May 12, 2020

Maryam Salihu found her passion for learning at UWS

UW-Superior grad pursues Ph.D. in public policy with full-ride scholarship to the University of Massachusetts

UWS Alumna Maryam Salihu

It’s often said that the longest journey begins with a single step. This can be especially true in education. What often begins with one class in one course can lead to a lifetime of learning.

For 2017 graduate Maryam Salihu, her education at UW-Superior started a path of learning that has led her to the University of Massachusetts in Boston on a full-ride scholarship in pursuit of her Ph.D.

“The professors in the economics department [now known as the School of Business and Economics] encouraged me to pursue the goal of lifelong learning,” said Salihu. “More than this motivation, I knew that I wanted to inform policy with evidence, and to do this, I needed to become more informed.”

Originally from Abuja, Nigeria, Salihu was drawn to UW-Superior’s small class size, expert faculty and the unwavering support from the [NAME:OIP] (OIP).

“I always had an interest in understanding how economies operate and the drivers of economic prosperity in resource-rich countries,” said Salihu. “Economics gave me that opportunity and allowed me to ask more specific questions like why resource-rich countries are poor, how to alleviate poverty and how we can broaden social protection for the more vulnerable in society. Naturally, I gravitated toward a major that allowed me to learn how to think about answering those questions and more.”

Majoring in economics with a concentration in finance, Salihu benefitted from UW-Superior’s strong connection to the community and classes which provided practical real-world fieldwork.

“Dr. Mahjabeen’s development economics class allowed me to interview low-income families in Superior and write an article on their financials,” she said. “Also, Dr. Simkins’ money and banking class allowed me to play the ‘Chair the Federal Reserve’ game to learn how monetary policy influences the U.S. economy by altering the federal funds rate. This allowed for changes in unemployment and inflation rates. All of these experiences were extremely informative and kept me involved in my major.”

A member of the Black Student Union, Cru and Residence Hall Association, Salihu credits numerous relationships with faculty and staff for her drive and success.

“I benefited from a host of people who worked tirelessly to make my stay at UW-Superior meaningful and truly a home away from home,” she said.

After graduating from UW-Superior, Salihu attended Georgia State University, where she obtained a master’s in economics. She currently works at a consulting firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will attend the University of Massachusetts Boston this fall to pursue a Ph.D. in public policy.

“UWS laid the foundations for these great opportunities and I remain grateful,” she said.
“Encouragement from both faculty and staff, the courses that were engaging enough to stir up an interest and passion in me, the individualized learning experience I got from UWS, the relationships I formed, the connections from the conferences I presented at – these all helped to prepared me.”



UW-Superior Faculty/Staff



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