| Obituaries

Rogers , Douglas B.


Douglas Bruce Rogers, of Greensburg, died of injuries sustained in a car accident Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. Doug had completed his requirements for a PhD in economics at George Mason University and had just completed an interview for a professorship at Bethany College in West Virginia. Doug was a 2010 to 2011 H. B. Earhart Fellow at the George Mason University and previously was a Mercatus Center Research Fellow from 2007 to 2010. Doug was an outstanding teacher of economics, as well as a very promising research scholar in economics, having contributed research and written articles for Citizens Against Government Waste, the Adam Smith Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education and The Cato Institute. Doug was the research assistant for Peter Leeson's award winning book "The Invisible Hook", and the two had collaborated on a series of subsequent research on the economic organization of criminals. Doug was invited last year to present his research on this topic at King's College (University of London) and Oxford this past year. The George Mason University economics faculty considered Doug to be a scholar of great insight. His PhD thesis supervisor, Peter Leeson, says, "Doug was a brilliant young economist, and very dear friend. I am at a loss for words to express how sad we all are to learn of this tragic news. The community of economists have lost a brilliant contributor to our knowledge, and his family and friends have lost a wonderful young man." Richard Wagner, the Director of Graduate Studies at George Mason University, said, "Through his readiness to share his time and his scholarly talents with his fellow students, Doug Rogers elevated the quality of our entire graduate program. People like him are all too rare in our world, and I feel truly blessed to have known him even for a short while." To honor Doug's memory the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has decided to name one of their student fellowships after him. Born in Washington, Pa., Doug grew up and attended school in Latrobe where he was distinguished as a Forensics Team leader at Greater Latrobe High School qualifying for both State and National competitions. Doug earned his bachelor of arts degree in economics from West Virginia University where he also captained the Debate Team along with leading other academic organizations. While being enticed by ROTC following his freshman year, Doug attended Army Airborne Jump School in Ft. Benning, Ga., where he earned his jump wings despite never having contracted with the Army. Doug graduated from West Virginia University Summa Cum Laude 2007 and was accepted at George Mason University in its nationally renowned Department of Economics where he was honored with a teaching and research scholarship. During the 2009 to 2010 academic year, Doug taught courses at George Mason University in both microeconomics and macroeconomics and was rated one of the top teachers in the department. He very much enjoyed the give and take of the classroom and the opportunity to open up new thoughts and ideas to young people. His effectiveness as an instructor and inspirational leader was well documented by numerous students and faculty. Doug loved playing golf and sharing the camaraderie with friends. He was an accomplished guitarist and played in a band as well as with friends. He also loved watching his West Virginia Mountaineers play football as well as the Steelers. He had the opportunity to travel in association with his programs and studies and was especially fond of his time in Prague and two trips to Scotland with his family. Doug had also found his true love in Paola Suarez of Bolivia and had planned to become engaged upon his securing a professorship. Doug was born in Washington, Pa., the son of Robert and Theresa Rogers. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, William L. and Margaretta D. Rogers, as well as his maternal grandparents, Louis S. and Mary A. Mersky. He also was preceded by his beloved cousin, Rebecca Rogers. Surviving are his loving parents; sister and brother-in-law, Gabrielle Rogers-Nieman and Eric Nieman; his niece, Lorelei Renee Nieman; and his nephew, Jack LeRoi Nieman, of Morgantown, W.Va.; paternal relations, uncles, Jon and Richard Rogers, of Washington, Pa., aunt, Mary Elizabeth, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and cousins, David Polinski, Phillip Polinski and Roxanne Rogers; and maternal relations, uncles, Michael and Dennis Mersky, of Mt. Airy, Md., and Tallmadge, Ohio, aunt, Mary Lou Klinger, of Harrisburg, and cousins, Laura Yokley, Michael Mersky, Jessica Cherry, Cindy Schanke, Vicki Morelli and Kristin Klinger. In addition, Doug would want to recognize his dear friend, Kate Huleatt, whom he cared for deeply. Doug was the light of our lives and made us all very proud. He will live on forever in our hearts and we thank God for the years we were privileged by his presence. Visitation was held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in the HARTMAN-GRAZIANO FUNERAL HOME INC., 1500 Ligonier St., Latrobe. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in the funeral home chapel with the Rev. Richard Pollard officiating. Graveside services to be held thereafter at the West Alexander Cemetery, in West Alexander, Pa., with all who wish to attend welcome. Condolences can be sent to In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Doug's memory to The Mercatus Center, Fairfax, Virginia. Donations can be made by mail. The check should indicate the gift is in Doug's honor in the memo line. The mailing address is Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 3351 North Fairfax Drive, 4th Floor, Arlington, VA 22201, or donations can be made online at


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