Economics Professor Stephen Shapiro was one of a handful of educators and administrators that arrived in Jacksonville to help build a new state university in 1972. Originally hired as an assistant professor, Shapiro says besides the basic motivation of a new job, he took the position at UNF because he wanted "to be part of building a new university. Not many people ever get that opportunity."
Before coming to UNF, Shapiro taught at the University of Utah, Clemson University, Old Dominion University and the University of South Carolina. Shapiro was promoted to associate professor in 1976 and full professor in 1993. He has served as director of UNF's Center for Economic Education since 1989. Promoting economic education at all levels has long been one of Shapiro's professional goals. "I've always been interested in economic education," says Shapiro, who took part in discussions of a center for economic education at UNF that began in 1974.
Shapiro says he is proud of the many successful programs provided by the Center for Economic Education over the years, including teacher training, assistance with mini-grants and workshops, which are designed for public and private schools, grades K-12, in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties. In addition to his work at the center, Shapiro says he enjoyed serving as director of the College Awareness Program from 1989-1992. The now defunct program for high school students was designed to provide economically disadvantaged minority youth in the area with a taste of college life by bringing them to campus for classes and to work in campus offices. One of his more rewarding experiences was "seeing many of those students enroll and graduate from UNF."
Shapiro also is proud of the accomplishments of his many students who have gone on to complete graduate degrees, as well as those who have become leaders in the community. Shapiro served as faculty association president twice, 1976-78 and 1983-86, and has performed yeoman service on the Faculty Affairs Committee having served almost every year since the association was created.