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.

Save the Date For Two Important Center Events

We hope you’ll save the date for two big Center events in the next few months!
Our Annual Awards fundraiser will be held on April 6th at TQL Stadium. FC Cincinnati co-CEO, Jeff Berding, will deliver the keynote address as we honor local educators, school districts, and leaders for their commitment to financial and economic education. 

And then on May 8th, it’s time for Market Madness at Fifth Third Arena! More than 1,100 local students will travel to UC’s campus for a morning of entrepreneurship, collaboration, and fun. Students spend weeks working hard to create classroom businesses and products to sell to their peers. Then on Market Madness day, the students take turns buying, selling, and touring UC’s campus!

New $martPath puppet video: Five Thousand Dollars!

In the newest $martPath video, Kevin has $5,000 to spend on his next music video! But he soon learns that he can’t get everything he wants (a marching band, dancers, AND a Lamborghini) on his budget. This video teaches young children about earnings, spending, opportunity cost, and budgeting. These new videos are the result of a collaboration with $martPath star Megan Piphus, the creative team at WCET in Cincinnati, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and the Georgia Council on Economic Education.

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!

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!  

Susan Sargen Student Enterprise Program (StEP) in full swing in 2023!

Our Susan Sargen Student Enterprise Program (StEP) team just wrapped up a busy second 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. Below are just some of the photos from our StEP stores this quarter!

We’d like to thank our fantastic StEP volunteers this quarter from: JP Morgan, Frost Brown Todd, Clark Schaefer Hackett, Danis, North Side Bank & Trust, Deloitte, Quotient Technology, Bartlett Wealth Management, The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Fifth Third Bank, RSM US LLP, and Bryan Equipment Sales. 

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.

Missed our 2022 Annual Awards at Paul Brown Stadium?

You can watch the entire awards program here! Including a fantastic keynote speech from Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor!

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.