Looking back now, I feel very grateful to Dalhousie’s Department of Economics for giving me the opportunity to pursue graduate studies to enable me to become who I am today.
I arrived at Dalhousie in Fall of 1991 on a CIDA-Government of Kenya scholarship to study an MA in economics. My initial plan was to complete the program and return to my native country, Kenya, to continue with my civil service career and rise through the ranks. Little did I expect that coming to Dalhousie will change all that and put me on a new career trajectory. After completing my MA program in 1993, and with encouragement and support of the economics faculty, I ended up enrolling in the Ph.D. program and graduating in 1998.
The Economics Department at Dalhousie University provided a caring and friendly staff and an engaging student community that I needed to succeed in my studies. The rigorous MA and Ph.D. programs prepared me adequately for the life in academia. The knowledge and skills I acquired while at Dalhousie are top-notch and have enabled me to engage competently with my peers in the field of economics.
During my days at the Economics Department, I met many amazing and caring people – both staff and students – who assisted me in many aspects, and some who influenced my academic interests. In my MA studies, I was privileged to work with Professor Swapan Dasgupta as my thesis supervisor from whom I gained immense knowledge of economic theory and analysis. In the Ph.D. program, I worked under the supervision of Professor Gouranga Rao, who meticulously took me through the nitty-gritty of econometrics and econometric modelling. My interaction with these two individuals had profound influence on my career as a scholar.
After completion of my Ph.D. studies in 1998, I landed a job at Nova Scotia (NS) Department of Finance as an economist in their economic forecasting and policy analysis section. This provided me with an opportunity to practice the econometrics and forecasting skills I had acquired from Dalhousie. However, after two years at the NS Department of Finance and a short stint at the University of Malawi, it became very clear to me that my heart was in academia. I landed a teaching position in 2001 at Athabasca University in Alberta and I have been working here since then. My research interests include international trade, economic growth and development, and econometric modelling.
I hold many fond memories about Dalhousie University. Besides the academic life, I enjoyed playing softball with staff and fellow students in the department and playing darts at Grad House on Friday evenings to unwind after captivating “Friday Seminars”. Looking back now, I feel very grateful to Dalhousie’s Department of Economics for giving me the opportunity to pursue graduate studies to enable me to become who I am today.