College of Business and Economics

Faculty Spotlight: Matthew Winden, Economics Department

July 11, 2019

Written by Julie Woletz | Photo by Craig Schreiner

Professor Winden teaches both online and face-to-face courses in Economic Foundations and Statistics Foundations.* After earning his BS at UW-Green Bay and his Ph.D. from Ohio State, he began teaching at UW-Whitewater in 2012, and especially enjoys teaching night classes. He says the longer class period allows deep dives and concentration on a topic without the interruptions that occur with a daytime class that meets several times a week.

Dr. Winden’s favorite part of his job is interacting with students, where he can witness their growth, changes, and personal/professional development as they move through their degree programs. His suggestion for student success?

“You have to do more than just show up to class and sit through a lecture. You need to put the time and energy into studying and engage with the course material.”

As the assistant director of the FERC (Fiscal & Economic Research Center), he works with students, municipalities, and businesses to apply economic concepts to environmental issues. One of his projects, for example, is analyzing water quality at popular beaches in Wisconsin. Water samples are collected, beach-goers are surveyed, and data is analyzed. Dr. Winden and his research team can then provide information to government leaders and businesses so they understand how water quality at a beach can affect their local economy. More people using the beach results in increased revenue at restaurants, retailers, hotels, etc., which creates higher tax revenue.

Dr. Winden feels strongly that businesses and consumers need to place a value on the environment, because if it is ignored, the market will price it at zero, and the environment will be overused or abused. His prior research includes estimating the dollar value of the negative environmental impact of producing biofuels instead of using gasoline and diesel, as well as calculating the return on investment for disaster mitigation spending on coastal communities in terms of avoided damages.

During his free time, Dr. Winden enjoys spending time with his wife, who is also a professor in the Economics department, as well as their two dogs, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Morkie. He also enjoys reading, playing tennis, and doing home improvement tasks which require learning new skills and problem-solving that is necessary with each project.

*Please note that the faculty teaching specific courses are subject to change