Paul Grimes, dean of the Kelce College of Business and former professor at Mississippi State University, has been inducted into the Mississippi Council on Economic Education Hall of Fame.
“I had lots of different emotions when I got the call – very surprised and excited at first and then grateful and humbled to be selected,” Grimes said. “I feel extremely honored to be recognized by a group of people that I deeply respect.”
Grimes was inducted into the hall of fame based on his work for economic education in Mississippi, including being a key member in the re-establishment in the Mississippi Council for Economic Education.
“I know in Mississippi there are kids who stayed in school, made the decision to go to college, and properly manage their paychecks today because they learned how to make good solid economic choices from the teachers we trained through the programs of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education,” Grimes said. “That is very satisfying.”
In addition to his role in the founding of the Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy, Grimes has also been involved in global economic education projects.
“I’ve been part of a number of international economic education initiatives overseas,” Grimes said. “The most interesting work was in Russia after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. I was part of an effort to train elementary and secondary teachers how to teach market economics to students who began their lives under a communist economic system. We conducted workshops and training sessions throughout the country and I got to go to places I never dreamed of visiting and met many wonderful people.”
Grimes graduated from Pittsburg State University in 1979 with a bachelor of science in economics and again with a master of science in economics in 1980. After spending 25 years at Mississippi State University, he returned to PSU in 2011.
“Life is about growth and change,” Grimes said. “… After 25 years, it was time for me to look for new challenges and the opportunity to return to my alma mater to serve as dean at an institution that means so much to me was a perfect fit for this stage in my life and my family’s lives.”
Grimes has written several books, including co-authoring “Economics of Social Issues,” an economic textbook. He is also the editor-in-chief of academic journal The American Economist.
“Over the years, I have had a very active research agenda in the areas of economic education, labor economics, and public policy,” Grimes said. “There is no shortage of interesting issues to explore in these areas and when I was a department chair, I made it a point to mentor my junior colleagues to help them become successful researchers. The other day I counted up the number of people I’ve written papers with and it turned out to be more than 40. As dean of the Kelce College, I haven’t had time to keep these sort of projects going but I’m busier than ever with all the administrative work that is necessary to keep things moving forward. Most students and faculty members would be surprised at all the work that must get done every day to ensure the university functions smoothly.”
Grimes’s efforts in economic education have not been ignored; he has won awards and honors based on his work. He was named a Visiting Fellow by Princeton University, a Senior Evaluation Scholar by the National Council on Economic Education, and in 2005, he received the Henry H. Villard Research Award for his career contributions to economic education research. The Southern Economic Association presented Grimes with the Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award in 2010.
“Economic education empowers people to make better choices – better choices about their resources, both human and financial,” Grimes said in his induction speech. “Students who are taught and influenced by the teachers that participate in Council programs are inspired to further their education, to properly manage their finances, and to start their own businesses. You cannot begin to measure how these outcomes will positively influence student futures and their families. In all of my nearly 35 years of work in academia, I am most proud of my involvement in helping to lay the foundation for a strong and vibrant economic education infrastructure in Mississippi.”