Global Programs Hosts Makerere University Interns 2018

The Global Programs Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences along with Dr. Ajay Nair, Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Dr. Tom Brumm, Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering are hosting two visiting interns from Makerere University in Uganda. The interns arrived on October 6, 2018 at Iowa State University (ISU) as part of an 8-week partnership.

Jalia Nalubaale, originally from Luweero in the Central Region of Uganda is a third year student at Makerere University majoring in Agricultural Business. While at Makerere University, Jalia had the opportunity to participate in the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Iowa State University Uganda Program (ISU-UP) in Kamuli District, Uganda where she acquired an interest in horticulture while completing an internship growing fruit and vegetable gardens to supplement school lunches at Namasagali and Nakanyonyi primary schools in Uganda. Jalia has been working with Dr. Nair to learn more about vegetable crop production in sweet peppers, lettuce, sweet potatoes and pak choi ​at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station. Jalia assists with transplanting crops within high tunnels for season extension and has gained a better understanding of how light intensity and quality affects plant growth and productivity. She has also learned how to gather data on produce quality and analyze them for total soluble solids concentration. Jalia is attending several classes during her time at Iowa State, allowing her to experience an American classroom and giving her the opportunity to interact with other students at Iowa State. She also had an opportunity to attend the High Tunnel Short Course and interact with vegetable growers, extension agents, local food coordinators, and USDA-NRCS staff. Upon her return to Makerere University, Jalia hopes to graduate in January 2019.

Ismael Mayanja, originally from Mulago in north-central Kampala, the capital city of Uganda is a fourth year student at Makerere University with an interest in postharvest technology. Ismael has been working with Dr. Brumm to research the oxygen consumption of weevils in order to understand how to restrict weevil consumption of grains postharvest. Ismael’s interest in postharvest technology began during his second internship through the ISU- Uganda Program. During the internship, Ismael met Dr. Brumm and Rachael Barnes, an Iowa State University student service learner that was conducting research on postharvest technology.  Ismael realized the need for additional research and felt that he had something to contribute to the cause. While at ISU, Ismael attends classes in feed technology, biorenewables and electrical power and electronics.  He also assists ABE graduate students with their research in addition to conducting experiments on his own. Upon his return to Makerere University, Ismael hopes to graduate in January 2019.

During the 8-week partnership, the two interns also had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium during the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa and were able to interact with international leaders and icons while gaining a better understanding of real world challenges impacting the entire world population. Ismael was inspired by the large number of women speakers and personally impacted by listening to all of their life changing experiences. The interns also had the opportunity to participate in a cultural outing when they traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a day of sight-seeing, shopping and interacting with other international students that were being hosted by the Global Programs Department. Both interns have enjoyed their time at Iowa State and say that the opportunity to visit the United States would not be possible without the efforts from their mentors Dr. Nair and Dr. Brumm as well as the partnership between Iowa State University and Makerere University through the ISU-UP.