Throughout his time at County College of Morris (CCM), Dr. Stephen Kaifa, an award-winning professor of economics and finance, has played a major role in advancing the economics program for CCM students. Some of his accomplishments include implementing an e-commerce certificate program so career professionals can keep up with the new economy, starting the Center for Economic Education to train teachers in local school districts to increase economic literacy and developing a number of business and economics courses for business students at CCM.
“My deep passion and unparalleled enthusiasm for teaching economics comes from the inspiration of the students,” Kaifa says. “I’ve tried, over the years, to help students understand that economics is not a spectator sport but instead a participatory exercise. I’m thrilled each day when I arrive in class to begin the shared journey of social cooperation as I teach and they learn economic concepts, issues and interpretations”
Kaifa began his higher education at Cuttington College and Divinity School, now Cuttington University, in sub-Saharan Africa where he received his Bachelor of Arts in economics. He earned his Master of Science in economics from the University of Oregon and then his Ph.D. from Fordham University.
He has authored and co-authored several economics texts books and study guides and continuously conducts research in the field to remain competitive and up-to-date. He also is the recipient of several awards including the Distinguished Teaching and Achievement Award from the Business Department at CCM, the Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society Honorary Service Award and the St. Paul River District, Liberia, Community Service Award. In addition, he has been named an Honorary Chief of the the region of Liberia where his maternal great grandparents lived.
Along with his teaching and research, community service also is important to Kaifa. Volunteer service is a message he likes to share with his students as means for discovering how economics affects every aspect of life.
“Economics is everywhere around us,” he notes. “In many ways all of my students come to class with a wealth of economic knowledge that is unorganized but still relevant. It is my responsibility to make each one understand in a systematic way this very important knowledge which affects all walks of life, in the marketplace, the family, businesses, churches, voting, banking, investing, the environment and other human activity.”