University of Chicago and a Thomas Jefferson Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University, Elzinga is also a past president of the Southern Economic Association, a member of Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the National Board of Directors of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and the Board of Trustees at Hope College. He holds a B.A. and honorary doctorate from Kalamazoo College and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
As the recipient of the Jefferson Scholarship Foundation Faculty Prize, Elzinga will receive $5,000 to support future research and inquiry and the opportunity to address the general University community on the ideals of leadership and citizenship in the field of economics.
About the Jefferson Scholars Foundation
The 28-year-old, not-for-profit Jefferson Scholars Foundation serves the University of Virginia by identifying, attracting and nurturing individuals of extraordinary intellectual range and depth who possess the highest qualities of leadership, scholarship and citizenship. For information, visit www.jeffersonscholars.org.