Prof. Margaret Gitau Gives Invited Seminar at IIT Bombay

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Prof. Gitau (at right) receives a token of appreciation from Prof. Jothiprakash of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the Civil Engineering Association.

Margaret Gitau, Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University and President of MTAWA, gave an invited seminar at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, on October 3, 2018. Prof. Gitau talked about one of the greatest challenges in our world today, this being the impairment of water quality by pollutants from agricultural, rural/urbanizing, and urban lands. She discussed her perspectives, current research, and future directions, and also highlighted opportunities for integrated, multidisciplinary research to develop sustainable solutions to current water quality problems.


MTAWA-JKUAT Workshop a Great Success!

Group photo day 1

Workshop Day 1 Participants

Introductions by Prof. Helen Kutima


Opening Remarks by Prof Stephen Diang’a

Keynote by Prof. Caroline Thoruwa
Remarks by Prof. Mary Abukutsa
Workshop Session by Prof. Clare Muhoro
Interactive Session Day 1
Panel on Day 1
Contributions by Ms. Redempter Mutinda
Insights from Panelist Agnes Limo
Rose Presentation
Remarks by Dr. Rose Mutiso
Presentation by Ms. Phyllis Kalele
Presentation by Ms. Rosetta Ngugi
Group photo day 2
Workshop Day 2 Participants
One-on-One/Speed Mentoring
Mini Grad Sch Fair
Mini Grad School Fair
Workshop Recap by Dr. Teckla Muhoro
Closing Remarks by Prof. Margaret Gitau

Meet Our Mentees: Mercy Ngunjiri



Mercy receives Graduate Teaching and Graduate Instructional Development certificates. (L-to-R): Prof. Bernie Tao; Mercy Ngunjiri; Provost Jay Akridge, Purdue University.

Mercy Ngunjiri recently successfully defended her Ph.D. research work in the Agronomy department and Interdisciplinary Ecological Sciences and Engineering program at Purdue University. Her work was on “Mapping soils of the Uasin Gishu Plateau, Kenya with limited data using a knowledge-based inference mapping approach”. She was born and raised in Kenya and attained her B.S. degree in soil and land use management at Moi University and M.S. degree in soil science at the University of Eldoret. Her area of interest is soil and landscape processes as it pertains to multi-scale environmental and hydro-pedological processes. Mercy hopes to become an international research scientist in her area of study with the aim of enhancing global food security. She also hopes to be part of the practitioners and policy makers in areas of women empowerment especially in Africa. Mercy will graduate with a Ph.D. in soil science and agronomy this August.


Dr. Clare Muhoro Receives Award for Public Service

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Photo L-to-R (Chancellor Robert Caret, Dr. Clare Muhoro, Towson University President Kim Schatzel, Board of Regents Chair James Brady)

Dr. Clare Muhoro (MTAWA Board member) was the recipient of the 2018 University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents’ Award for Public Service. The awards are the highest honor presented by the Board to exemplary faculty members. The awards honor excellence in the following four categories: teaching; research, scholarship and creative activity; public service; and mentoring. Institutional faculty nominating committees make recommendations to the institutional presidents, who review nominations and supporting material and forward recommendations to USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret. The Regents Faculty Review Committee makes the final recommendations. Dr. Muhoro received the award for her work on enhancing science and technology in developing countries. Dr. Muhoro works extensively with the United States Agency for International Development and has traveled to Africa and Asia in hands-on efforts to support U.S. programs and policies regarding scientific collaboration as a tool to promote development. She also served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow in diplomacy, security, and development. She has organized and/or moderated numerous programs and symposia around the world. She balances these public service obligations with a full-time teaching, research and administrative load within the Department of Chemistry at Towson University.

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Member Profile

Meet Our Mentors: Dr. Betsy Gekonge

Dr. Betsy Gekonge
Dr. Betsy Gekonge was born and raised in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya in East Africa.  She initially came to the United States to pursue a college education (Hamilton College, Clinton NY and Pennsylvania State University, University Park PA) and has since established a robust career working as a Clinical Scientist at Pfizer, Inc where she is contributing to the development of novel vaccines to help prevent pneumococcal disease.  Prior to her current role, Betsy spent several years working in the Montaner Laboratory at the Wistar Institute working to understand the response of a subset of immune cells (monocytes/macrophages) to HIV-1 infection, and three years working in antiviral drug development at Merck & Co Inc. Betsy joined MTAWA in 2016 as a mentor, and with the support and guidance of MTAWA sistren established an incredible mentor-mentee relationship (now friendship) with her mentee who in the fall semester of 2017 successfully enrolled in the Department of Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Riverside. When not busy poring over clinical documents, Betsy enjoys volunteering to various causes, hiking and traveling with her children.