My name is Sonnie Rose Kesselly, a 2023 graduate from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Makerere University, Uganda. I am a Liberian and a Lecturer at the College of Agriculture and Forestry in the University of Liberia. I began my PhD Journey in February of 2020 as a RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistant at Makerere University. When I reported for school in February 2020, the University was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this closure lasted for about 10 months. During these 10 months, I was strongly encouraged and supported by my principal supervisor Associate Professor Yusuf B. Byaruhanga to develop my proposal, which I did. I presented my proposal on December 5, 2020 and got approval to begin my research, again the entire country went into locked down which lasted for about 7 months. During the locked down, I requested for permission from my school which enable me to conduct work while observing the health protocol outlined by the Ministry of Health, Uganda. It was a challenging period but I endeavor to conduct work despite the circumstances. There were days I had to sleep in the bakery drying cassava and cowpeas. My blood levels dropped from staying long hours around the hot air oven dryer and almost lost two of my fingers to a flour mixer; but that didn’t stop me from working. If a task was assigned to me to do for one month, I pushed myself to finish it in two weeks. I was collecting data, analyzing, discussing the results all at the same time; and made sure to publish a paper immediately I complete an objective. In six months, I published two papers and was able to defend my thesis in January this year 2023 that qualified me for graduation. I worked myself to the maximum and was effectively and efficiently supervised by my supervisors Associate Professor Yusuf B. Byaruhanga and Dr. Robert Mugabi. Thank you to RUFORUM for the opportunity given to me to achieve this great milestone.
Any dream is realistic once you have the accurate attitude towards work and the true people to support you – Sonnie Rose Kesselly (PhD)
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