[RUFORUM PhD Experience] My Doctoral Experience: Dr. Judith Akinyi Atela


My name is Judith Akinyi Atela, and I hope this finds you safe and well, amid the pandemic of coronavirus that the world is facing. It is my pleasure to talk about my career path and how I went from doing a BSc in Animal Production to being a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi. I was born in the morning of September 1972 and raised in a small village called Sondu in Kisumu County, a lovely city in Kenya bordering Lake Victoria with abundant Fish. Due to an interest in poultry farming developed by my high school Agriculture teacher, Mr Ogallo Elly, I applied for a related 1st degree course and graduated with BSc in Animal Production from Egerton University, Kenya in 1996, where in the last years of study I had my first experience with livestock in the livestock demonstration farm units, seminars and research in animal nutrition labs. I really enjoyed the management and production of chicken and this left me with such a strong positive impression that I found that I wanted to keep doing research in the foreseeable future on how to improve the quality and quantity of chicken products.

After graduation with my first degree, I was employed by the Teachers Service Commission as an untrained teacher of Agriculture and Biology for about 20 years. I proceeded to do an MSc in Agricultural Education, at Egerton University and graduated in 2010. I mentored many wonderful secondary school students during my high school teaching profession. The teaching experience only reinforced my desire to pursue my PhD studies and scientific research career, so I returned to Egerton University to further my studies after I had done a Masters in Agricultural Education for teachers. During the masters studies I used and combined both maternity and study leave totalling to one year to complete the MSc studies and did a research on “The Relationship Between Secondary School Students’ Attributes and Their Attitudes Towards Agriculture Subject: The Case of Migori District, Kenya.” I graduated with a Masters in Agric Educ, despite the challenge of raising my baby girl without the services of a baby sitter successfully.

Please read the complete story here

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