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Economics professor plans another trip to Iran to teach

For the past 16 years, Missouri Western professor Dr. Reza Hamzaee has been traveling all over the world to teach economics and plans to travel to Tehran again soon.

Hamzaee began teaching internationally in 1994 when he was invited to Iran to teach in Iranian institutions. He travels over the Christmas holiday break, over summer and between the spring and summer sessions so he is still available to teach at Western.

This time, Hamzaee has been invited by Tehran University, the oldest university in Tehran, to participate in several positions. He will serve on the Editorial Board for the Iranian Economic Review and on the dissertation committee for graduate students, as well as teaching economics to graduate students and speaking in seminars for the faculty.

Hamzaee is originally from Iran. He attended college in Iran and served in the military for one and a half years before he was allowed to leave. After he served his military service he moved to the U.S. where he completed his graduate studies. Hamzaee now teaches economics at Missouri Western, as well as teaching internationally at seminars, conferences and schools.

Hamzaee said he loves teaching economics. He said he can’t get enough.

“The reason I do so much is because when I go to my classes, I feel like I am taking a break,” Hamzaee said. “I have fun and I love it.”

If the relations between the U.S. and Iran were better, Hamzaee would travel around 12 hours from New York to Iran. Because of the tensions, the trip takes around 30-40 hours one way. Due to the strained relations between the U.S. and Iran, traveling takes longer.

Sophomore Aaron Majors said that Dr. Hamzaee is the teacher that students recommend when asked by other students.

“He’s an excellent teacher,” Majors said. “He’s good at getting students involved. He’s one of the best.”

Hamzaee said that one reason he is invited to teach so much is because he has so much research and information available that Iranian professors do not. Iranian professors are not as available to do research. Many times, when Iranian professors leave school, they go to another job. Hamzaee is also able to speak Persian and English, which is another benefit.

Besides loving his teaching, Hamzaee has family in Iran. When he goes to Iran to teach, he also goes to visit family. Hamzaee has a passion for his teaching, and according to his students, it shows in his classroom.

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