Faculty member to travel to Panama for economic research

Christina Bucciere

Craig Zamary, entrepreneurship lecturer in the College of Business Administration, will be traveling to Panama in July on a Fulbright Grant to conduct research about the rise in American retirees choosing to settle in this South American country.

“For quite some time I’ve been hearing a lot of news about Panama and the emerging economy there, and where people used to retire to places like Florida,” Zamary said, “we’re starting to see that baby boomers are starting to name the number one retirement location as Panama.”

Zamary said he saw the American retiree population as an opportunity to connect the US and Panama in a mutually beneficial way.

“I figured there’s a huge exodus of resources there if our baby boomers, who have tons of expertise, resources and knowledge, are leaving the US to go and live in another country,” Zamary said, “which gives us a ton of opportunities to create collaborative situations from which our economy could really benefit.”

The Fulbright Specialist Program, a division of the Fulbright Scholar Program, is funding Zamary’s research expedition.

Zamary said he applied to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster, a directory of US scholars and professionals interested in international research, for a five-year term. Once Zamary was approved, he proposed his Panama project to be reviewed for a scholarship, and was awarded the grant within the following few months.

“The Fulbright program was very keen on the idea, and felt the project may end up being a great model for other countries around the world to use,” Zamary said. “The grants are very competitive, so I was honored to receive one and am excited to see what I can learn.”

Zamary said his main priority of the project, however, is to show the benefits of Panama’s emerging economy instead of only focusing on how Panama can benefit the US economy.

“The main thing is to learn what ways there are for us to work with Panama to make things better between their country and ours, and that could be involving academic partnerships, maybe exchange programs for students and faculty, and for ways to benefit importing and exporting of goods as well,” Zamary said.

While in Panama, Zamary said he intends to gather his information through travel, meetings and connections with local universities.

“A lot of my findings will come through the personal relationships I develop because it will take the right connections to find and utilize the opportunities I know are there,” Zamary said.

Zamary plans to publish his findings in a report that will be filed to the Fulbright program as well as Kent State and other universities.

“I want to chronicle what resources I was able to find and what opportunities I discovered that, in my opinion, have great potential moving forward,” Zamary said.

Zamary’s research project is not only personally fulfilling, but beneficial to Kent State as well.

“It brings attention to the college of business when we have faculty who have been awarded Fulbright grants because they’re very competitive,” said Dean Deborah Spake of the College of Business. “It’s an honor to be selected because it’s not very common that a faculty member would get one, so it reflects very well on our college.”

Zamary said he believes it will also be a way to create exposure for Kent State on an international level, and affords him the opportunity to include his findings in his curriculum to teach students about emerging economies around the world.

“The college of business also benefits from his research because in order to maintain our accreditation status from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business,” said Michelle Parrish, communications director in the College of Business, “our faculty must be actively pursuing research, so we are thrilled.”

Contact Christina Bucciere at [email protected].