Dr. Michael Welker
Dr. Michael Welker ’89 has never found a shortage of things that interest him.
Raised in Rockville, Maryland, Welker went to California to work for five years after high school, where he found an interest in Christianity, converting from Zen Buddhism.
In 1984, he moved to Florida to attend St. Petersburg College, where, in a night course, he discovered an interest in economics. “The science helped me understand a lot ofmy experiences from my first five years in the workplace,” he remembers.
In Florida, he also found an interest in Catholicism, particularly through two very influential people: a Catholic gentleman he met at work who mentored him (“He and his wife prayed a Rosary for my conversion every day for a year,” Welker says), and Joe Grchan ’85, a youth minister who shared with Welker everything he’d learned as a Franciscan University theology major.
In 1986, Welker moved to Steubenville to attend Franciscan University, where he majored in economics and philosophy, and developed an interest in his classmate, Cindy (Menk ’90), whom he married in1991. In 1994, Welker began teaching economics at his alma mater, and has taught there ever since, earning a doctorate in international economics from Kent State University in 2003.
“Economics studies human behavior: how people formulate goals and figure out how to achieve them,” explains Welker, noting that the science goes hand in hand with his faith. “The Catholic social tradition that kicks off with Pope Leo XIII has the Church examining man in the marketplace.”
Along the way, the husband, father of seven, economist, professor, and author (his book, Inflation Policy and Currency Substitution was recently published by VDM Verlag in Germany) also found an interest in game design, co-creating two published war-history boardgames (and winning a prestigious simulation-design award for the first, on the Thirty Years War).
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