Russell Sobel: Visiting Professor for the Paul J. Thomas Lecture Series at YSU

Russell Sobel, professor of Economics & Entrepreneurship at The CitadelRussell Sobel, professor of Economics & Entrepreneurship at The Citadel, will present the 2024 Paul J. Thomas Lecture on Entrepreneurship titled “Creative Destruction, Entrepreneurship and Discovery” 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 16, in the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University.

"Creative Destruction" is a term coined by Austrian Economist Joseph Schumpeter, which describes how new firms replace old ones. Entrepreneurship is creative and destructive, and technology is accelerating the pace of this process.

Based on his book, “The Essential Schumpeter,” Sobel's talk will explore this process, why it is important, how economies can best cope with it and the political battlegrounds it creates.

Sobel received a doctorate degree in Economics from Florida State University in 1994. He is co-editor of the “Southern Economic Journal,” serves as a Regional Advisory Committee Member for the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office Board of Economic Advisors and is an editorial board member for several other journals.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for both his teaching and research. He is the author or coauthor of over 250 academic journal articles and books including one of the nation’s leading principles of economics textbooks.

Sobel’s research has been featured in many leading news outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist Magazine and the CBS Evening News. His recent research focuses on the intersection of entrepreneurship and economic policy.

Tomi Ovaska, professor of economics at YSU and the Paul J. Thomas Endowed Chair in Economics, will host the April lecture. Endowed chairs are faculty positions supported by dedicated funds, enabling scholars to pursue advanced research and teaching in their field of expertise, while also fostering community engagement and collaboration in the academic and economic community.

The Paul J. Thomas Chair in Economics is supported by an endowment established to honor the donors' father, Paul J. Thomas. Thomas was born and raised in Niles, Ohio. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale and continued his education at Boston University and Ohio State University.

In 1939 he began employment with Packer Thomas as a CPA. Thomas joined the Navy during World War II, earning the rank of Lieutenant. He returned to the Mahoning Valley after the war and went onto a business career of great distinction. In addition to his service at Packer Thomas Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants, he was vice president of Superior Industries and vice president of Easco Corporation.

The public can attend the Paul J. Thomas Lecture Series free of charge. Free parking is located in the M30 Parking Deck on Wick Avenue. For more information, contact Ovaska at or 330-941-3084.