ASU agribusiness professor elected to AAEA board of directors

Carola Grebitus joins Agricultural and Applied Economics Association's 2021 leadership

May 29, 2020

Arizona State University Associate Professor of food industry management Carola Grebitus has been elected to the 2021 leadership of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA).

Grebitus, who is a senior sustainability scholar for the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the director of the Food and Agribusiness Lab (FAB Lab), will begin her new role for AAEA starting July 28 and will hold the position for a three-year term. The AAEA is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Carola Grebitus Carola Grebitus Download Full Image

"I'm excited about the opportunity to serve on the board, and I am looking forward to working on strategies to increase numbers of AAEA industry members by staying relevant and communicating all AAEA has to offer,” she said.

Grebitus received her doctorate in food economics and food marketing (magna cum laude) in 2007 from Kiel University in Germany and received the Goldener Zuckerhut annual award for junior professionals showing outstanding success in Germany's food economy awarded by the foundation Goldener Zuckerhut in 2006.

Her research is focused on modeling consumers’ food choices in general and consumers’ decision strategies in particular.

She has worked extensively on the determinants of consumer behavior, purchase decision-making and food quality from the consumers’ perspective. 

Her current research includes consumer preferences for local food, urban agriculture, and sustainable (food) products, willingness to pay for new technologies and the influence of food labeling on purchase decisions.

Furthermore, she investigates the role of social networks on healthy food choices and the adoption of genomics. Also, she has conducted research using retail surveys regarding consumers’ use of quality certification and country-of-origin information.

In her research, Grebitus applies a variety of methods ranging from auctions and choice experiments to eye tracking and taste tests. At ASU, she teaches courses in food product innovation and development, and food promotion and advertising, with a heavy emphasis on food retail.

Grebitus joined ASU in August 2012. Previously, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Food Market Research at the Institute for Food and Resource Economics at Bonn University in Germany. She was also a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta in Canada and at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University.

About AAEA

Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations and engage in a variety of research, teaching and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open-access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. 

Shay Moser

Managing Editor, W. P. Carey School of Business


ASU Prep Digital grad balanced high school and competitive hockey

May 29, 2020

Though Alejandro Apud spent much of his life in the desert, he was equally at home on the ice. His burgeoning hockey career led him to move away from home in 2018 to play for traveling junior hockey teams based out of first Louisiana then Connecticut. To balance his collegiate athletics and academic pursuits, Apud turned to ASU Prep Digital. He graduated this month along with 291 classmates in the ASU Prep class of 2020.

Apud moved to the Scottsdale area from Mexico when he was in the seventh grade. He moved away his junior year of high school to play for under-21 hockey leagues that often feed players into college teams. This year, he traveled between Arizona and Connecticut to train for his hockey season.  Portrait of ASU Prep Digital graduate and hockey player Alejandro Apud ASU Prep Digital graduate Alejandro Apud. Download Full Image

Though he was far from home and one of the youngest players on his team, the experience provided Apud many opportunities to travel around the East Coast to compete. “It’s a pathway to college,” said Apud, who recently turned 18. 

While Apud is a serious and focused scholar, his rigorous hockey practice schedule required greater flexibility than what could be provided by an average high school. With practices going from about 8 a.m. to noon, there was no time to go to a local school. That’s what led him to ASU Prep Digital. 

“It allowed me to keep going to school. … It allowed me to manage my time,” he said. “And the main thing that caught my eye is I was able to take college classes at the same time at ASU along with normal classes. I really liked that.”

Apud’s goal is to get a commitment from a D1 school for hockey, and his dream schools are Notre Dame University and Cornell University because of their programs in architecture and civil engineering.

His interest in hockey, engineering and architecture stemmed from the construction of an arena near his home in Mexico when he was growing up. He remembers stopping by the arena after school and watching his father work with architects as the arena was built. Apud was fascinated by the architectural process from start to finish. He had the opportunity to take college classes in civil engineering and environmental engineering through ASU Prep Digital to get a preview of what his future majors would be like.

Once the arena was open to the public, Apud began figure skating there. He saw a hockey team practicing one day and told his parents that he wanted to give it a try. Apud continued playing in Arizona and now plays center and wing for the Connecticut Chiefs in the Eastern Hockey League

“(Hockey) is something that makes me a better person. It gives me a vision, something to work hard for every day … and you can just never get enough of it,” he said. 

Apud said that although time management was an issue for him at first, his ASU Prep Digital counselor sent him some resources that helped him develop a schedule and get disciplined. Now that he’s graduated, he’s looking forward to what’s next and reflecting on a high school experience that he was able to customize for his athletic and academic goals. 

“I just think it was the best option for me,” he said.

Written by Claire Muranaka and Hannah Moulton Belec, EOSS Marketing

Hannah Moulton Belec

Marketing content specialist, Educational Outreach and Student Services