Western Insights: Inequalities Exposed and Created by COVID-19

Illustration of a wealthy tycoon and a struggling worker

Friday, March 19, 2021
10:00 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time)




Check out this video to watch the Western Insights - Inequality Issues and Concerns.

Brought to you by the College of Business Economics in partnership with the WWU Alumni Association

The past year of living in a pandemic has sparked many conversations and initiatives to address inequalities that exist in our society. Some of these were created by our experience with COVID-19 while others have simply become too apparent to ignore.

In this edition of Western Insights, we are going to explore inequalities in education, workforce, health care, and the economy in general. Our panelists are going to explain the inequalities, comment on whether they are new or have been there for a long time, and share a few thoughts on what they mean for all of us.

We invite you to join Western Insights in a discussion with:

  • Anneliese Vance-Sherman, Regional Labor Economist, Washington Employment Security Department
  • Michaela Miller, Deputy Superintendent, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • David Hansen, Associate Medical Director, Western Washington University
  • Hart Hodges, Associate Professor Economics, Western Washington University

Western Insights is an online panel series created in response to COVID-19 to provide the broader region, Western alumni, friends, and students with access to information on current events drawing from the University’s nationally respected experts. This free series is offered entirely online and is open to everyone.

Previous Western Insight sessions are available to watch online.

Hart Hodges

Dr. Hart Hodges


Dr. Hart Hodges is Co-Director of Western's Center for Economic and Business Research. He received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1994 from the University of Washington. He joined the faculty at Western in the Fall of 2000. His research interests include natural resource and environmental economics, health economics, and applied business economics. Hart is currently managing several research projects and public service efforts with an emphasis on economic development.

Anneliese Vance Sherman

Anneliese Vance-Sherman


Anneliese has served as a regional labor economist with the Employment Security Department since February 2010. The region she covers includes King, Snohomish, Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties. Anneliese works closely with economic and workforce development partners throughout her region and statewide, providing local labor market intelligence to help inform strategic decision-making. 

Prior to state service, Anneliese was a visiting fellow at the Border Policy Research Institute and instructor at the College of Business and Economics at Western Washington University. 

Anneliese has a Ph.D. in economic geography and a master’s degree in economics both from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

David Hansen

David Hansen, MD


Dr. Hansen began his career working in finance and marketing. After participating in numerous volunteer medical missions to Central America, Dr. Hansen left corporate America to pursue a life in medicine. Dr. Hansen earned his medical degree at Brown University’s School of Medicine. He then completed his training at the Tacoma Family Medicine Residency Program. He is a board-certified family physician and has been with Western’s Student Health Center since 2017.

Michaela W. Miller

Michaela W. Miller, Ed.D., NBCT


Dr. Michaela Miller is the Deputy Superintendent at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The Deputy Superintendent oversees a variety of divisions and programs within the agency, including Assessment and Student Information, Educator Growth and Development, Learning and Teaching, Special Education, Special Programs and Federal Accountability, Student Engagement and Support, and System and School Improvement.

Dr. Miller has been honored for her service and leadership by the Washington Association of School Administrators Service to Washington and the Association of Washington School Principals. Dr. Miller holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Western Washington University. She earned her Master’s degree from Gonzaga University and her Doctorate and Superintendent credential from University of Washington. Dr. Miller also holds a Washington state principal certification from Seattle Pacific University.

Questions and Accommodations

Contact James McCafferty for this event. Feel free to email at James.McCafferty@wwu.edu or call (360) 650-2414 if you have any questions or comments.

There will be auto-captions available for this event. To request closed captions, please mark the request on the registration form. Advance notice of three days to one week is appreciated.