Faculty Voices: Dr. Alex Pacheco
The world of math, numbers, and money might not be for everyone, but Dr. Alex Pacheco
is right at home in the middle of it here at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith.
The assistant professor of finance arrived at UAFS in the fall of 2019 after completing his Ph.D. at Florida International University. At FIU, Dr. Pacheco completed a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in finance, and said he liked it so much that he stayed to complete his doctorate.
His coursework paved the way for two career path opportunities, the world of banking and finance or academia. Although Pacheco believes being in the corporate world “using the latest tools, the latest methods, and analyzing real-world data” would have been interesting, his heart was in teaching and a positive work-life balance.
“I weighed what was important,” explained Pacheco. “Spending time with family, having free time to pursue my hobbies, anything else like that was more important to me than a job where you’re working 80 hours a week, which pays well, but ultimately that extra income wasn’t worth the time lost.”
Although the corporate world wasn’t for him, Pacheco understands his role as a professor is to help mentor and advise his students.
One of his favorite things to do in this role is to help brainstorm with students. Advice Pacheco likes to give his students is “future-proof yourself.” Pacheco firmly believes in being ambitious, encouraging his students to find something they are passionate about and then to think of how that passion can be transformed to evolve with the changing world.
“I really enjoy the back and forth with students, helping them, and interacting with them,” Pacheco said. “I really like to see them invest in themselves.”
As an assistant professor, Pacheco has commitments outside of the classroom. He has been published three times in A-level or higher journals – an accomplishment Pacheco said is hard to achieve.
But that’s not all.
Pacheco has three more research publications in the works. On campus, he is involved with the Financial Traders Club, Student Leadership Council, and Beta Alpha Psi. Additionally, he presented a CED Talk on Cryptocurrency at the UAFS Center for Economic Development at the Bakery District in April.
For Pacheco, “UAFS has a lot of great options” for students, faculty, and staff.” He believes the College of Business is moving in the right direction to continue to keep track of what’s in demand in the market to set students up for success. Plus, the college and Pacheco are working on a large-scale research project to help all Arkansans.
“My team submitted a grant to the state of Arkansas to research public transportation usage and how to improve efficiency,” he said. According to Pacheco, this was one of the most significant grants the College of Business has ever applied for and received.
At the end of the day, work-life balance brought Pacheco to academia. In his free time, he can be found hiking the trails of Arkansas. When he’s not hiking, Pacheco can be found on the tennis court or working on his trap shooting skills.
- College of Business and Industry