Welcome New AFRE Faculty Members
AFRE has welcomed five new faculty members during the 2017 fall semester. Help us in welcoming each new faculty, who brings outstanding prior experiences and expertise that further enriches our department.
November 8, 2017
The Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) has welcomed five new faculty members during the 2017 fall semester. Each new faculty brings outstanding prior experiences and expertise that further enriches our department.
“We’re very fortunate to have such a talented and diverse group of scholars join us,” says AFRE Chairperson Titus Awokuse. “These five new colleagues enhance and build on AFRE’s disciplinary expertise in addressing agricultural and food policy issues in various areas such as: agricultural market policy, livestock marketing and risk management, international trade and development, resource economics policy, state and local government policy, and behavioral/experimental economics.”
Learn more about each of our new faculty members below.
Trey Malone is an Assistant Professor and Extension Economist, appointed in the MSU tenure faculty system. A native of Kansas, Trey earned his undergraduate degree from Rockhurst University. He obtained two graduate degrees from Oklahoma State University, where his master’s thesis developed economic modeling approaches for local foods systems. Trey also interned with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City during his master’s degree. Under the advisement of Jayson L. Lusk, his PhD dissertation used behavioral economics and primary data analysis to study the American beer market. He is the Chair-Elect of the Brewing and Enology Economic Research Section of AAEA and his current research interests include behavioral/experimental economics, informal institutions, and food policy, with particular emphasis on applications most relevant for stakeholders and agribusinesses.
Melissa G.S. McKendree
Melissa McKendree is an Assistant Professor and Extension Economist, appointed in the MSU tenure faculty system. Melissa is a Florida native who grew up working for her family’s landscape business, sod farm, and cow-calf operation. Melissa is eager to learn more about and serve Michigan agriculture and values all three land grant missions and has appointments in research, extension and teaching. Melissa’s research is focused on numerous issues related to the livestock industries. She is interested in studying issues spanning the supply chain from consumer preferences through producers. Her dissertation research focused on beef economic issues including how changes in retail and export beef demand impact fed and feeder cattle supply and demands, how fed cattle and corn prices are fully passed through to feeder cattle prices and how feedlot operators make decisions regarding animal health and price risk mitigation practices.
Michael Olabisi came to AFRE as an Assistant Professor in the MSU fixed term faculty system. Prior to coming to MSU, he was an Assistant Professor at Pepperdine University, Malibu California. Michael researches how firms shape economic development through international trade, and how supply chain linkages shape the responses of rational agents to economic shocks. He has a master's degree from Cornell University, and received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2015. He has worked with international scholars on research visits to Singapore and Beijing, with support from the National Science Foundation and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). His research papers describe the effects of volatility on international trade, and he has published work on how learning-by-exporting drives firm-level product innovation.
Simone Valle de Souza
Simone Valle de Souza recently joined AFRE as an Academic Specialist-Outreach in the MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio. Her background includes a Masters in Economic Studies and a PhD in Resource (Fisheries) Economics at the University of New England (UNE) in Australia, and an MBA in Finance and Accounting and a Bachelor in Business Administration at the Federal University of Parana, in Brazil. While in Australia, she taught economics applied to agricultural, natural resources and public policy, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Simone’s background also includes another five years of practical experience in business management in Brazil.
Shu Wang joined AFRE as an Assistant Professor in the MSU fixed term faculty system. Her research focuses on institutional and economic factors that affect fiscal condition of local governments and the sustainability of service provision. Her current projects investigate state-imposed constraints on local revenue-raising and state intervention when local governments are in distress. She also uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore innovative ways through which local governments cope with fiscal distress. She is also interested in organizational behavior in the public sector, and how public organizations innovate differently than their private counterparts. Prior to joining the AFRE faculty, Shu was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at MSU. While there, she taught both undergraduate and graduate courses related to public policy analysis.