2013 Borlaug LEAP Fellow Assoumane Maiga has worn many hats during his professional and academic career: English teacher and translator in his native Mali, PhD student in Agricultural Education at Oklahoma State University (OSU), and Fulbright scholar. And now he can add winner of the Research Excellence Award in the OSU Graduate College Group V, Education category. His dissertation, titled “An Assessment of the Media’s Role in Disseminating News and Information to Farmers After the Cessation of Armed Conflicts in the Republics of Côte d’Ivoire and Mali”, was selected out of many highly regarded thesis dissertations as an example of academic excellence. Per OSU’s website: “The purpose of the program is to recognize graduate students for their outstanding research accomplishments as reflected in their thesis or dissertation.”
Maiga worked steadily to collect data from farmers in post-conflict areas in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. His work aims to give them a voice and to help those post-conflict countries develop policies that will lead to the rebuilding of their economies and communities. Maiga is extremely proud and grateful to have received this honor and recognizes the Borlaug LEAP fellowship for their role in helping him achieve his success.
“This [is] an opportunity to sincerely thank the Borlaug LEAP program for the support of my dissertation study and professional and scholarly development overall, “Maiga said in his email to the Borlaug LEAP fellowship. “Overall, I am very humbled and, again, thank you very much for your support.”
In addition to his fellowships, Maiga has worked with his PhD advisor Dr. Craig Edwards since beginning his doctoral studies in 2012 and continues to collaborate with him during his post-doctoral research. He credits Dr. Edwards' guidance as being a big part of his success as well. Dr. Edwards recognizes the incredible amount of work Maiga put into his dissertation and says “It is [my] hope his work gives [Côte d'Ivoirian and Malian farmers], as well as other farmers from developing countries who experience armed conflict, a voice.”