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Meet the New Faculty: Pritha Chaudhuri, Economics


This year Hamilton welcomed eight new tenure-track faculty members. Student writers from the Communications office recently interviewed these newest members of the faculty to find out why they chose Hamilton and what they think about their first semester on the Hill. Here’s Alex Medina’s ’22 interview with Pritha Chaudhuri, assistant professor of economics (some answers edited for brevity).

Why did you start teaching?

When I was working on my Ph.D. at Purdue University, I had the opportunity to work with undergraduate students interested in research, which is something that’s very common at Hamilton College. When I spoke to people here, they told me that students were highly encouraged to work with professors to do research. My time at Purdue helping students was a great opportunity that offered me a good balance between teaching and doing my own research, so I hope to continue down that path here. 

Why did you choose Hamilton?

One of the biggest reasons I decided to come here was because of the interactions I had during my first visit to Hamilton. I had the opportunity to meet some of the students in the Economics Department, and I was very impressed by how motivated and engaged they were.

About Pritha Chaudhuri

B.S. Calcutta University

M.S. Presidency College

Ph.D. Purdue University

Areas of expertise: macroeconomics, monetary policy, macroeconometrics

read more faculty profiles

This is something anybody going into education really looks for because being a professor isn’t just about teaching, it’s about making sure you can keep students engaged enough to take everything in and come up with ideas on how to apply concepts down the line in their careers. The students I met here were very proactive at doing that, so I knew this would be a great place to start teaching.

How has your time at Hamilton been so far?

I had the opportunity to teach a core class required for economics minors and majors, so all of my students were great at staying engaged inside and outside of the classroom. It was my first time teaching this type of a course so I learned how to manage my time as a professor with creating lesson plans and making sure all of my students understood the content we were going through. It’s been very busy but extremely enjoyable; I really loved my first semester here. 

Has anything about Hamilton surprised you?

I come from a public university where the class sizes are huge at around 100 to 150 students. Here it’s a completely different story with smaller classes in every department. Naturally there’s a very low student-teacher ratio, so there’s much more opportunity for me to have individual interactions with all of my students and really get to know them to better support the class as a whole. Going back to how engaged the students are, it was a shock to see how proactive the students are. It’s definitely the different type of culture and family here at Hamilton that makes every student want to learn. 

Being a professor isn’t just about teaching, it’s about making sure you can keep students engaged enough to take everything in and come up with ideas on how to apply concepts down the line in their careers. The students I met here were very proactive at doing that.

What would you say stands out about your faculty colleagues?

They are honestly some of the most helpful people I’ve ever met. Their doors are always open and I can always walk into anyone’s office whenever I have a question. They’re always ready to mentor the new professors. Whether it’s a question about teaching, research, or the campus in general, my colleagues have been very receptive, helpful, and welcoming. 

Have you had any memorable moments that stick out for you?

One that sticks out for me would be when the Economics Department hosted a dinner for their majors. That night was something that I particularly enjoyed because it was great to see the students and professors come together to talk and just have a good time. It was amazing to see how friendly the students were with us, which is just one of the reasons why it’s so easy to connect with the students here. 

What would you say is your favorite thing about the Hamilton community?
The people here are extremely friendly. I haven’t encountered a single soul who has been rude to me or unhappy with me. That’s something that’s very different compared to other places where people are friendly, but you still get a sense of some negative energy around the campus. That’s not something I’ve felt here since everyone is so cheerful and outgoing. It’s definitely made me feel welcomed and a part of the Hamilton community.

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