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Rose- Marie Avin, Ph.D. 

by Laura Jones

Dr. Rose-Marie Avin describes herself as a Caribbean American descendent of slaves who was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Her upbringing in Haiti, including the treatment of the servants in her home and the climate that existed during a time of despotism in her home country, remain significant memories that inform her life today. She speaks of strong role models during her childhood, including her mother and her aunt who taught her that, “Education is so important, it is important to get that degree.” Avin understood at a young age her responsibility to be educated and she graduated Summa Cum Laude from City University of New York in 1978 and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1986. Moving forward in economics, a field traditionally dominated by men, Dr. Avin came to UW-Eau Claire in a tenure-track faculty position in 1987.

Avin’s introduction to Nicaraguan women’s movements in 1989 became a turning point for her as she discovered the power of feminism. Affected by her journeys and interactions with women in Nicaragua after the revolution, Avin discovered a new framework through the empowerment of these women that has enhanced her own scholarly work as well as her approaches to teaching economics.  In 1992 she attended an “overflowing” conference session on feminism and economics and also began a relationship with the Women’s Studies Program that led to her teaching classes and helping to coordinate an annual conference on feminist economics that explores the impact of women, who were previously invisible in traditional economic studies. When asked about her beliefs within feminism, Avin remarked, “I strongly believe in the activist side of feminism. I believe that one of my goals, as a feminist economist, is to eliminate the conditions of women in the developing world.”

Avin has received a Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Award and The Morton Wollman Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Study in Economics. She is also a member of the American Association of University Women, the Center for Latin America at UW-Milwaukee, the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, the International Association for Feminist Economists (IAFFE) and The Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua (WCCN).