Born in Detroit, Michigan, David Berri has a goal to live in all 50 states. From a childhood in Detroit then Lincoln, Nebraska to graduate school at Colorado State and teaching at Coe College, California State University - Bakersfield and Southern Utah University, Berri has checked off six states so far.
As a Professor of Economics at Southern Utah University, Berri teaches a variety of classes under the School of Business. Over his nine years at SUU he has taught:
- ECON 1740 US Economic History
- ECON 2020 Principles of Macroeconomics
- ECON 3010 Managerial Economics
- ECON 4900 Gender Economics
- ECON 4900 Sports Economics
Berri’s favorite class to teach is US Economics History for first year students. It gives him the chance to introduce the world of economics to students through storytelling.
“Economics is the study of how people make choices. Under the umbrella of ‘how people make choices’ are all sorts of interesting topics and when economics is applied to questions not traditionally thought of as ‘economics;’ then the field can be quite interesting. For me, those questions exist within the study of sports, history, religion, and gender issues.”
After spending the last two decades researching sports and economics, Berri has published works on a variety of topics including the evaluation of players and coaches, competitive balance, the drafting of players, labor disputes, the NCAA, and gender issues in sports.
“So much of economics (and life in general) is looked at from the male perspective. It is fun (and important) to have students think about how life is very different for women.”
Like most, Berri has a hard time narrowing down his proudest moment at SUU. Not only has he published multiple papers in academic journals and two books, “Stumbling on Wins” and “Sports Economics,” Berri also writes for popular outlets such a Atlantic.com, Time.com, Vice Sports, Huffington Post, and most recently Forbes.com.
He has accomplished plenty during his time at SUU, but says “most importantly, I have taught hundreds of students. This year I am teaching -- on average -- more than 45 students per class. This is a fairly typical year for me so in nine years I have reached more than 2,000 students at SUU.”
Berri emphasizes the relatively small classrooms at SUU as a foundation. “It helps to have students be able to interact with college professors in the classroom. That is an essential feature of the institution and one we need to make sure we keep.”
With a love of teaching, Berri gives all students the advice that learning is a function of how much effort is put forward.
“I do not think people are born ‘smart’ or ‘stupid.’ I think people who put forward effort can learn anything they want. It is up to the professor to find a way to motivate everyone to put forward this effort.”