From a Graduate Student to a Community Agent: From Science to Communication
The Story of Catherine Mloza-Banda
Studying for a Master of Science degree under the RUFORUM Scholarship has greatly shaped my career and opened a world that I could not comprehend. Being able to generate scientific information is one thing; communicating it in a way that is understandable and relatable to a wide range of audiences is another.
My Master’s degree has helped me to be able to do both and more. I learned to engage policy makers and influential decision makers on the critical issues that are taking place at grassroots level that have an implication on policy. It highlighted the important role that farmer networks play in dissemination and adoption of new technologies and the role of informal communication channels.
I was awarded the RUFORUM Scholarship at a time that I was seeking to establish my career as an agricultural communications specialist. I had recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Crop Science from the then University of Malawi, Bunda College of Agriculture. The most logical step for me was to pursue a career in the agricultural sciences either in a research station or academia. Interestingly, that was not what I wanted to do. Over the time I had studied for my degree, I had grown a passion for development communication and I wanted to innovatively fuse my newly found interest with my science degree; an aspiration that seemed very far-fetched at the time.
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