Associate Professor Niloufer Sohrabji

Associate Professor Niloufer Sohrabji, chair of the Simmons University Department of Economics, on owning a bookstore and meeting Captain America.

What would you title your autobiography? Lost in My Thoughts.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a teacher.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? My career educating Simmons students.

If success were guaranteed, what new career would you choose? Own and run a bookstore.

What Simmons course or professor had the biggest impact on your future? Barbara Sawtelle, professor emerita of economics, whose dedication and commitment to Simmons inspired me. 

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self? Be brave enough to fail.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Our parents always told us “Don’t rush to start working, continue with your education as long as you can.” 

If you could take credit for any existing work of literature or art, what would it be? M.C. Escher’s Ascending and Descending for its embodiment of mathematics in art.

What’s the latest addition to your “bucket list”? My longtime list includes visiting the Galápagos Islands. 

Whom would you most like to sit next to on a long flight? I would prefer not to have anybody sit next to me.

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? Picture-perfect Prague.

Would you rather spend a weekend 100 years in the past, or in the future? The past—it is important to know where we come from. 

What are your two favorite movies? Inherit the Wind and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

What’s next on your must-read list? Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton

Which historical figure would you like to be? Amelia Earhart.

What fictional character do you wish you could meet? I cannot choose between Captain America and Sherlock Holmes. 

If you could add one hour to every day, how would you spend it? Practicing piano.

Would you rather win an Oscar, an Olympic medal, or a Nobel Prize? For anything specific? Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. 

What personal quality would you value most in a prospective hire? Integrity; commitment to the institution’s mission.

If you won a $10 million lottery prize, what philanthropic dream would you fulfill? Creating educational scholarships (in my parents’ honor) for those in need. 

What question would you ask John Simmons? How could we better fulfill your vision?