University of South Florida

College of Arts & Sciences


Soros Fellowship Collard

USF Alumnus Awarded Prestigious Fellowship to Study Economics at UC Berkley

Patrick Collard, a University of South Florida (USF) alumnus, who graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in quantitative economics and a bachelor’s of arts degree in mathematics, was recentlyawarded from The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, a $90,000 graduateschoolfellowship for outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants in the United States. Collard is among 30 New Americans selected from a pool of over 1,800 applicants.

Although Collard was born in the United States, he spent the majority of his childhood and adolescence in Guerrero, Mexico. During the great recession Collard’s mother was one of many individuals who found themselves suddenly without work. Shortly after, the Mexican government scaled up the war on drugs and violence and crime erupted.Fleeing this violence, Collard and his father moved to the United States in 2013 when he was 15 years old. The contrast between Mexico and the U.S. was stark and sparked Patrick’s early interest in development economics.

During Collard’s time at USF, he was able to dive into economics and found its theorical framework useful to better understand the economic and social disparities he witnessed firsthand. Taking graduate level courses, heserved as a research assistant in the economics department, and later became the project manager, coordinating 20 researchassistants.Collard also spent a summer of his senior year as an economic research intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“USF shaped my career and my personallife in great ways. The training that I obtained from the Economics and Mathematics department, along with the friendships I obtained, will be things that I'll always be grateful for," he says of his college experience.

Since graduating, Collard has worked as a pre-doctoral research fellow with Economist Amy Finkelstein at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While working on health economics projects at MIT, hebecameincreasingly aware of the flaws of the American healthcare systemandhopes to investigate ways to improve access and quality of care for individuals with particularly complex backgrounds. Collardwill obtain a PhD in economics and hopes to contribute to society’s understanding of poverty and the policies in and outside of the U.S.that shape lives like his own.

In addition to the Soros fellowship, Collard was also recently awarded the National Science Foundation'sGraduate Research Fellowship, which recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S.institutions.

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The College of Arts and Sciences is the intellectual heart of the University of South Florida. We are a community of teachers and scholars united in the belief that broadly educated people are the basis of a just, free, and prosperous society. By focusing on the big questions facing all of humanity, we prepare students for successful, socially responsible personal and professional lives. By conducting innovative, interdisciplinary research and scholarship, we advance knowledge in ways that prepare us to address complex social and scientific problems and enhance the quality of life for people and communities.