MTAWA Annual Meeting, June 6-9, 2019. Atlantic Station, Atlanta, GA

Third Announcement

The Mentoring neTwork for African Women in Academia (MTAWA) will hold a meeting of the membership in Atlanta, GA, U.S.A. on June 6-9, 2019. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Challenges and Opportunities for African Women in Academia”. The meeting will include breakout discussion sessions, research exchange, and a workshop on negotiation.

Research Exchange:

This session will comprise lightning (5-7 minutes) talks by participants on their areas of research or work and include presenters’ thoughts on opportunities for collaboration. Contributors should submit a title and 100-150 word abstract to by May 5, 2019. Abstracts will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received. Notification of acceptance will be sent on a rolling basis up to May 15, 2019 or until all available slots are filled. Presenters must register by May 15, 2019 to be included in the program. Distant Abstracts may be submitted by contributors from outside the US. These (distant) presentations will be in the form of videos prepared and submitted by the author(s) following acceptance of the abstracts.


The main goal of the workshop is to help participants develop negotiation skills. Additionally, information exchange will help participants to understand barriers and opportunities students encounter in networking with scholars, professionals and peers.

Issues addressed will include:

  • Identifying negotiables
  • Elements of a successful negotiation
  • Developing alternatives to an agreement
  • Handling difficult people and conversations
  • Listening to and appreciating different viewpoints
  • Developing long and short-term negotiating goals

 Target audience:

The meeting is open to all members of MTAWA and others who could be members of MTAWA including: African women with terminal degrees or equivalent qualifications in their profession; persons who through employment, professional attainments, education, or experience are interested in the advancement and success of African women; and, African women already enrolled in/seeking to enroll in graduate or professional programs.


Meet Our Mentors: Dr. Esther Mosase


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Dr. Esther Mosase

Dr. Esther Mosase recently obtained her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at South Dakota State University. Her dissertation work focused on modelling water availability, risk and resilience in the Limpopo River Basin, a semi-arid basin in Southern Africa. Esther’s PhD work was supported by the Schlumberger Foundation, Faculty for the Future (FFTF) program which sponsors women in Science and Engineering, the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) through the Botswana Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF), and Botswana Embassy in the United States.
  Esther received her Master’s in Agricultural Engineering from Botswana College of Agriculture (Botswana). Thereafter, she worked as a junior lecturer at the BIUST in Botswana before starting her PhD. Esther is currently working part time as a Staff Research Associate (SRA II) at the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Esther is looking forward to continuing contributing to research and science-based information in water resources including water quality improvement and impact of climate change on water resources. As a product of the Schlumberger Foundation FFTF program, Esther looks forward to continuing empowering girls/women to pursue Science and Engineering fields.

Dr. Margaret Okomo-Adhiambo inducted as Fellow of the AAS


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Dr. Margaret Okomo-Adhiambo

On Dec 11, 2018, Dr. Margaret Okomo-Adhiambo was inducted as Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, in Pretoria, SA. Fellows are elected based on achievements including their publication record, innovations, leadership roles and contribution to policy and to the development of science on the continent, and globally. Dr. Okomo-Adhiambo says “[I am] very humbled and honored to be part of this prestigious group of scientists.”

Meet Our Mentees: Pamela Mugisha

Pamela Mugisha
Mrs. Mugisha Pamela recently joined Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi to pursue studies leading to a PHD in Geospatial Computing Sciences. Mrs. Mugisha is passionate about water and hydrology and wishes to use remote sensing to study the effect of direct stormwater discharge to oceans in growing coastal cities.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural engineering from Makerere University, Uganda and an Msc. degree in Hydroscience and engineering from Technical University, Dresden, Germany.


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.