Alumni Spotlight: Naim Edwards ’14

Naim Edwards | Alumni Spotlight

Date: February 15, 2021

Director of Detroit Partnership for Food, Learning, and Innovation, Michigan State University

Naim Edwards discusses how his coursework and graduate studies led him to his  current position that blends food systems research, educational programming, and site development in Detroit. Learn more about the burgeoning multipurpose community space he is working on,  and be transported to the site virtually by watching this video.

Did any of your experiences on campus lead you to your current role?

Yes. My master’s thesis examined how urban garden management affected biodiversity – with a focus on insects. In grad school, I gained a lot of understanding about agroecology and how the food system is structured. I also developed a framework for how agriculture can be used to address social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political issues. Courses in insects, GIS, Field Ecology, Evolution, and seminars along with many lectures, workshops, and suggested readings inspired me to pursue a career in agriculture and the food system.

What is one piece of advice you would give students interested in pursuing a career in food systems?

Identify what questions you want to answer and issues you want to learn more about or resolve. Consider private, government, academic, and entrepreneurial routes.