CFAES Give Today

Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


The AEDE Graduate Program Welcomes 30 New Students for the Autumn 2012 Semester – Hear From Three Students Why They Chose to Study at AEDE

Sep. 19, 2012
This semester AEDE welcomes a new class of graduate students, which includes 17 students enrolled in the doctoral degree program and 13 students enrolled in the master’s degree program. This diverse group comes from many corners of the world and brings to AEDE a wealth of experience from previous academic studies and work in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Three new students to the program include first-year Ph.D. students Nicholas Irwin, Khushbu Mishra and Tony Gallenstein. Hear from them why they chose to study at AEDE.
Nicholas Irwin
AEDE Student Nicholas Irwin
Photo Credit: AEDE

Irwin, who is originally from Logan, Ohio, joins AEDE with an interest in environmental economics, and in particular, the cross-cutting theme of urban and regional economics in relation to environmental policy. Irwin has always had an interest in the economics of public policy and was particularly drawn to the AEDE program due to the program’s focus on applied economics research and the faculty working in his interest areas.
Irwin, who has an undergraduate degree from Ohio State and a master’s degree from American University, both in Economics, has always had an interest in environmental issues and, growing up in Southeastern Ohio in the shadow of the manufacturing and natural resource extraction industries, he witnessed firsthand the impact that poor environmental practices can have on a landscape. This exposure piqued his interests in environmental economics and utilizing economic analysis to make more effective policy decisions.
During his previous studies, and while working in Washington D.C. after his master’s degree program, Irwin was exposed to a wide range of public, private and nonprofit sector opportunities in the public policy and environment realms – from internships at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, USDA’s Economic Research Service, the New America Foundation and the East-West Center, to employment at Fors Marsh Group, a D.C.-based applied social science research company. Irwin’s experience engaging with different groups prepared him for his Ph.D. studies as he learned how to coherently craft and present research ideas for broad audiences while collaborating with researchers from a wide range of backgrounds.
Irwin maintains a strong allegiance to Ohio and is excited to be pursuing a Ph.D. at Ohio State. In his studies he is interested in focusing on how policy decisions impact land use development, in particular in relation to bodies of water. He’s looking forward to learning from the strong faculty at AEDE and engaging with his graduate colleagues who come from a wealth of diverse backgrounds and experiences. In making the decision on which graduate school to attend, Irwin noted that AEDE was the winner due to the excellent reputation of the department and the wealth of resources offered by the department, the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the wider Ohio State community. As Irwin notes, “By joining the AEDE department, I am able to work with great faculty and be part of a thriving research network at the University that will allow me to collaborate with those not only in my own department, but also in OSU’s Economics, Environmental Sciences, and Statistics departments, among others. Ohio State has a wealth of resources that make it the ideal place for a student with my particular interests to pursue further research.”
Khushbu Mishra
AEDE Student Khushbu Mishra
Photo Credit: AEDE

Khushbu Mishra, also a first-year student in AEDE’s Ph.D. program, is an international student from Nepal, who joins AEDE through the University Fellowship program. Mishra, who completed an undergraduate degree in Economics and Mathematics at Mount Holyoke College, joins AEDE after spending a year working at UNICEF’s Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. 
Mishra, who will focus on development economics in her studies at AEDE, was drawn to AEDE for its reputation as an educational leader and the program’s focus on applied economics research. Additionally, Mishra was attracted to the cross-cutting themes offered by AEDE, including the chance to not only focus on development economics in her studies, but to also engage with the department’s excellent environmental economists to study the intersection of these two fields. 
In her role as a Research Assistant for UNICEF, Mishra was prepared for her graduate studies at AEDE by performing extensive economic analysis in relation to social policy. At UNICEF she conducted research on the economics of social policies in UNICEF’s 14 country offices in the region, which include Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste and Viet Nam. Mishra was drawn to UNICEF as she wanted to test the economic theories that she had learned in her undergraduate studies in a real-world setting. At AEDE she looks forward to continuing her growth in this field and further engaging in applied economic research related to international development.
Tony Gallenstein
AEDE Student Tony Gallenstein
Photo Credit: AEDE

Tony Gallenstein, who is also studying at Ohio State on a University Fellowship, joined the Ph.D. program this year with a focus on international development economics. Gallenstein comes to AEDE with an extensive background in biology – he completed his undergraduate degree at Ohio State in Plant Cellular Molecular Biology. Gallenstein, who is originally from Cincinnati, was drawn to biology due to a deep interest in using science to make a positive impact in the developing world. Due to this interest, while completing his undergraduate degree he also specialized in international development studies to focus more closely on how science can positively impact livelihoods and save lives in the developing world. In his undergraduate studies Gallenstein was drawn to research on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and in particular using science to improve crop production – during his undergraduate career he conducted research on growing a better cassava crop to reduce poverty in Africa. It was during this period that he met AEDE Professor Dave Kraybill, a development economist, who drew Gallenstein to the AEDE program.
Prior to joining AEDE, Gallenstein spent a year working with local urban agriculture groups in Columbus as an urban farmer. In particular, he worked with Franklinton Gardens, a nonprofit urban farm located in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. It was during this experience that Gallenstein became more interested in localized, organic agriculture initiatives, and in the cross-linkages between environment, development, and the impact of sustainable, small-scale agricultural policy and practice.
Gallenstein comes to AEDE not as an economist, but as a talented biologist and now urban agriculturalist. His diversity of experience adds a fresh perspective to the AEDE program and both he and his peers look forward to engaging closely and learning from one another.
September 19, 2012