Enthusiastic, Empathetic Economist
Hi! I'm Kelsey Fortune. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. Most of my childhood was spent in a small town called Beaver Dam. I was incredibly involved in my community growing up. My days were filled with rehearsals for dance, choir, and theater productions, and I was constantly fundraising for one cause or another and volunteering my time and talents. I even shaved my head to raise money for children's cancer research! I don't know if my passion for serving others is nature or nurture, but either way, I got it from my mama. She brought my two foster sisters into our house when I was seven, and I look forward to caring for foster children in my future.
After completing my undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2013, I began graduate school in the Economics Department at the University of California, Davis.
Almost everyone with a PhD will tell you that their time in graduate school was the most difficult time of their life, and this is no different for me. It has been an isolating time focusing on the same narrow work for many years. Graduate school has taught me that I do not want to pursue academic research. I want to find a job that allows me to be more of a generalist and have a real impact on the lives of others. I've gained knowledge not just about economics, but about the scientific process, managerial decision making, and having an open mind during this time. Now, it's time to use this to inform important decisions about our community. Graduate school has been a rocky road, but I have found a home in Davis. You'll find me regularly working on my dissertation at Black Frog Coffee, at the Farmer's Markets with Purple Tree Cafe, or doing yoga at Fit House, Barefoot, or Kaya.
Economists aren't known for their kindness or people skills. We are stereotyped as thinking only in cold, hard facts and numbers. I am definitely a lover of data, but my passion is people. I have lost that at various times, especially during the last seven years, but now I am focused on being a force for the people in my community. I was raised to do whatever I can to help others and trained to digest, synthesize, and explain complex concepts while coming to my own conclusions.
With me on your council, everyone will have a voice, and the choices council makes will be transparent, well articulated, and well informed.