The 2022 Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates launched at Egerton University
Egerton University and Bowie State University, USA, launched the 2022 Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates at Main Campus in Njoro on 8th June 2022.
The University has been in collaboration with Bowie State University (BSU) in hosting the REU-REEU program that supports students from the United States of America (USA). The students will be immersed in an eight-week international summer research program from 2019 to 2025 at Egerton University.
According to the Institutional Principal Investigator (PI) Professor Joshua Ogendo, the Program's genesis resulted from a collaboration between Egerton University and BSU initiated in 2016.
"The first cohort of 9 undergraduate students was hosted at the University in 2019 from 3rd June to 27th July 2019. The nine students were recruited from six universities in the USA and were successfully hosted by Mentor Professors in respective ongoing research projects at the Faculty of Agriculture's Department of Crops, Horticulture, and Soils (CHS). However, the Program did not take off in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic," said Prof. Ogendo.
The acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Extension) Prof. Bockline Bebe received the students on behalf of the University and said that the Program will contribute to Egerton University's research in food and nutrition security as embedded in its Strategic Plan. He added that the students will benefit from the University's state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Safe Foods Reference Laboratory (SAF- LAB).
The Program Director, Dr Anne Osano said the students were looking to expand on their research and extension skills during their brief stay at Egerton University. In addition, she encouraged the students to publish and disseminate their research findings to the community through research forums and conferences. Dr Osano is an Associate Professor at Bowie State University.
The REU-REEU Program 2022 is being supported by two (2) development partners, National Science Foundation (NSF-REU) and NIFA-USDA (REEU) for an 8-week (6th June to 31st July 2022) Global Research and Extension experience in Kenya. NSF-REU and NIFA-USDA-REEU are supporting fourteen (14) undergraduate students recruited from nine (9) universities across the USA.
The nine (9) universities are Bowie State University (lead institution); Claflin University; Howard University; Montgomery College; Morgan State University; Prairie View A&M University; Tennessee State University; Texas A&M University; and University of North Carolina.
During the 8 weeks at Egerton University, the 14 students be hosted by the following Mentor-Professors and their respective ongoing research projects:
[A] NSF Funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU): Sorghum Project: Climate-Smart approaches for promotion and adoption of Sorghum for ASALs of Kenya: Mentor: Prof. Erick Cheruiyot, CHS Dept.; Indigenous Vegetable Project: A focus on Cassava. Mentor: Prof. R. M. S Mulwa, CHS Dept.; Rhizobium Project - Nitrogen fixation in Lablab. Mentor: Prof N.W. Mungai, CHS Dept.; Finger Millet Project: Analysis of multi-environment adaptation and its effect on nutrient profiles and blending with legumes of diverse finger millet genotypes (Eleusine coracana L. Gaertn). Mentor: Prof. Paul K. Kimurto, CHS Dept.; and Diversity of endophytes in Kenyan forgotten food crops. Mentor: Dr. Joseph J. Mafurah, CHS Dept.
[B] NIFA-USDA Funded Research Experience and Extension for Undergraduates (REEU): Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum): Health, Agronomy and Utilization; Mentor: Dr. Evans O. Obura, Dept. of Biological Science; Efficiency of Domestic fish farming technology for African catfish; Mentor: Dr.Elick O. Otachi, Dept. of Biological Science; Agricultural Extension Experiential Learning Activities in Kenya. Mentor: Dr Maurice Ongalo Udoto, Dept of Agricultural Education & Extension; and Added Activity for this cohort: Plant Metabolomics virtual workshops. Mentors: USA Professors [Workshops on HPTLC, LC-MS and NMR Spectroscopy].