SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Armstrong Atlantic State University announced Professor of Economics Michael J. Toma as the university's Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair.
The prestigious Callaway Professorial Chair is granted to professors in the state of Georgia to honor both excellence in the classroom and scholarship.
The Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Trust was established in September, 1968 by the Callaway Foundation, Inc. The purpose of the trust is to encourage the enrichment of the academic program of senior colleges and graduate schools located in Georgia by providing funds for the establishment of professorial chairs in order to enable them to retain and add superior faculty members.
Toma holds a doctorate degree in economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and began teaching in Armstrong's Department of Economics in 1997 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2003 and to professor in 2008.
Since 2000, Toma has been director of Armstrong's Center for Regional Analysis, a student and faculty staffed applied research group focused on the Savannah-area economy that works with many local partners on special initiatives, customized applied business research and impact studies. In addition, the Center publishes the quarterly Coastal Empire Economic Monitor, a closely watched economic report.
Toma has authored or co-authored over twenty-five manuscripts on regional economic activity and has been awarded grant funds totaling over $600,000. His applied research includes studies of regional economic conditions and forecasting, tax policy, poverty reduction, market and tourism studies, economic impact analysis of regional manufacturing, beach re-nourishment on Tybee Island, and development of the Ashley Midtown neighborhood in Savannah as well as survey-based research on consumer satisfaction, expenditure patterns and attitudes toward tobacco use and use prevention.
Savannah's Business Report and Journal named him as one of "40 under 40" notable Savannahians for 2003. The following year, Georgia Trend magazine selected him as one of Georgia's best and brightest Georgians under 40. Earlier this year, he was recognized as Teaching Fellow of the Academy of Economics and Finance.
Toma's community ties are also strong in the area. He serves on the Board of Directors for United Way of the Coastal Empire and on the organization's Executive Committee as chair of the Community Investments Committee. He has also served as treasurer of the Coastal Georgia Greenway organization and as a member of Step-Up Savannah's evaluation team.