Dr. Michael Toma Named Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair

Armstrong Professor of Economics Michael J. Toma has been named the university's Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair. The prestigious Callaway Professorial Chair is granted to professors in the state of Georgia to honor both excellence in the classroom and scholarship.

“The Callaway chair is a great honor for Dr. Toma and very well deserved,” said Armstrong President Linda Bleicken. “Known for his exemplary performance in the classroom, he has also created many opportunities for students through Armstrong's Center for Regional Analysis and through his professional connections. We are proud of what Dr. Toma has done for Armstrong and most especially for our students.”

Toma holds a doctorate degree in economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and began teaching in Armstrong's Department of Economics in 1997 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2003 and to professor in 2008. Since 2000, Toma has been director of Armstrong's Center for Regional Analysis, a student- and faculty-staffed applied research group focused on the Savannah-area economy that works with many local partners on special initiatives, customized applied business research and impact studies. In addition, the Center publishes the quarterly Coastal Empire Economic Monitor, a closely watched economic report. Toma's community ties are also strong in the area. He serves on the Board of Directors for United Way of the Coastal Empire and on the organization's Executive Committee as chair of the Community Investments Committee. He has also served as treasurer of the Coastal Georgia Greenway organization and as a member of Step-Up Savannah's evaluation team.

?Toma has authored or co-authored over twenty-five manuscripts on regional economic activity and has been awarded grant funds totaling over $600,000. His applied research includes studies of regional economic conditions and forecasting, tax policy, poverty reduction, market and tourism studies, economic impact analysis of regional manufacturing, beach renourishment on Tybee Island, and development of the Ashley Midtown neighborhood in Savannah as well as survey-based research on consumer satisfaction, expenditure patterns and attitudes toward tobacco use and use prevention. Savannah's Business Report and Journal named him as one of “40 under 40” notable Savannahians for 2003. The following year, Georgia Trend magazine selected him as one of Georgia's best and brightest Georgians under 40. Earlier this year, he was recognized as Teaching Fellow of the Academy of Economics and Finance. He has published articles in the Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Public Choice, Atlantic Economic Journal, Journal of Economics and Finance, International Review of Economics and Business, Coastal Business Journal, New York Economic Review, the Journal of Economics and Finance Education and the Journal of the American Academy of Business, among others. Toma serves on the editorial board of the Southern Business Review and serves the Academy of Economics and Finance on its Research Fellow review committee, as associate editor of its namesake journal and as chair of its site selection committee. He also co-founded the Academy's annual undergraduate research paper competition.

“I am very much humbled to be recognized with the award. It serves as an inspiration and deepens the responsibility to continue on the teaching and research path with students and in collaboration with Armstrong's dedicated and gifted faculty,” said Toma.

The Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Trust was established September 20, 1968 by the Callaway Foundation, Inc. The purpose of the trust is to encourage the enrichment of the academic program of senior colleges and graduate schools located in Georgia by providing funds for the establishment of professorial chairs in order to enable them to retain and add superior faculty members. These chairs were named to honor Fuller E. Callaway, Sr. in special recognition of his interest in education.