Profile: Ernest Kraka
After growing up in Ghana, Ernest Kwaku Kraka is a long way from home, but the love of science that sparked while he was in high school in his home country has grown more and more intense as he's continued his studies in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Mississippi State University.
Kraka is a doctoral candidate finishing his dissertation on assessments of herbicides for control of three non-native plants. While his major study is weed science, Kraka minors in entomology. He studies integrated pest management, including the biology and ecology of weeds and insects, and herbicides and insecticides to manage these pests.
As a youth, Kraka excelled in physics, chemistry and biology. After earning a bachelor's degree in natural resource management in Ghana, Kraka earned his first master's degree in environmental and resource management at Brandenburg University of Technology in Germany and his second master's of science degree in waste management from the University of the West of Scotland in the United Kingdom.
During an internship with the United Nations headquarters in New York, where he worked on administrative and policy projects regarding environmental issues, Kraka met a friend and fellow native of Ghana who introduced him to Mississippi State. Kraka enrolled in MSU's weed science doctoral program the following year.
Upon moving to Starkville, Kraka threw himself not only into his scientific studies, but also into community service. He joined and became president of the African Student Association, treasurer of the Starkville Multicultural Lions Club, as well as treasurer of the Soil and Water Conservation Society of America's MSU chapter. A member of many organizations, Kraka in 2009 received the President's Volunteer Service Award (Silver) from the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation and a congratulatory letter from the White House.
This summer, Kraka was among 12 agricultural students selected nationally who took part in the Future Leaders Forum of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Prior to that he was among three MSU student selected for study abroad in China in 2010.
Kraka said while he has had opportunities to study in many countries, his educational life at MSU has been among his best experiences. He said he is grateful to his advisor, Dr. John Byrd, and the department of plant and soil sciences.
Next week … Madeline Golden !