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People of Point Park: Dimitris J. Kraniou, Ph.D., an International Catalyst

Monday, January 09, 2017

Meet Kraniou PPP photoDimitris J. Kraniou, Ph.D.

Position: Professor, International Economics and Global Management

Education:

  • B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh
  • Advanced Certificate in International Political Economy from the University of Pittsburgh

Hometown: Moon Township, Pa.

Being the Catalyst

Dimitris Kraniou, Ph.D., joined the Point Park University faculty in 1985, and has had a tremendous influence on the School of Business during his 31 years at Point Park.

Including full-time teaching duties, Kraniou helped develop the first graduate programs offered by the School of Business, and led efforts to develop, create and accredit the school’s M.B.A. in global management and administration degree. While leading academic initiatives can be exciting, his passion remains rooted in the classroom.

Kraniou’s primary goal has always been to be an excellent teacher, and he does so through extensive communication and serving as a positive influence on his students. Teaching energizes him — especially when introducing materials which are new to students, he feels as if he’s the catalyst to their understanding. While he hopes his students remember him as a fair instructor and someone who opened new horizons of knowledge, he’s grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of their lives. “This has been the most gratifying experience of my life, communicating some of the things I find thrilling to the students,” said Kraniou. 

International Influence

Kraniou was born in Kalamata, Greece, a town located close to the ancient Greek city of Sparta. He found his way to the United States through his grandmother, who he calls one of the biggest influences in his life. She lived in Pittsburgh and told him stories about the city and the people. Her storytelling inspired him to pick up and move to the U.S. in 1971, and he has lived here ever since.

While he enjoys living in Pittsburgh, Kraniou makes time to visit his hometown. “Given the opportunity, I always spend some time there. I speculate about Pittsburgh when I am out that way, and when I’m here, I speculate about my hometown,” he said.

Before he retires, Kraniou hopes to organize a study abroad program for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. He once took his students to Greece to visit his hometown and the surrounding Peloponnese area.

Exonomics

As a trained economist, Kraniou has always been fascinated with international economy environments, aspects of international political economy and natural resources use. In addition to the traditional pursuits of his discipline, he's also interested in astronomy and how to harness the resources from extraterrestrial places, such as the asteroids, the lunar and planetary surfaces. Kraniou is interested in solutions to the resource constraints by looking into the possibility of utilizing extraterrestrial resources for economic purposes. He coined a term for this study back in 1975, which he calls “exonomics.

“I’m taken by this pursuit. It represents a fascinating possibility for the future of humanity," Kraniou said. 

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