Kelvin Jimmy Awori stands on a sidewalk next to a railing in an autumnal scene, with orange and yellow leaves all around him

Kelvin Jimmy Awori

Doctoral student in UGA's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Kelvin Jimmy Awori's goal is to help improve food security in the midst of climate change.

An aerial view of the Maasai Mara in Kenya. The picture was taken from a hot air balloon.

Where are you from, and what brought you to UGA?

I am from Kenya.

Kenya on a map of eastern Africa

My interest in studying at UGA dates back to 2019. I was a master's student at the University of Padova in Italy. My major was sustainable agriculture, which collaborates with UGA as a double master's degree program.

Although I wasn't signed up for the double degree, I was able to attend a class that was being taught by a UGA instructor, Dr. Cristiane Pilon. It was the best class in my master's program.

Cristiane Pilon stands outside in front of a stone wall in her professional headshot

Cristiane Pilon, assistant professor of row crop physiology

Cristiane Pilon, assistant professor of row crop physiology

Why did you choose your degree program?

I'm majoring in crop physiology in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences on the UGA Tifton campus.

The program has allowed me to work on projects that align with my life objectives of improving food security in the midst of climate change and global warming.

What is your favorite class you have taken?

My favorite class has been "Crop Physiology," or CRSS 6450.

 Who has been your favorite instructor in CAES?

Dr. John L. Snider, a crop physiologist and the principal investigator for the cotton physiology lab at UGA-Tifton.

His skill of breaking down what would seem like intricate topics into simple and easy to understand lessons is just exceptional.

 What has been the best experience you've had so far at the college?

The best experience so far was Christmas breakfast last December.

There are not as many interactive platforms for students on the Tifton campus, which can limit the students' social experience.

What do you want to do with what you have learned here?

My project is on heat tolerance in crops.

My aim is to gain enough skills and knowledge in this area so that I can be of help in alleviating food insecurity, which is also the second United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, Zero Hunger, in the midst of climate change and global warming.

Aerial view of the farms at UGA-Tifton, with a pond and agricultural buildings visible
Wearing a red shirt and khakis, doctoral student Kelvin Jimmy Awori does research with a net in the field

How has your experience at UGA changed you?

My general perception of looking at things has completely changed.

I am better than I was in terms of the way I view things, and even how I approach a problem to solve it. I hope to keep on improving.

Kelvin Awori leans over a table filled with potted plants inside a grow room, which has a low ceiling and visible lights with a warm glow.

Awori examines plants in a growth chamber on UGA's Griffin campus.

Awori examines plants in a growth chamber on UGA's Griffin campus.

What does agriculture mean to you?

To me, agriculture is the holder of our ecosystem. It is the most important player in the world stage and so without it every other player on this stage becomes useless.

This is the reason why agriculture cuts across all the cultures.

Kenya is known for its tea production. Most of us are raised up taking tea more than any other beverages. This's the main reason that I'm a tea person and not a coffee lover.

What do you like to do outside of class — hobbies, interests, secret talents?

I enjoy nature walks, visiting new places, making new friends and trying out different cuisines.

Illustration of layers of soil to represent crop and soil sciences