Omicron Delta Epsilon

Omicron Delta Epsilon is the international economics honor society. We have had a chapter at Villanova since 1967. The society is open to all juniors and seniors having an overall grade point average of 3.5 or better, as well as a grade point average of 3.5 or better in the economic courses taken. Eligible students must have completed a minimum of four economics courses. All students who meet these minimum requirements are invited to contact the faculty advisor (Dr. Clain, 610-519-6556, for more information on how to apply for ODE membership.


Recent Events


Undergraduate Research

The ODE 29th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference in Business and Economics was held on Friday, April 20, 2018, at Ursinus College. Students from area undergraduate institutions, including Villanova University, presented and discussed their research in concurrent morning sessions. A luncheon followed the morning sessions.  Economics majors Patrick Monagle '18 and Riley McCarten '18 participated in this event in 2018.

In the spring of 2018, the Villanova University Department of Economics once again conducted the student research paper competition known as the Adam Smith Competition.  The winner in the 2017-2018 Adam Smith Contest was Maria Lovina '18.  Placing second in the competition was Sean Donohue '17; Joshua Buri '18 received an honorable mention. First- and second-place winners received cash awards of $2000 and $1000, respectively; $500 was awarded for an honorable mention. These finalists presented their papers on the Villanova campus at a luncheon on April 27, 2018.  The Adam Smith Contest was funded by a gift from John Haines (CLAS '79).  Congratulations to these winners!  Many thanks to all who entered their work in the competition.

The department encourages the author of the paper that wins first place in the Adam Smith Contest to submit the paper to an intercollegiate competition, such as the national ODE undergraduate research paper competition known as the Taussig competition (  Several Adam Smith contest winners have gone on to win the Taussig award in the past. 

In October 2016, Ryan Zalla '17, winner of the 2015-2016 Adam Smith Contest, presented his paper at a conference of economists in Washington, D.C., as a finalist in an international undergraduate research competition sponsored by the International Atlantic Economic Society. For more information, see  and  Ryan is currently a graduate student in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

In January 2015, it was announced that Alexander Evans '14 was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2014 Frank Taussig Article competition.  Alexander was the winner of the 2013-2014 Adam Smith Contest.  After graduating from Villanova, Alex completed a graduate program in Economic History at the London School of Economics.  He subsequently took a position at Johns Hopkins University.

In December 2013, it was announced that Thomas Griffin '13 was awarded third place in the 2013 Frank Taussig Article competition. Tom was the winner of the 2012-2013 Adam Smith Contest. Tom is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in finance at Drexel University.

In January 2011, Kathryn Nantz, then Vice President of Competitions for Omicron Delta Epsilon, announced that the winner of the Frank W. Taussig Article Award for 2010-2011 was Kelley Bergsma '10, for her paper entitled "Does Offering Microsavings Make Sense for Microfinance Institutions?". In addition to generating more prize money, Ms. Bergsma's prize-winning paper became eligible for submission for publication in The American Economist; the paper appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of the journal.  Additionally, the Villanova University chapter of ODE was awarded $200, which was donated to Opportunity International ( in Ms. Bergsma's honor. After graduating from Villanova, Kelley completed a Ph.D. in finance at Florida State University and became an assistant professor at the Ohio University College of Business.

Matthew Nespoli '04 won the 2006 Taussig Award for his paper entitled "Infrastructure Privatization in Latin America: A Medium Term Analysis".  At that time, the $200 award to the Villanova University chapter of ODE was donated to Water for Waslala (; Nespoli was President and Founder of Water for Waslala (2004-2015).  He received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2012 and is employed by Cengage.

Jonathan Klick '97 was the 1997 winner of the Taussig Award, for his paper entitled "Do Dollars Make a Difference?  The Relationship Between Expenditures and Test Scores in Pennsylvania's Public Schools" (The American Economist, Vol. 44, No. 1, Spring 2000, pp. 81-87).  Klick, who went on to complete both an economics Ph.D. and a J.D. at George Mason University, is now Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania.  (

Additional Information

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