International Economics Prof. Joins Business School


ATLANTA — Penelope B. Prime, Ph.D., an expert in international economics as well as China and Asia, has joined the faculty of Mercer University’s Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics. She holds the academic rank of professor and will teach on Mercer’s Atlanta campus.
Dr. Prime is also director of the China Research Center, which she founded in 2001.  The Center has associates from numerous institutions in Georgia, with its base of operations now at Mercer University. Prime was formerly a faculty member at Kennesaw State University.
“Dr. Prime’s addition to the faculty will give our students an insight and perspective into Asia and China that will be invaluable in their professional lives,” said Dean Roger Tutterow. “Interest in China has increased in the last few years, but Penny has been studying and visiting China since the 1970s. Her depth of experience in that growing region has been invaluable to the state of Georgia and the numerous companies that have sought out her expertise. Her contacts in the region will also help us to bolster our study abroad programs and make an impact on student learning.”
The China Research Center serves as a center of expertise on contemporary China and promotes research and education about greater China. It engages in numerous outreach activities, advises the Georgia state government on matters relating to China, produces an online publication, and helps to promote understanding of China within and beyond the academic community.
“The Center is made up of researchers who have expertise in China and want to share it with a wide audience,” Prime said. “The goal of the Center is to increase our understanding of China, which will be critical for our future and our children’s future.”
Prime will teach a variety of international business and economics classes to Mercer business students and will take a leadership role in Mercer’s Executive MBA programs. Having recently returned from a five-month research and teaching tour of China and Asia, she will also work to develop further study abroad opportunities in China and Asia. She recently made a visit to China to prepare for Mercer’s Executive MBA international trip, which will take place in 2007.
Prime has spent her entire professional career focusing on international trade and development with an emphasis on China and Asia, holding teaching positions at Emory, Carleton College, Georgia State and Kennesaw. She has 30 years of experience studying and working within Chinese culture and the dynamic Chinese economy. After majoring in Chinese studies and studying Mandarin as an undergraduate at the University of Denver, she earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. She was one of the first U.S. graduate students to do dissertation research in China after the U.S. and China normalized relations.
Additionally, Prime has directed numerous study abroad programs, taking over 200 students to China. She has conducted field research in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, beginning with her dissertation research on Jiangsu Province; analyzing China’s economy for the Center for International Research at the U.S. Bureau of the Census from 1991-1998; and working with companies on China strategy, business environment, negotiations and cultural understanding. Her insights and expertise have been featured in a number of regional and national publications.
Her articles have been published in Applied Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Pacific Economic Review, Osaka Economic Papers, and Business Economics, among others, as well as in journals in China. She serves on the editorial boards of China Economic Review and the Indian Journal of Economics and Business. She has received numerous grants, including from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Scholarly Communications with the PRC, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
About the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer:
Established in 1984, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics is the largest school within Mercer University, with more than 1,300 students in its bachelor’s, MBA, Professional MBA and Executive MBA programs. The School holds accreditation from the prestigious AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, considered the hallmark of excellence among the nation’s top business schools and placing it among the top 25 percent of all business schools in the world.
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. For more information, visit