Q&A With Baylor Fulbright Recipient Charlie Manzanares

April 29, 2009

Baylor University post-baccalaureate student Charlie Manzanares is one of five Baylor students, who have been selected to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. A 2008 Baylor graduate with a dual JD/MBA degree, Manzanares will spend the 2009-2010 academic year in Spain, where he will conduct economic research in Spain on the institutions of business formation of Spain, Venezuela and the United States.

He is the son of Baylor professors Carlos Manzanares (biochemistry) and Deborah Manzanares (Spanish) of Woodway.

Baylor Media Communications recently conducted a Q&A with each of Baylor's Fulbright recipients.

Baylor Media Communications: How did you find out about your Fulbright selection?

Charlie Manzanares: My little sister and mom called from home and told me that they had received a mysterious brown envelope, addressed to me. Because I was at the Baylor library, I told them to open the letter and call me back. My sister called me back screaming that I had won the award. I calmly walked to my car and then quickly drove home to celebrate with my family. It was a life-changing moment.

BMC: Why did you decide to apply for the Fulbright and why Spain?

Manzanares: My family is from Venezuela, and I am very interested in applying comparative institutional economics research to developing countries such as Venezuela. In this field, some of the most exciting research opportunities are abroad. I was very fortunate to find one of the leading comparative institutional economics researchers in Spain, and with the help of the professor in Spain, as well as with extensive help from professors at Baylor, I proposed a project comparing Spain's economic institutions to those of less developed Spanish-speaking countries, such as Venezuela.

BMC: What will you study/research in Spain?

Manzanares: I will conduct economic research on the institutions of business formation of Spain, Venezuela, and the United States.

BMC: Why did you decide to come to Baylor for your graduate study?

Manzanares: I recently completed a JD/MBA (from Baylor Law School and Hankamer School of Business). I chose Baylor because of its proximity to my family, as well as the excellent reputations of the law and business schools and the opportunity to conduct academic research while completing the degrees.

Baylor University has definitely become a family affair. Both my father (Carlos E. Manzanares, Chemistry) and my mother (Deborah Manzanares, Spanish) teach at Baylor. Without their support, as well as the support of my little sister Christina and brother Chris, this would not have been possible.

BMC: What are your plans after Baylor AND after the Fulbright?

Manzanares: I plan to enroll in a Ph.D. program in economics. I hope to become a professor in a law school or an economics department, researching topics in the field of "law and economics."

BMC: Who are some of the faculty members who helped you in your major, as well as your Fulbright application?

Manzanares: I am very grateful to all of the faculty members who have guided me throughout my Baylor experience. I think the access to excellent professors Baylor graduate students receive makes Baylor graduate schools unique.

Specifically, this Fulbright application could not have been possible without Dean Betsy Vardaman (who coordinated the entire Fulbright process) and Baylor professors Allen Seward (finance), Earl Grinols (economics), Rory Ryan (law), William Reichenstein (finance), Joseph McKinney (economics) and Charles North (economics). I also want to thank the lawyers at Harrison Davis Steakley P.C. (not professors but all Baylor lawyers), as well as Dean Leah Jackson, Laura Obenoskey and Professors Steve Green (economics), Elizabeth Miller (law), Scott Cunningham (economics), Earl Grinols (economics), Tom Kelly (economics) and Allen Seward (finance) for providing me with employment this year in economic and legal research. Finally, I want to thank Professor Markus Hunziker (associate professor of mathematics) for excellent training in mathematics this year, which will help me complete graduate coursework in economics next year.

These are a lot of names, but as you can see, it takes a lot of people to make a Fulbright scholarship a reality!