Grad Spotlight: Salim Nuhu

Salim is a fourth-year student in the dual Ph.D. program in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) and Economics.


Why did you decide to choose AFRE for your graduate studies?

Two things: First is the quality of development economics research happening at MSU AFRE. At MSU AFRE, there are several professors engaged in actual development work in Africa, and that was very attractive to me because my research interests revolved around understanding ‘micro-level’ development issues in Africa. And, indeed, I have had the opportunity to be part of several research projects, and obtain field experience, while working with renowned researchers, both from within, and outside, of the department.

The second reason why I chose AFRE is the collaboration with the Economics Department, which allows AFRE students to pursue a dual degree in Economics and AFRE. Coming from a pure economics background, this was a great opportunity to continue my training in economics in a renowned economics department, while working with some of the best faculty in development and agricultural economics.

What is your favorite thing about the AFRE department? 

The department provides lots of opportunities for graduate student development through weekly faculty and/or student-led departmental seminars. In my opinion, these seminars are often friendly environments for presenting early research ideas, taking inputs on ongoing research, or even obtaining feedback for fine-tuning already developed research papers. In addition, the diversity in research interests across the department, and the collaboration with other departments, guarantees that you can find someone with knowledge on almost anything you would like to study. Beyond this, I like that the department is often quick to provide travel grants for students to attend and present at both local and international conferences.

What has been your favorite class in the AFRE major, and why?

I would say I really enjoyed the empirical development classes, AFRE 861, 961, and 874, which focus on equipping you with the theory, methods, and tools needed for today’s cutting-edge research in development economics.

If you could go back in time and give any advice to yourself as a first-year AFRE student, what would it be? 

Worry less, work hard, and enjoy the experience!

What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing once we are able to return to campus? 

Eating the GSO-sponsored food provided at the weekly Brown Bag Seminars

What one invention would you un-invent, and why?

I would answer this differently. Why aren’t data analysis software packages available on our phones yet? Sometimes, you just want to estimate an interaction effect while taking a walk or going for a run, and I don’t know why our phones aren’t doing that yet!

What thoughts instantly make you feel more relaxed?

 “After every hardship comes ease… After every hardship comes ease.”

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