We do .


We provide award-winning financial and economic programs and curriculum to tens of thousands of students each year.

Smart Path

Our award-winning online financial education platform is free for anyone to use, and easy to navigate.


Our researchers deliver sophisticated analyses of economic issues to help a wide range of clients.

We do .


We provide award-winning financial and economic programs and curriculum to tens of thousands of students each year.

Smart Path

Our award-winning online financial education platform is free for anyone to use, and easy to navigate.


Our researchers deliver sophisticated analyses of economic issues to help a wide range of clients.

Celebrating a Successful Market Madness 2023!

More than 1,400 local elementary and middle school students converged on Fifth Third Arena in early May for Market Madness 2023! We were astounded by the creativity of the students’ products, the booth staging, and their marketing strategies in the middle of the sales floor. Our Market Madness schools included Amity Elementary, C.O. Harrison Elementary, Cherokee Elementary, Endeavor Elementary, Evendale Elementary, Goshen Middle School, Hays-Porter School, Kilgour Elementary, Midway School, Hyde Park School, and Glendale Elementary.

Congratulations to our Market Madness winners: Glendale Elementary for Best Customer Service, Kilgour Elementary for Best Marketing, Evendale Elementary for Most Innovative Product, and Midway School for our People’s Choice award! 

We’d also like to thank all of the students and teachers who participated in Market Madness, as well as the small army of volunteers who kept this crowded, busy, fun event running smoothly!

Check Out Some of the News Coverage of Market Madness!

Watch our 2023 Annual Awards Program

On April 6th, 300+ Center supporters gathered at the First Financial Club inside TQL Stadium for the Center’s 2023 Annual Awards! We honored local educators, volunteers, and community organizations for their commitment to financial education and economic research. Thanks to FC Cincinnati Co-CEO Jeff Berding for delivering an inspiring keynote, and a special thanks to our very generous sponsors! Your donations make it possible to bring financial and economic education to thousands of students through our Susan Sargen Student Enterprise Program (StEP), and to millions of students worldwide through our $martPath online learning platform at

Watch new $martPath puppet video, "Five Thousand Dollars!"

Kevin is already experiencing musical success, but how will he spend $5,000 he earned from his first hit? He explores his options and learns about spending and opportunity cost. 

Check out the new $martPath puppet video: Wheat Bread, Fruit, or Cheese?

This latest video, starring Megan Piphus and the $martPath puppets, features hungry rats racing through a grocery store, wanting to eat every treat in sight. Fortunately, Megan and Scarcity Cat are there to teach the rats about wants and needs, and sticking to a budget! We hope you’ll enjoy the video, and look for a new $martPath video each month!

Susan Sargen Student Enterprise Program (StEP) Finishes Strong in 2022-2023

Our Susan Sargen Student Enterprise Program (StEP) team just wrapped up a busy  quarter of StEP stores at schools across the Tristate.

These quarterly stores give kids a chance to decide whether to save, spend, and/or donate the StEP bucks they’ve earned for good behavior and good attendance, as well as meeting other classroom goals. StEP wouldn’t be possible without the army of dedicated volunteers from our partner businesses who run the checkout tables at those StEP stores, chatting with the kids about their decisions and double-checking the math in their StEP books. 

We’d like to thank our fantastic StEP volunteers from businesses including: SmarTravel, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Bryan Equipment, Von Lehman CPA, Clark Schaefer Hackett, Fifth Third Bank, Western & Southern Financial Group, Al. Neyer, North Side Bank & Trust, LOTH, Butler Tech, Bartlett Wealth Management, Quotient, Deloitte, Frost Brown Todd, Johnson Investment Counsel, and Truist. 

Measuring the Economic Impact of Black-Owned Businesses within the Southwest Ohio Economy

On behalf of The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC), the Center’s research team released the results of its study, “The Economic Impact of Black-owned Businesses in Southwest Ohio Communities.”  Our analysis found the economic impact of Black-owned businesses on our region totals more than $2.1 billion dollars. The impact of Black-owned Businesses in Southwest Ohio communities is responsible for directly employing 5,914 people with more than $306 million in earnings throughout the Cincinnati Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

In 2021, on behalf of the AACC, the Center’s research team conducted the first study of its kinds in the nation that quantified the economic impact of Black businesses, setting a benchmark for this analysis.

