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Purdue Center for Economic Education

Our Staff

Melanie E. Fox
(765) 494-7211

Melanie E. Fox is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Purdue Center for Economic Education. She joined Purdue University's Daniels School of Business in August 2023. Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue, she was the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Virginia Tech. Her career of more than 20 years in economic education has included co-creating the Economic Scholars Program at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and developing the economics content on Khan Academy.

Phillip VanFossen
Associate Director

A former middle and high school economics teacher, VanFossen has published more than 80 scholarly works including refereed articles in Theory and Research in Social Education, The Senior Economist, and Economics for Kids. He is the program author for the high school economics text Economics Alive! The Power to Choose (Teachers Curriculum Institute, 2009). In addition, he has co-authored seven volumes of classroom curriculum materials for economics, and authored chapters in three handbooks. A longtime advocate for PCEE, VanFossen is serving as Interim Dean of Purdue's College of Education, and is its James F. Ackerman Distinguished Professor of Social Studies Education. 

Mandy Hopkins
Senior Administrative Assistant
(765) 494-2245

Mandy Hopkins is the Senior Administrative Assistant for PCEE. She joined Purdue University in 2018, starting her career in University Residences, where she honed her project management skills. Prior to her career at Purdue, she had worked as a substitute teacher, which led to her love for working in education. Mandy earned a bachelor's in Business-Marketing Management at Western Governors University-Indiana and an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration at Ivy Tech. She has mental health first aid training and is CompTIA Project+ Certified. 

Gina Boyd
Teacher Advocate

Gina Boyd is a Grade 4/5 High Ability teacher at Mayflower Mill Elementary School in Lafayette, Indiana. She earned her BS in Elementary Education at David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and has been teaching for more than three decades. As PCEE's Elementary School Teacher Advocate, Boyd presents concepts to schools looking to improve their economic instruction. She leads workshops for teachers on subjects including Integrating STEAM and Economics in the Elementary Classroom, the Classroom Mini Economy, and Economics in Children's Literature. Boyd has an endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education from Purdue University, and is a National Board Certified Teacher and a Golden Apple winner. She was the 2018 Tippecanoe School Corporation Elementary Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for Indiana Teacher of the Year.




PCEE maintains an advisory board of local business, agricultural, labor, and education leaders to provide feedback, guidance, and thought leadership to the center. Board meetings take place twice a year. If you are passionate about K-12 economic education and would like more information about joining the board, please contact the center at

Melanie Fox
Director, PCEE
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business
Purdue University
Kelly Blanchard
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs
Department of Economics
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business
Purdue University
Scott Brand
Vice President of Quality Control
Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.
Ron Dubree
International Representative
Region 3 United Auto Workers
Robert Falk
Purdue Federal Credit Union
Scott Hanback
Tippecanoe School Corporation
Shawn Greiner
West Lafayette Community School Corporation
John Layton
Associate Superintendent (Retired)
Lafayette School Corporation
Ryan Gehlsen
Cat/Perkins Brand Engines CFO
Caterpillar, Inc.
Jim Mills
Mills Consulting
Charles Shook
Vice President
The Shook Agency
Brent Talcott
Vice President
Lafayette Bank and Trust
Justin Tobias
Senior Associate Dean and Chair
Department of Economics
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business
Purdue University
Phil VanFossen
Associate Director, PCEE
Director, James F. Ackerman Center and
   Ackerman Professor of Social Studies Education
Purdue University
Scott Walker
Greater Lafayette Commerce