Editor’s Note: One of the most prestigious honors conferred on alumni of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is induction into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences is proud of its 16 HDA honorees. This is one of a series of stories about them.
As an adventurous young man, Ratemo Michieka left his home in Kenya to travel to the United States and to Rutgers to study agronomy, attracted to the university “because of its excellent reputation” even as far away as East Africa.
As the story goes, his parents were peasant farmers who used the income from their farm to educate him. His father told the then 10-year-old Ratemo that the only way out of the village was to get a good education. Ratemo worked briefly for a bank after high school but soon made his way to New Brunswick, where he earned his B.S. in 1974 in agriculture, a master’s degree in agricultural education and vocational technical agriculture, and a Ph.D. in weed science.
He recalls: “The courses I took in agriculture and environmental sciences were – and still are – the most appropriate and applicable in many countries and, especially, in Kenya where natural resources are vital for the world community. That was well known in East Africa. Many faculty here have benefitted from a Rutgers education. [Read more...]