International student earns doctoral degree to help develop Iraqi horticultural education curriculum
Horticulture is in Kawther Al-Jasim’s DNA. Her mother and father had a farm and always discussed how to care for their trees.
“I believe hearing this kind of conversation makes me attached to the plants,” Kawther said. “I love being with plants, treating them, growing them, taking data, doing molecular work.”
Kawther became a horticulture teacher prior to coming to the United States. As a lecturer at the University of Babylon/Iraq, she looks forward to teaching her students what she has learned while at UF. The Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research supported Kawther with a scholarship to help develop the Iraqi horticultural education curriculum. “I believe I made the right decision when I chose UF,” Kawther said.
From fellow students and community involvement, to teachers who have exemplified what Kawther believes to be an ideal professor, all of these experiences have been memorable moments during Kawther’s time in CALS as a doctoral student in horticultural sciences. She says these interactions have defined her chosen career path.
The English language has been the biggest obstacle Kawther has overcome while at UF. When asked to share her advice on overcoming hurdles, Kawther said, “Just keep going. I know it is not easy, but as long as you will never give up, one day you will make it. Your dream will be true.”
After graduation, Kawther returns to Iraq in his lecturer position. She would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Jude Grosser for “your support, encouragements and believing in me – that’s what makes me succeed.”
Horticultural Sciences Major
Spring 2020 Doctorate Degree Graduate