Justin Haddad, a University of North Carolina graduate in 2021, will become the university’s 53rd Rhodes scholar and the second of three University of North Carolina scientists named as part of the 2022 class.
The scholarship will fund a Master of Philosophy Haddad He holds a PhD in Economics from Oxford University, where he hopes to continue studying market design. He is currently pursuing this major as a research assistant at Marek Pycia, Professor of Organizational Economics at the University of Zurich.
Haddad, whose parents immigrated from Trinidad and Tobago, was raised in Columbus, Ohio. His grandparents are refugees from Syria and Lebanon. He said that his family background is of great importance to him.
“This is a reason to do everything,” Haddad said.
Part of what brought him to UNC, he said, was its location in the south, the place “furthest from his comfort zone”.
“I wanted to explore an environment unfamiliar to me,” Haddad said. “But I also wanted to do it in a place that respects not only his academy, but his culture as well.”
Haddad graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2021 with a major in Economics and Interdisciplinary Studies majoring in Applied Physics, as well as a minor in Latin.
Sharon L. said. James, Professor in the Department of Classics Blacksmith Renaissance man.
“He’s a rare person who combines physics, economics, Latin, poetry, and technology, and does a good job at them all,” James said. “And he sees connections between them that I think the rest of us will struggle to see.”
Haddad also graduated from the university as a Scholar at Morehead Cain, Carolina Honors Scholar, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Julie Defoe, director of consulting researcher for the Morehead-Cain Program, said Haddad brings a lot of energy to all of his studies and diverse engagements.
“He’s also been really cool at recruiting others to join a cause,” DeVoe said.
This ability served him during his college years, where he was involved in various commercial and cooperative businesses.
Haddad said he spent the summer after his first year in Louisville, Kentucky, as a government research fellow researching policies to improve the welfare of immigrant small business owners.
He said his family had motivated him to apply his studies to the issues faced by refugees and migrants.
“I have found that economic theory provides a framework for analyzing human problems,” Haddad said. “I have found that I am drawn to problems that affect people like my family.”
During his second year, he worked for a software company called Wage, which he said focused on improving shift matching for employees. This idea became the subject of his honors thesis at UNC.
But Haddad said his biggest achievement during that year was being the co-founder and chief strategist for UNCUT, a media platform for sharing athletes’ stories off the field. He continued his work with UNCUT during his freshman year.
Haddad said his most satisfying job is developing and teaching a course through the Carolina C-START Honors Program. The course was conducted under the faculty of Daniel Young, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The course covered game theory market design, microeconomic theory and introductory physics principles.
During his final year at UNU, Haddad co-founded a web-based team management tool called SplitTime, inspired by the now-defunct startup Wage.
Now, in Zurich, Haddad continues to apply his expertise and interest in market design to answer theoretical questions related to the global refugee crisis and workforce deficits.
Looking to the future, Haddad thought about the people and places that shaped him during his time at UNC.
“I am the sum of my community,” he said, “I am nothing without people who have been able to teach me things.” “I am honored to collaborate closely with people who are naturally inclined to share their depth of experience with a curious little child like myself.”
Haddad will begin his studies as a Rhodes University Scholar in 2022 at Oxford next fall, alongside UNU alumnus Takhuna Hlachwaku and colleague Kimathi Muiruri, 2021 UNU alumnus.
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