PhD Candidate



Jorgen Rasmussen is a proud native of Michigan. He is a first generation college graduate, and PhD Candidate.  To date, his highest completed level of education is a Master's Degree in Economics from Colorado State University.  Jorgen's research interests include the Colorado housing market, public and regional economics and history of economic thought.

First Generation Story

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This was what Nelson Mandela once said and I wanted to change the world. Thus I hope that my story may hold useful insights and inspiration for others on the path I tread. My origins may have been humble, a small farm, but I was determined to leave this world a better place then I found it. Fortunately for me that farm taught me the value of hard work, a value I was to use to take aim at better educating myself. Neither of my parents had a college degree but they were both curious people and passed that trait on to me and my siblings. Thus in that little hamlet I began to slake my thirst for learning and self-betterment. After finishing my high school education I went to community college. In spite of what some might say, I believe that everyone would be well served to start their college adventure at such institutions. There you have a lower stakes environment that allows you to discover what your passions are before investing as much in a path you may divert from. After receiving my associate’s degree of arts, I continued on to get a bachelor’s degree of arts: economics, with a minor in mathematics at Colorado State University. It was here that learned the powerful and fascinating role that economics played in the world, and so I determined  to continue my education in the field of economics. Thus, returned to Colorado State University to pursue a PhD course of study . However, I now wish to share some of what I have learned with you all, as I feel that is more important than how I got to where I am. First, since I began my college education, I have gone from being nervous that I was not good enough to having faith in myself and my proven abilities. Further, I have met so many wonderfully interesting people and seen far off places I only dreamed of as a teenager,  all while improving myself along the way. In short if you apply yourself to higher education, you can truly make dreams come true! Second, never be afraid to follow your passions even if they don’t last. I first went to college for a degree in music performance, then switched to environmental health, and finally discovered economics. I still sing, and care about the environment and have figured out how to incorporate those passions into my life as an economics graduate student. What I am getting at is this; do what you love today, because even if it is not what you love tomorrow, the passion exists for a reason, to lead you to what you were meant for. Third, find a mentor. No one makes it alone, ever! Find individuals that have done what you are trying to do and learn everything you can from them. These persons can be someone you know personally or will never meet. Ask them lots of question or read there biographies, study their lives, and most important of all take action. Knowledge without action is the worst kind of ignorance. Fourth, and most importantly, have goals that inspire the hell out of you. Those goals are what will make the work you have to do much more enjoyable. A person working towards a future that makes them smile, is destined for great things because they will be able to put in the work with a willing heart. Just remember what Thomas Edison said “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”