Derek Rury


TA Consultant 


I’m Derek, a second year Ph.D. student in the economics department here at UC Davis and a first year in the TAC program. Along with a passion for instruction, my research interests include understanding how students make choices concerning their higher education, particularly how they decide on their major or specialization once in college. I’m also interested in the determinants of the rising cost of higher education in the U.S. and its effect on income inequality.

My experiences in the classroom have taken me from rural Illinois, to New York City, all the way to southern Madagascar. Here at UC Davis, I have served as a TA in the economics department, teaching topics in micro and macroeconomics, as well as the economics of education. My motivation as an instructor is in using the classroom to help students break down barriers, whether they are of understanding or of doubt and insecurity. I applied to the TAC program because I’m interested in developing new leadership skills as an instructor, consultant and workshop facilitator, as well as understanding how better to focus on student-centered learning in the classroom. Also, I’m hoping to learn how to make my classrooms more inclusive for students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

When I’m not teaching or working on research projects, I’m likely either in the kitchen working on a recipe, in the woods going for a stroll, or working on my ongoing professional pet project of becoming the Carl Sagan of economics. In between, I’m very happily on my bike, the “Green Monster”.