Economics rocks Griffin Hall, enhances education

A competition of scholar and production took place Wednesday night in the Griffin Hall Digitorium as Economic and EMB students paired up to present Econ Beats, a local title for a nationally popular program called Rockonomix.  


“It was fun to see the parodies everyone worked on for the whole semester,” Joseph Trentman, a junior electronic media and broadcasting major, said.


Trentman was part of an eight student group who took first place and a cash prize of $200 at Wednesday night’s competition. The winning video was a duel parody of Journey that highlighted the economic concepts of employment types.


“I focused on the vocals,” Trentman said. “If you listen there is a second voice that really adds to the quality.”


This once a semester event filled the Digitorium with and audience ranging from participants, students, family and faculty including Dr. Rebecca  Porterfield, dean of the NKU Haile/US Bank College of Business.


Dr. Abdullah Al Bahrani, an economic professor, who brought Rockonmix to NKU in 2013, explained that Econ Beats is a semester-long project where students pick a song and remake it into economic concept.


“We were the guinea pigs,” Trentman said. “It was fun to outsource different parts of the video to get the best end product.”


This year the program has been renamed Econ Beats and teamed up with the EMB department. The result was a more refined product and a bigger crowd on the competition reveal night.


In previous years the music videos have been produced entirely by students in Al Bahrani’s Economics 200 class.


“Because of the collaboration, the economic, audio and video content are better than ever,” Al Bahrani said.


Each group was recognized and applauded in the Digitoruim as their video played. The cheers and applause were for each video were strong.


The improved assignment and its delegation allows students to do what they do best. Business students teach the concepts and write lyrics while the EMB 210 students worry about shooting, editing, audio and video.


Brad Libis, an EMB professor, said the project benefits both groups of students by helping them work with someone not in their area of study.


“In a professional industry your clients won’t know EMB, the video producer won’t know the topic of their client,” Libis said. “It’s a real world experience.”


The project which was presented at the beginning of the semester to students was completely self-driven to mirror a real world situation. The students formed groups, met, planned, filmed and edited all outside of class.


“Our goal is to make students connect econ concepts to real life,” Al Bahrani said.


Students were given deadlines throughout the semester to keep them on track. They had to manage their time to finish a quality project.


“We started meeting really early,” Trentman said. “I think it helped us get ahead of other groups who ended the semester scrambling for content.”


Samantha Pachta, accounting junior, was in the winning group said everyone did a great job and she liked the ability to be able to outsource acting and vocals.


Six final videos were shown. The audience were then given a link to actively vote for their favorite. This allowed the audience to choose two finalists. The winner was chosen by preselected judges.

The winning video will go on to compete in the national Rockonomix competition. Other national submissions can be watched and voted on at