AEE Doctoral Student Gakpo Awarded University Graduate Fellowship
With over a decade of experience working as a journalist covering agriculture, environment, rural development, politics, and science in Ghana, Joseph Opoku Gakpo wanted more for his country. He knew that learning new skills and techniques would be the only way for the African continent to improve its citizens’ agricultural production, which led him to NC State University.
Gakpo is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences in the Agricultural and Extension Education program and teaches the undergraduate course AEE 311: Communication Methods and Media. Under the supervision of co-advisors Dr. John M. Dole (interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), and Dr. Katherine McKee (assistant professor), his doctoral dissertation investigates factors that influence the academic success of undergraduate agricultural and life sciences students. His other main research interest is communicating controversial science issues like genetically modified organism (GMO) technology and climate change.
Due to his academic successes, Gakpo has been awarded the University Graduate Fellowship. It is an additional financial award given to supplement departmental research and teaching assistantships, to attract outstanding and competitive students to NC State’s doctoral programs. The fellowship is funded by the Office of the Provost. Director of graduate programs, Dr. Joseph Donaldson nominated Gakpo for the fellowship. Gakpo stated that “the award of the fellowship is a signal that the faculty have reposed a certain high level of confidence in me, and so I need to work hard. I’m grateful to the department for the opportunity.”
Going forward, Gakpo wants to be the expert who trains the next generation of Africa’s agricultural extension professionals in how they can apply appropriate communication tools to their work for better impact so that farmers can benefit. Congratulations Gakpo on your fellowship and continued success at NC State.