My name is Ruth Dittrich and I am an Assistant Professor of economics within the Pamplin School of Business. Before joining the University of Portland, I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the economics of climate change adaptation to flooding. I developed an interest in environmental economics when I realized how much economics has to offer to effectively reduce pollution and move towards greater sustainability. I started to work on climate change adaptation in order to support local communities and regions to understand and plan better for climate change impacts such as increased flooding and heat waves.
I taught economics in the undergraduate and postgraduate programs of the University of Edinburgh, in both the economics and engineering departments. Prior to my Ph.D., I worked at the Europe Research Center of Harvard Business School in Paris, France, as a case study writer for the business school’s MBA program.
I also worked at the European Association of Chambers of Commerce in Brussels, Belgium. I hold a master’s degree in economic policy from the University of Birmingham, UK. For my bachelor of arts in economics, politics and sociology, I studied at the University of Erfurt, Germany, the University of Sheffield, UK, and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lyon, France.
I moved to Portland in 2016 from Europe with my husband. On weekends, I enjoy climbing, hiking, or running in in Forest Park and in the Columbia River Gorge.
The best advice I can give my students is to choose a field that you are passionate about. Don’t become discouraged if it is challenging. If you are excited about a subject, you’ll naturally want to learn more and be good at it. Don’t worry about how well everybody else is doing, what matters is whether you are happy with your own performance. Remember, to go and see your professor if you are struggling with the material. We are here to help you succeed!
Lastly, go and study abroad! Learning about different cultures and making international friends is priceless. It will help you to appreciate how people from all over the world live, work and communicate; one of the most valuable commodities in understanding and succeeding in our globalized economy.