2020-2021 Luce Scholar

Wesley Price is an aspiring health economist and policy researcher from Washington, D.C. with a passion for music and a deep commitment to civic engagement. A Morehead-Cain Scholar, he studies political science, biology, and mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has guided curriculum development, arranged music and sung with UNC’s oldest a cappella group, and taught statistical programming. Wesley’s interest in health programs began during his work as a research assistant in health behavior at the Center for Advanced Hindsight, a behavioral economics laboratory, where he collaborated in the development and analysis of randomized control trials in medication adherence and vaccination uptake. His belief in data-driven social impact has led him to pursue academic and professional opportunities at home and abroad. As an exchange student at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, he researched the long-term effects of a Peruvian teaching program and dove into the data surrounding the 1918 flu pandemic, while making time to tour as a tenor with the Coro de Cámara.

Last summer, his interest in the quantitative side of social science took him to Nairobi, where he developed a hardware location tracking protocol for a Kenyan technology firm focused on democratizing internet access across the region. In North Carolina, Wesley’s dedication to community engagement has led him to advise the city government, chamber of commerce, and foundations of Greensboro on talent retention; develop curriculum and lesson plans for a civic education initiative in Chapel Hill and Carrboro schools; and serve as a Spanish interpreter with a free community health clinic. Wesley plans to pursue a doctoral degree in economics, and works toward rigorously evaluating and scaling up empirically motivated health policies, integrating applied statistics and machine learning into health research, and joining the family business of teaching. He is happiest at a piano, in a busy kitchen, or meeting new friends in unfamiliar places.