The European Economic Association (EEA) has just awarded several prizes to economists who have made a significant contribution to spreading knowledge on economics through their teaching. Katharina Hartinger convinced the jury in the early career category and won the prize endowed with 1000 euros. "The winners in the other age categories came from very renowned universities such as the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona and the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in Bergen. I was very pleased that the KU, as a smaller university, was able to succeed in this Europe-wide competition thanks to its outstanding teaching personalities", emphasizes Prof. Wiederhold.
Among other factors, the selection committee named Hartinger's broad range of courses, excellent evaluation results, and intensive supervision of Bachelor's and Master's theses as reasons for the decision. In addition, the committee emphasized Hartinger's creativity in digital teaching content during the Corona pandemic and her dedication during her supervisor's research sabbatical.
Hartinger, who had already won the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, impressed the selection committee with an extensive application portfolio that stood out with statements from numerous students: "I am still in contact with many students from previous years and asked them for a few sentences." The large amount of feedback, including from former students, was a surprise even to Hartinger: "These are real people behind this for whom I have made a difference. I was very touched by the quotes."
The students' statements made clear how passionate Hartinger is about economics and about sharing knowledge. She emphasizes: "The magic of economics lies in its broad toolbox, which allows us to explain human behavior. It helps us understand what's happening out in the world." Already during her studies, Hartinger worked as a tutor. "The moment when someone really grasps an important connection in economics always feels wonderful." Hartinger attaches great importance to the communication with her students: "I want to give them an insight – into the basics and into research. Also into my research. I tell them about my successes and my failures. I want them to see that we're all in the same boat."
Despite her passion for teaching and the positive feedback, Hartinger didn't expect to win over the European Economic Association jury like this: "I attended the awards ceremony online and suddenly my name popped up." But now the joy over her title is all the greater. "It will accompany me throughout my career."