FlipSide Face


by Ryan Steinbach

For most students, the sight of a supply-and-demand curve doesn’t whip them into an immediate frenzy. But when Jim Palmieri was a student, he was instantly hooked.

Palmieri is approaching his ten-year anniversary as assistant professor of economics at Simpson. Born and raised around Chicago, Palmieri enjoys his position as an educator.

“I like the freedom of teaching – I get to talk about the issues I want,” Palmieri said. “The greatest reward is seeing students go on and become professional, responsible, happy adults. The greatest joy and the greatest curse is getting to know your students, but then they have to leave.”

Palmieri finds economics fascinating because of the numerous practical applications, but his interests expand far beyond facts and figures. He’s an experienced traveler who has voyaged all over Central America and Europe.

“It [traveling abroad] gives you a broader perspective and better understanding of what others are dealing with,” Palmieri said. “When you live in one place, it’s easy to think it is the only way to do things.”

His next big adventure is a May Term trip to Italy. Palmieri, along with Mark Juffernbruch, associate professor of accounting, and their wives, will be supervising 37 students as they visit Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento over 17 days.

“I love all the places we are visiting, but especially Florence,” Palmieri said. “It’s like a history museum.”

Although being in charge of a large group may seem like a daunting task, Palmieri believes the trip will be relatively stress free since Italy has a developed western economy with heavy security. Instead he is focusing on the benefits his trip will offer Simpson students.

“I hope they take away great knowledge of Italian history and art,” Palmieri said. “And a better appreciation for cultural differences and other ways of life.”

Even though Palmieri praises May Term trips, he believes semester-long programs are more fulfilling and rewarding. Palmieri thinks programs such as the semester in London are more challenging because day-to-day events are not planned out like May Term trips.

“A semester long program is ideal,” Palmieri said. “They have a greater impact in developing an appreciation for global cultures and experiencing multicultural differences.”

When Palmieri isn’t traveling the globe, he enjoys cheering on Chicago sports teams.

“I’m a big Cubs and Bears fan,” Palmieri said. “I watch the Bears, I watch the Cubs, and cry my eyes out.”