How Suleyman Demi used PhD research at University to improve lives in Ghana

Portrait of Suleyman Demi
Suleyman Demi made Ghana the core of his research, studying everything from how his home country feeds itself to the role communities and local farming play in the future of food and the environment (all photos by Perry King)

When he crosses the stage at Convocation Hall on Nov. 7, the University of Toronto’s Suleyman Demi will know he got there by keeping Ghana in his mind – and close to his heart.

Demi, who will receive a PhD in social justice education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), made his home country the core of his research, studying everything from how the country feeds itself to the role communities and local farming play in the future of food and the environment.

Convocation marks the end of a chapter for Demi – and he has mixed feelings about it.

“I’m able to say that I’ve graduated, happy to finish my program. At the same time, I miss the kind of support I received from this community,” said Demi, who is currently a teaching assistant for a health studies course at U of T Scarborough.

At the same time, Demi is excited for what’s to come.

“Even though the title of ‘doctor’ puts a lot of responsibility on me … that’s life,” said Demi, who first arrived at OISE to pursue a master’s degree in humanities, social science education, and environment and health in 2013. “You move from one state to another and you should be prepared for it. It’s a transition and I’m trying to tune my mind [to the next challenge].”

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