Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
The UMBC Community is mourning the recent passing of Wendy Takacs, Professor Emerita in
the Department of Economics. Wendy joined the faculty at UMBC in 1976, after completing her
Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. Her retirement in 2016 marked four decades of commitment
to the Department and the University. Particularly noteworthy were her dedication to clarity and
approachability in classroom exposition, her impressive range of publications, and her expert
professional involvement in her research specialization of international trade.
Wendy’s excellence in teaching was evidenced by her winning the Department’s “Teacher of the
Year Award” some nine times, including at least once in each of her four decades of teaching at
UMBC: 1978, 1980, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2008, and 2011. Such sustained recognition
by generations of students is a testament to Wendy’s talents as an outstanding and caring
educator. Her dedication to teaching was also evidenced by the frequent sight of students lined
up outside her office waiting their turn to benefit from the knowledge and encouragement that
she generously offered them. Wendy’s signature course on international trade was a challenging
topic and called on students both to make sense of, and to utilize, complex analytical diagrams.
Aside from her research specialty, Wendy regularly taught the full gamut of economic theory
courses including introductory micro and macro along with intermediate micro and macro in her
regular teaching rotation.
Wendy’s years of impactful departmental service included numerous time-consuming stints as
department scheduler and her a key role in establishing the Masters program in Economic Policy
Analysis (ECPA). Wendy further served for five years as Graduate Program Director of the
program. Highlights of her University leadership included serving on an educational assessment
task force for one of the Middle States Accreditation reviews, and the University Faculty Review
Committee (including a term as chair of this important committee). Finally, we her colleagues,
fondly recall that Wendy was a bulwark of the Department’s awards ceremonies, often supplying
fresh-cut flowers from her own gardens to enhance the celebration.
Wendy’s scholarly and professional involvement included not only an extensive publication
record in leading peer-reviewed journals but also a wide array of influential stints with
international agencies and consulting assignments. These included service as Co-director of the
United Nations/World Bank Trade Expansion program (1993-95) and consultancy assignments
with the World Bank in its Latin America Department, Asia Technical Department, and Trade
Research group. Her students deeply appreciated the way she employed these real-world
examples from her various assignments to enhance her classroom presentations.
As a colleague, Wendy was always welcoming and nurturing towards junior faculty. In
departmental meetings she brought a calming and reflective influence upon the deliberations.
Wendy also led an active and full non-academic life. She was an enthusiastic equestrian and at
one point owned horses, along with a farm of several dozen acres for grazing them. Wendy was
also very active in the dog obedience community, serving as a docent as well as entering her own
dogs in competition.
Wendy will be missed by the many students and colleagues at UMBC whose lives she enriched.
Our deepest condolences to her family.