Exploring Careers in Agricultural Research

19 06 2009

Role Modelling Event at KARI-TRC 

Sheila with her mentee Cecilia

Sheila with her mentee Cecilia

Sheila Ommeh, a Kenyan AWARD Fellow organized and facilitated a role modeling event at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute – Trypanosomiasis Research Centre (KARI-TRC) for students of Muguga wa Gatonya Secondary School.  Students who excelled in Agriculture and Biology were selected to attend the role-modelling event.  The students did not only hear about careers in agricultural research, they were also given a guided tour of the research Center by Joanna Auma, the Head of the Biochemistry Department.  Auma pointed out that a career in science and agriculture was a smart choice and full of opportunities.

Dr. Johnson Ouma, Sheila’s Mentor, demystified the notion that science was difficult and only for boys. While sharing her personal experiences, Dr Grace Mulira, the Centre Director, urged the girls to have a vision.  Dr. Mulira expressed her support for mentorship saying it should be institutionalized.  She also advised the students to choose appropriate mentors to guide and advise them.

Participants were encouraged to have an open mind when thinking about agriculture.  Sheila urged them to avoid limiting their thinking of Agriculture to “traditional sense of Agriculture is only farming.”  They were informed about the vast opportunities that exist in the field of Agriculture.

Working towards a career in Agriculture

The students were encouraged to work hard and excel in Agriculture and/or sciences as this would put them in good stead as they prepared to get into the field of agriculture.  By the end of the day, the students had lots of questions which Sheila and her Junior Mentee, Cecilia Rumberia answered. “We were both excited.  It was a fulfilling experience for us,” says Sheila.  

After the role modeling event, most of the girls’ had changed their views on agriculture.  It is our hope that the students will share the knowledge gained from the event with their peers at school. 

To view Sheila’s presentation made at the role modelling event, click here.

For pictures from the role modelling event at KARI-TRC, click here.

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