The Department of Horticulture and Food security (DHFS) together with the Department of Landscape and Environmental Sciences (DLES) in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (SOAES) held a luncheon on 20th December 2021 at SAJOREC to bid farewell to the outgoing fourth year students in the undergraduate programs (B.Sc. Horticulture, B.Sc. Agriculture and B.Sc. Environmental Horticulture and Landscaping Technology). The luncheon was graced by Prof. Kamau Ngamau as the chief guest who is a former chairman of the department of Horticulture -JKUAT and is the current Vice Chancellor of The Co-operative University of Kenya.
Also present at the luncheon were the Dean of students Prof. Fredah Wanzala, the Principal College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (COANRE) Prof. David Mburu, Dean SOAES Prof. Elijah Ateka, chairmen of departments Prof. John Mukundi (DLES) and Dr. Lucy Murungi (DHFS) as well as the members of staff from the two departments.
In his address, Prof. Ngamau emphasised the need for students to cultivate soft skills particularly in communication, ICT, critical thinking and problem solving that are lucrative in securing jobs in the industry. He lauded JKUAT for being consistent in supporting students through practical training, research projects and the industrial training in order for them to cultivate the relevant technical skills.
The Principal COANRE, Prof. David Mburu emphasized that the college has over time been securing internships for students to Israel where they also benefit from scholarships to enable them progress in their studies.
The dean of students Prof. Fredah Wanzala enlightened the students on the need to always communicate and seek help even when in public citing examples of raising cases of youth venturing into illegal practices that also threaten their lives. Prof. Wanzala emphasized that teamwork and counseling is essential, since once student leave campus they are on their own and subject to the law of the land. Prof. Ateka, the dean SOAES reiterated the need for graduates to learn how to communicate with confidence pointing out that learning has to be a continuous process after completion of the four year course.
In her closing remarks, the chair of department of HFS Dr. Lucy Murungi reminded the students that once they acquire the alumni status, it is important to maintain networking among themselves and also with the lecturers in the two departments. Dr. Murungi encouraged the students to enhance social capital so as to avoid landing in depression and low self-esteem. Other staff from the SOAES addressing the meeting included Prof. Mukundi, chairman DLES, Dr. Leonard Kiirika who is also the field attachment coordinator and Dr. Josephine Karanja representing other academic staff members.
The luncheon provided a one-time event for the students to interact with their lecturers outside of the lecture halls and get advises from them even as they depart to the public to enter the job market.
Photos Courtesy of K. Cheruiyot