Building a Humane Economy for Family Flourishing: A Weekend Conference for Undergraduates

April 14-15, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA

Building a Humane Economy for Family Flourishing

The most fundamental and basic unit of every society, and thus of every economy, is the family. Since families are the primary building blocks of an economy, it is only right and just that each economy be built humanely so as to encourage family flourishment. The question then becomes how do we build a humane society and what does that look like? What does true family flourishment mean, and how do we recognize it once we get there? 

Join the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and some of America’s top scholars this April for a weekend of immersive, rigorous discussion aimed at stretching your mind to both understand and apply the principles of a humane economy for the sake of the family and the common good.

All undergraduates in the Pittsburgh region are highly encouraged to apply!

If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Kondracki at


Jacob Imam

Jacob Imam is the Executive Director of New Polity and the VP of Finance for the College of St. Joseph the Worker. He recently earned his doctorate at Oxford while working on a Theology of Money. He lives in Steubenville, OH with his wife Alice and their sons.

Antony Davies

Dr. Antony Davies is the Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at FEE, associate professor of economics at Duquesne University, and co-host of the podcast, Words & Numbers. Dr. Davies authors monthly columns on economics and public policy for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has written a book on understanding statistics, published by the Cato Institute, and has co-authored hundreds of op-eds for, among others, the Wall Street JournalLos Angeles Times, and Washington Post

His YouTube videos on economics, government, and policy have garnered millions of views. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Davies was Associate Producer at the Moving Pictures Institute, Chief Financial Officer at Parabon Computation, founded several technology companies, and is co-founder and Chief Academic Officer at FreedomTrust, where he lectures on economics for high school students across the country.

Luke Sheahan

Luke C. Sheahan is assistant professor of political science at Duquesne University and a non-resident scholar at the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches courses in public law and American politics. Sheahan’s research focuses on First Amendment rights, with special focus on the freedom of association. In addition to his work on freedom of association, Sheahan has also published on academic freedom and various figures in twentieth century political and social thought, especially the American sociologist Robert Nisbet. He has lectured extensively on religious liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of association at colleges and universities across the country.

Sheahan received his bachelor’s degree from the Honors College at Oregon State University and his MA and PhD from the Catholic University of America. Before coming to Duquesne, he spent two years at Duke University as a postdoctoral research associate and one year at Wellesley College as a postdoctoral research fellow and associate director of the Freedom Project.

Catherine Pakaluk

Catherine Ruth Pakaluk (Ph.D, 2010) joined the faculty at the Busch School in the summer of 2016, and is the founder of the Social Research academic area, where she is an Associate Professor of Social Research and Economic Thought. Formerly, she was Assistant Professor and Chair of the Economics Department at Ave Maria University. Her primary areas of research include economics of education and religion, family studies and demography, Catholic social thought and political economy. Dr. Pakaluk is the 2015 recipient of the Acton Institute’s Novak Award, a prize given for “significant contributions to the study of the relationship between religion and economic liberty.”

Pakaluk did her doctoral work at Harvard University under Caroline Hoxby, David Cutler, and 2016 Nobel-laureate Oliver Hart. Her dissertation, “Essays in Applied Microeconomics”, examined the relationship between religious ‘fit’ and educational outcomes, the role of parental effort in observed peer effects and school quality, and theoretical aspects of the contraceptive revolution as regards twentieth century demographic trends.   

Beyond her formal training in economics, Dr. Pakaluk studied Catholic social thought under the mentorship of F. Russell Hittinger, and various aspects of Thomistic thought with Steven A. Long. She is a widely-admired writer and sought-after speaker on matters of culture, gender, social science, the vocation of women, and the work of Edith Stein. She lives in Maryland with her husband Michael Pakaluk and eight children.