Who We Are
Demographic Research Specialist
Director of Resource and Energy Economics
Christine Risch is the Director of Resource and Energy Economics for the Center for Business and Economic Research at Marshall University. Her work for the Center focuses on regional industry and market analysis, and energy and environmental policy analysis, including economic impact analysis. Specific industries of focus are natural gas, coal, electricity, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Christine is a member of the Special Reclamation Advisory Council of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, where she represents the Actuary/Economist position on the Council.
Christine designed the West Virginia Stock Index, which tracks the top 25 publicly traded firms that do business in West Virginia. Prior to joining CBER she worked as a contractor for the Department of Energy in Washington, DC, bigdough.com in Maryland and ICF, Inc. in Virginia. Christine holds a master's degree in Energy Economics from the Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Marshall University.
Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research
Director of Research and Strategy
Kent Sowards currently serves as the Director of Research and Strategy for Rahall Transportation Institute (RTI) and the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER). Mr. Sowards has held various positions during his tenure at RTI/CBER focusing on transportation, education and taxation issues by providing research, legislative testimony and policy analysis. Mr. Sowards received his bachelor’s degree in Management from Marietta College and his M.B.A. from Marshall University. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Political Science at Kent State University.