Tamara Lynn Hannaway, associate professor of economics and
public affairs at Colorado Christian University, has earned a doctor of
philosophy in public affairs degree. Granted by one of the top schools in the
nation, University of Colorado Denver's School of Public Affairs, the degree
demonstrates Hannaway's command of a field with far-reaching implications.
The journey, for Hannaway, started at the Berlin Wall in 1989. "While
standing in the rubble of what recently was the Berlin Wall," she says, "I
looked east, then west, then east. The image of dichotomy, contrast, and
dissimilarity overwhelmed my senses. I knew a few facts about the Cold War, but
the textbooks said nothing of what my eyes could see." Her experience started a
quest to discover, in her words, the "festering plague prohibiting citizens
from living a life fulfilled."
Hannaway's dissertation focuses on
levels of corruption in government that corrode funding for public goods, such
as police and the judicial system. By conducting business off the official
books, corrupt individuals and businesses create a Shadow Economy where
transactions remain untaxed. Examining the state of the former Soviet Union,
she discovered how corruption not only leads to income inequality, but decays
school quality and other public works, eventually causing economic collapse.
In the world of education, where diverted funding often means old books, fewer
teachers, and outdated buildings, corruption can be easy to hide. Her thesis
exposes the ramifications of this and also allows her to apply lessons to the
western world, as quality education is critical to sustainable economic
During a time when education and economics are some of
the foremost issues in America, Hannaway's expertise will prove vital in the
classroom. Already possessing an MBA with a concentration in economics, 19
years' experience in the corporate world and 10 in academia, Hannaway plans to
pursue post-doctoral work consulting with international agencies on
sustainable economic development.