Tiago Miguel Castanheira Correia Costa Pires, 31, of Chapel Hill, NC and Lisbon, Portugal departed to his eternal home on April 23, 2016. Tiago's abbreviated time here on earth should not be measured in years but by the many lives that he touched. Born on May 4, 1984 in Portugal, Tiago’s loving nature shone through even as a child. Tiago received his undergraduate degree from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in 2006, and received three awards given to the best student in Economics. He remained at Nova for two more years as a researcher and teaching assistant. He then attended Northwestern University, receiving his Ph.D. in Economics in 2013. During that time, he received the Susan Schmidt Bies Prize for Doctoral Research in Economics and Public Policy. He joined the Economics Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an assistant professor in 2013 and, from the beginning, left his mark as a passionate researcher and a caring, talented instructor.Those who knew Tiago during his years at Nova describe him as talented and bright and one who graduated among the top of his class. Classmates and professors at Northwestern remember Tiago as a model student and a gifted student with a brilliant mind. His colleagues and the students at UNC experienced that same insight and dedication. Additionally, Tiago loved to bake, he loved coffee, and he loved Benfica soccer. Yet those impressive gifts and endearing passions were complemented with something even more impactful and long lasting. Tiago’s friends, classmates, students, and colleagues know him as an exceptional person --- kind hearted and selfless. In their words, he was always trying to make others feel better. He had the gift of listening and living in the moment. He was so positive, energetic, and passionate. He was loyal, thoughtful, and uplifting. There was purity in his principles and his lack of cynicism. Tiago was approachable and had a genuine smile. He was bubbly and infectious. He brought people together unlike anyone else. He exemplified our command to love others, not out of obligation or for reward, but as an overflowing of our hearts. Tiago leaves us with a beautiful gift: a wonderful example of what it means to be a giving, loving and caring human being.
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