The Center welcomes new Executive director dr. david mahon, as Dr. julie heath retires

Longtime Center Executive Director Dr. Julie Heath has now retired, leaving the Center in the capable hands of its new Executive Director, Dr. David Mahon. 

Heath led the Center for a decade, ushering in the era of $martPath, the award-winning online financial education platform used by more than two million students nationwide, and the $martPath puppet video series that won three Emmy awards, as well as the expansion of economic education programs like the Susan Sargen Student Enterprise Program (StEP) and professional development offerings for educators. She also guided the Center’s research team through many analyses of complex economic issues on behalf of corporate and government clients as well as several local nonprofits. 

Heath was instrumental in achieving the passage of a law in Ohio requiring that high school students take a semester-long personal finance course to graduate and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of economic education, through her work with the National Association of Economic Educators and the Council for Economic Education. She’s taught scores of future educators and economists through her work as a professor at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Memphis.  

“Like all transitions, this one is a mixed emotional bag, made easier by the knowledge that I leave the Center in good hands with David,” said Heath. “I also leave the Center proud of what we did together, with friendships that endure, and knowing that doing this work, this work that matters, with these people that matter, has been the honor of my life.” 

David Mahon is the new Executive Director of the Alpaugh Family Economics Center. Before joining the Center, Mahon served as the Director of the Miami Dade College Center for Economic Education, where he was awarded the Rising Star Award by the National Association of Economic Educators and the Council on Economic Education. 

In addition to his role as Director, Mahon was an Assistant Professor of Economics. Before becoming a college professor, Mahon taught mathematics, economics, and various social studies courses as a high school teacher. 

He received his Ph.D. in Economic Education at the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in Economics at Florida International University, and his undergraduate degree at Cornell University. 

“Over the last decade, Dr. Julie Heath developed the Alpaugh Family Economics Center into the remarkable, award-winning institution with community, state, and national influence it is today,” said Mahon. “I am both thankful and honored to have been selected to lead it and could not ask for a warmer welcome by the University of Cincinnati, the Center’s staff, its Board of Trustees and Emerging Leaders, and the Greater Cincinnati community.”   

Please join us in welcoming David Mahon to the Center, and in wishing Julie Heath the best in retirement!  


With the right information, you make better choices. We empower students with high-quality financial education, and provide research clients with the data analysis they need to drive decision-making.

0 K

participate in StEP Program every year

2 Million+

have used $martPath

$ 0 M+

 over the past decade


$15 supports one child for an entire year of learning in our StEP program
$50 pays for two student teams to participate in the Stock Market Game
$100 covers the cost of economic and financial education lessons and materials for one classroom
$500 pays for a teacher to attend professional development sessions to learn how to integrate economics into the classroom
$5000 provides the materials for one elementary school to participate in our StEP program for an entire year

We’ve been in service to educators for more than 40 years, providing them with high-quality workshops, book clubs and more.

Check out our new $martPath Snacks videos and YouTube channel!

Looking for some fun, bite-sized financial literacy? We’ve created a new video series, featuring some of your favorite puppet characters from our original, Emmy-winning $martPath videos. Our new $martPath Snacks videos are short, but just as engaging, and they also deliver early money concepts to an audience of younger children. 

See them yourself by clicking the button below. And please subscribe while you’re there! 

Centering Black Women’s Upward Mobility in the Cincinnati Region

“The economy isn’t equal for everyone”. That’s how our research team led off its presentation on the findings of our work on behalf of The Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation to assess Black women’s economic mobility in our region. 
Through their analysis, Center researchers found that in 2018, Black women held 10% of jobs in the five lowest-earning occupation groups, but less than three percent of jobs in the five highest-earnings occupation groups.