Faculty Spotlight: Emie Yiannaka

Emie Yiannaka
Emie Yiannaka
August 18, 2020

About Emie

I was born and raised in a small town in Northwestern Greece, close to the Ionian sea. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, a beautiful coastal city in northern Greece, and my master’s degree at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (M.A.I.Ch), Greece. At M.A.I.Ch I loved interacting with students from other European countries, Northern Africa, and the Middle East and being exposed to different cultures. Accepting a scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada was an easy decision as it gave me the opportunity to continue my studies in agricultural economics and live in a different part of the world. I joined the faculty in the Department of Agricultural Economics at UNL in 2002. I met my husband Galen at UNL, and we have two boys, Eleas (11) and Adonis (9).    

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I am a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics with a split appointment between research and teaching. My research focuses on the study of food technologies and innovations. I study optimal ways of protecting the intellectual property embodied in these innovations, consumer acceptance and producer adoption. I also study the welfare effects of food policies. I teach an undergraduate course in international marketing of food products and a graduate course in welfare economics and public policy analysis. 

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

When I was a graduate student in Canada my brother and his wife joined the UNL faculty. I visited Lincoln a few times and I had the opportunity to learn more about the university and its strong focus on both research and teaching. Nebraska is an agricultural state with a strong presence of agribusiness firms which makes it a great place for an agricultural economist to work on addressing issues important to the state’s economy. One aspect that I very much like about my department today is that it is a diverse place with faculty and graduate students from all over the world.  

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

Definitely working with students. I very much enjoy interacting with our undergraduate and graduate students, teaching them what I know and learning from them. I had the opportunity to work with students from different parts of the world and I love learning about their country, history, and culture. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

At a professional level, making strong connections with the students I have worked with. At a personal level, my family.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I love byzantine iconography and byzantine chants. My house is full of byzantine icons, my husband and kids joke that our home is like a small church!

What is your life like outside of work?

During the school year we are busy with soccer and basketball practices for the boys and school related activities. During holiday breaks we try to travel to new places and in the summer we visit Greece.