University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Economics

Faculty - John Summa

Prof. Summa sipping Yerba Mate, a 5 times more powerful green tea from South American Countries.

Lecturer

  • Ph.D., Economics, The New School for Social Research, New York, NY, 2007
  • CV (PDF)
Area of expertise

History of economic thought, contemporary capitalism, economic growth & development, international finance, micro and macro economics, money and banking.

Contact Information
Email: john.f.summa@uvm.edu Phone: 802-656-4392

Office Location:229 Old Mill

Office Hours: TR, 8:45-9:45 a.m. or by appt.

Dr. Summa came to the University of Vermont in Fall 2009. He has lectured classes in economics at the community college and university levels and was a visiting professor at North-South University in Dhaka in Bangladesh in 1995, where he also was a fellow at the Institute of Development, Environment and Strategic Studies (IDESS).

Dr. Summa was born in Bronxville, NY and raised in Connecticut. He competed as a professional freestyle skier (aerials, moguls and stunt/ballet) from 1976-1979 before deciding to enroll in college studies. A growing awareness and concern about social injustice following an extended trip to Central America in 1980 led him to major in economics at Southern CT State University in New Haven, CT, where he would receive a B.A. (with honors) in 1986. Believing that a deeper study of economic theory from a critical perspective would sharpen his understanding of the causes of racism, inequality and underdevelopment, he entered the Graduate Faculty at The New School for Social Research in New York City in 1987, soon earning his Master's degree (M.A.), and later a Ph.D.

From 1989 to 1996, Dr. Summa lectured classes in economics at the community college and university levels. He has taught a wide range of economic topics, including history of economic thought, contemporary capitalism, economic growth & development, international finance, micro and macro economics, money and banking and statistical analysis. He was a visiting professor at North-South University in Dhaka in Bangladesh in 1995, where he was also a fellow at the Institute of Development, Environment and Strategic Studies (IDESS), and has taught at SUNY-Purchase, NY, among other centers of higher learning in North America.

Dr. Summa's research interests are centered in the field of behavioral economics and stem from his dissertation work and direct professional involvement with financial markets. His initial research on the interaction of media, markets and investor behavior, found in his book Trading Against The Crowd (John Wiley & Sons, 2004), led him to develop and test an investor overreaction hypothesis in his dissertation, successfully defended in September 2007. He is currently working on several papers, which stem from his original dissertation research, to be submitted for publication in 2010 to peer-review journals (see CV for current working papers).

In addition to his commitment to teaching and research, Dr. Summa's life-long passion for writing led him into two decades of journalism, during which he reported from Latin America, Asia and Europe, usually with a focus on social change movements. Among other stints, he was a contributing writer to the Washington, DC-based publication Multinational Monitor during the late 1980s.

During a hiatus from academia beginning in 1996, Dr. Summa authored several books on options investing and founded the investor educational websites, OptionsNerd.com and HedgeMyOptions.com. His most recent book, Getting Started in Employee Stock Options (John Wiley & Sons), coauthored by retired market maker, John Olagues, was published in January 2010. The book presents hedging strategies that grantees of employee stock options can implement to reduce risk and maximize the value of holding this type of equity compensation.

Residing in Burlington, VT since 2004 with his wife and two kids, Dr. Summa remains committed to educating others, including making documentary films, and feels that he can contribute most effectively by blending his real-world knowledge, gained from journalism and professional money management, with his training in non-orthodox economic theory.