Statement of Purpose for Tuskegee University

Table of Contents

Statement of Purpos e Sapana Gurung [email protected] To whom it may concern, My grandparents are farmers who make a good amount of money by selling their crops. From them, I have learned that farming is a b asis of living. Most of the Nepalese people’s way of living is also agriculture but they are fac ing many problems time to time s o, I wanted to study agriculture in my higher studies to help the Nepalese farmers to upgrade their traditional way of farming w ith scientific and smart one. T o accomplish my dream, I studied very hard: I was able to enrol l in bachelor of science in agriculture with a full four – year scholarship from a well reputed institution: Institu te of Agriculture and Anim al Science affiliated to Tribhuv an University – a leading university of my country. In my four years of undergraduate studies, I have acquired a sound theoretical and practical knowledge on numerous disciplines of agriculture such as Genetics, Plant Breeding, Biotechnology, Ho rticulture, Agronomy, Soil Science, Plant P athology , Entomology, Agricultural Economics, Plant Physiology and others too. I have enth usiastically conducted many lab and field works of these courses as well as worked in greenhouse and plant clinics during m y college life. I also got the opportunity to conduct a laboratory research in Entomology titled as “Efficacy of entomopathogens for the control of blue pumpkin beetle (Aula cophora nigripennis MOTSCHULSKY , 1857) in sponge gourd ( Luffa cylindrica ) under la boratory condition at Paklihawa, Nepal ” in fulfillment of the requirements for the Undergraduate Practicum Assessment course of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture . This was my first formal research which made me acquainted with the research procedures, sta tistical analysis, report writing, presentation, team building and coordination. Eventually , we published our research paper on Global Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Health Sciences which can be accessed online. Moreover, I worked as an agricultural i nstructor; conduct ed both theory and practical classes of all programs of agricultural science s for 18 months to the plant science junior technical assistants in a technical school in my country. I always knew my deepest interests and passion lied in Pla nt Breeding and Genetics. It almost seemed miraculous to me how people can create plants with all the desirable traits in them and I just knew that this was the direction I would be taking for my career. Thus, I decided to find myself some practical exper ience in plant breeding so I met Dr. Dhruba Bahadur Thapa, a senior scientist and a laureate of the Gene Stewardship Award in 2012 . He is an eminent scientist in Nepal, known for his extremely popular Ug -99 rust -resistant variety of wheat WK1204 and I requ ested an opportunity to learn from him and his work and since 2018, I have been learning traditional cereal breeding from him. I have been helping him in his varietal development trials and have learned countless things including but not limited to field p reparation , trial set preparation, monitoring of trials, data handling, data analysis and more. Some of the major things I now command the knowledge and experience of is crossing of wheat and maize genotypes for exploring better crosses and continuation o f generation lines in the crossing block. Further, I assist him in the selection of superior lines from segregating generation lines/nurseries (F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6 and F7 lines) which has deepened my knowledge of traditional breeding. Further, I help pr epare trials sets for multi – location trials namely, Advanced Varietal Trial (AVT), Hill Plot Yield Trial (HPYT), Micro Plot Yield Trial (MPYT), Hill Observation Nursery (HON), Rust Screening Nur sery (RSN) and more. Besides these varietal development trials , I also have experience in assisting in handling international trials namely Elite Spring Wheat Yield Trial (ESWYT) supported bythe CIMMYT, Mexico. I have also had decent experience on data analysis of the collected data (ANOVA, ANCOVA , Multivariate anal ysis, Stability analysis (GGE Bipolat analysis), Cluster analysis, Principal Component analysis and others). During my tenure, I have also learnt R and statistica for various analysis purposes and now I possess strong grasp of it. Right now, as I work eve ry day in the Wheat Breeding Unit of NARC, I am proud of the direction my life has taken. I am gratified of my achievements so far but I also know that there are a lot of things to be learned. A lot of steps and a lot of toils are due and I feel all that I’ve done so far has made me ready for it. However, conventional breeding is limited by the time required to develop a variety with desirable resistance locus. Hence , I have profound interest to learn molecular approaches in forwarding genetics like quantitati ve trait locus mapping and fine mapping to identify the causal gene and mutations governing the traits. In addition to , marker -assisted back -crossing and genome -editing to knock -in the loss of function locus in cultivated crops are of my particular area of interest. Then , I registered the need to strengthen my knowledge base in a world -class university such as Tuskegee University. The well -renowned faculty members along with comprehensive courses and research areas are the key motivational factors for me to apply fo r graduate study in this esteemed university. Thus , I have decided to apply for the Masters prog ram in Plant and Soil Sciences under Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tuskegee University starting January 2020 to develop my career as a molecular biologist . While surfing through the website page of Tuskegee University, I came to know about Dr. Guohao He, research associate professor of plant and soil sciences and his research interests which are harmonious to my r esearch interests. I have been in regular contact with Dr. He and I am very much interested as well as equally excited to assist him in his future potential project to improve peanut seed oil quality using gene editing method . Hence, I would be delighted to pursue my research career under his fr uitful guidance and supervision . After completing my masters degree at Tuskegee University , I plan to earn a doctorate in a relevant area ; then return to my own country where I hope to involve in a research sector of public service and explore my knowledge thus helping for the development of agriculture in a scientific manner. As this essay indicates, a masters degree from Tuskegee University is a logical next step toward s meeting my long -term goals for my personal and professional life. I have always been an intelligent and diligent student throughout my educational journey; I am determined to strive for success in the program with full commitment. I believe that my strong enth usiasm and keen interest in the field along with both academic and non -academic experiences in my life make me an eligible candidate for your graduate p rogram. If given the chance, I can make the best use of every opportunity a vailable to pursue my academic and scientific goals and thereby realize my potential to contribute to the development of agriculture, and serve the community as a proud graduate of Tuskegee University . Finally, I am looking forward to discover my sense of purpose in the world. I want to discover myself in this field and with the completion of course; I am confident that I would be able to say where I belong to. -of-entomopathogens -for -control -of-blue – pumpkin -beetle -aulacophora -nigripennis -motschulsky -1857 -in-sponge -gourd -.pdf