Shaun Gilyard is about as active on campus as any Gustavus student. Shaun is a senior Economics major, specifically focused on financial economics, who is truly engaged in the Gustavus community.
Lately, Shaun has been focused on off-campus research. He spent his summer doing research with some Gustavus faculty members in the Economics department.
They were lucky enough to receive a research grant and Shaun was very excited about the opportunity to participate in the study.
Their research focused on the effects of minimum wage on employment growth, something that was very interesting to Shaun.
He enjoyed the process of doing the research and gained a lot of insight into not only the specific topic, but in how to do research at a professional level.
Shaun presented his research and findings to the Economics department and some other Gustavus faculty and students on September 19.
“We’re planning to spend the next year writing a paper and getting it published in an economics journal,”Shaun said. He is excited to be able to perfect the paper and complete the research that he has been working hard on.
Shaun is hoping to use this research opportunity to his advantage in the future. He plans to use the paper as a writing sample for applications to Masters or Ph.D. programs in economics.
His plan is to study applied or monetary economics in graduate school after wrapping up his time at Gustavus.
Ultimately, he wants to end up in a career that involves doing economic research.
“For me, economics is more of an interest, but music is more of my passion.”
Aside from his recent research with the Economics department, Shaun is also very involved in other areas of campus, and has a very well-rounded set of interests and passions. He has been involved in choir at Gustavus for all four years and is currently in the Chapel Choir. He really enjoys the experience of being in choir and being among people who share that interest with him.
Music has always been a huge part of Shaun’s life. He has taken piano lessons for fifteen years and is still very active with it.
He emphasizes that music has really given him something to be passionate about and proud of. “For me, economics is more of an interest, but music is more of my passion,” Shaun said.
Shaun is also involved in Gustavus Enactus, which is a social entrepreneurial club. The organization connects students and businesses through entrepreneurial-based projects. Shaun is glad that he was able to be involved with Enactus and is proud of the work that they do.
In his free time, Shaun likes to hang out with his friends and occasionally play some video games. Although, he has not seen much free time lately with his research and other extracurriculars.
In reflecting upon his time at Gustavus, Shaun pointed out some of his favorite memories and experiences.
First, Shaun mentions that he “really liked the raves that we’ve had on campus, those were really fun,” Shaun said. Ultimately, the best memories that came to his mind have been of Christmas in Christ Chapel, Gustavus’s annual holiday concert featuring several campus music, dance, and social justice groups.
“It’s cool to see all of the work that I and other students put into it. I also love to see how many people really enjoy the experience. It gives me a sense of community.”He especially looks forward to being a part of his fourth and final Christmas in Christ Chapel program.
Shaun’s impressive ability to work diligently towards his career goal while balancing extracurriculars makes him a prime example of what it means to embody the spirit of a Gustie.