Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Kitaoka earned his bachelor’s degree from Keio University in Tokyo. He spent 20 years working for Mitsubishi Corp., the nation’s largest international business enterprise, before moving to the U.S. to study economics. Kitaoka earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Kansas and joined Franklin College in 2008. His international business experiences include travel to the Middle East, Asia and England.
Kitaoka is involved in various campus activities. He founded the Franklin College Economics Club in 2009 and serves as its adviser. He is also the adviser of Delta Mu Delta, the international business honor fraternity, and is a member of the college’s external scholarship team to support students who are considering graduate school. He also is involved in the longstanding relationship between the City of Franklin and its sister city, Kuji, Japan.
Kitaoka is a research economist in the areas of international trade, labor economics, monetary policy and economics education. While at Franklin College, Kitaoka has published three research papers – one in the International Journal of Arts and Commerce and two in the Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences. He presents his research at four conferences annually, including the Annual Conference of Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences in October. He also conducts research with economics majors at the college each year. He holds an annual economics seminar where the students’ research is presented. Last April, Kitaoka served as a faculty sponsor for his students at the Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference.
Kitaoka says his proudest contribution to Franklin College was helping overhaul the Economics Program in 2011 into the updated and modernized program it is now. In 2013, he also created a graduate school preparation track for students considering doctoral programs in economics.
“The current Economics Program will help students apply theories to actual economic problems in a rapidly changing global environment,” Kitaoka said. “One of the best features of the Economics Program at Franklin College is that it provides students with strong data analysis skills, helping them enter into any area they want.”
One hundred percent of Franklin College graduates with an economics degree have obtained degree-related jobs or attended graduate schools.
Inspired by his students, Kitaoka finds it easy to remain excited about teaching at Franklin College.
Kitaoka is available to discuss the Economics Department and what a Franklin College liberal arts degree as an economics major or minor can do for you. Schedule a visit by contacting the Office of Admissions at (800) 852-0232.
Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential, liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus, spanning 207 acres, including athletic fields and a 31-acre biology woodland. Students enjoy the comfort and safety of suburban living, while also experiencing the many opportunities Indianapolis has to offer with a short 20-minute drive to downtown. The college prepares students to think independently, to lead responsibly and to serve with integrity in their professions, their communities and the world. The college offers its more than 1,000 students Bachelor of Arts degrees in 51 majors from 25 academic disciplines, 42 minors, 11 pre-professional programs and five cooperative programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit www.FranklinCollege.edu. Find Franklin College on Facebook and follow @FranklinCollege on Twitter.