Martine Bowombe Toko – University of Idaho, Kimberly

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Bowombe Toko Martine Patiance joined the CPS as a student member in April 2015 and recently received a M.S. degree in Biological Science with an emphasis in Entomology from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She is interested in agriculture and crop protection (integrated pest management (IPM)). Her M.S research focused on stored grain pests in rice processing facilities and on-farm rice storages. She was recently hired as a Research technician/assistant at the University of Idaho, Kimberly (Kimberly Extension and Research Center) and will be working on IPM in commercial potato fields.  Martine learned about the CPS from the internet; “I came across an article written about Cameroonian Diasporas in the US. When I found out that there was a scholarship program, it really motivated me to join this organization”. I am also a volunteer member of a humanitarian organization (ASCOVIME/Dr. Bwelle, CNN Heroes 2013).

 

 

What is your occupation and academic background and how did you come to work in this field?

I was recently hired as a Research technician/assistant at University of Idaho, Kimberly (Kimberly Extension and Research Center). I earned my undergraduate (B.S. in Animal Biology) and graduate degree (Maîtrise and Master in Animal Biology) at the University of Yaoundé 1 (Yaoundé-Cameroon). I received a M.S. degree in Biological Science with emphasis in Entomology at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. I would like to further my experience and knowledge in the field of Entomology (Agricultural/Medical) by pursuing a PhD degree.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?

My biggest challenge would be reading (other articles and/or books) and publishing in scientific journals

Identify one or two of your proudest achievements?

I wrote and defended my thesis in English

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?

Nelson Mandela, Mahamat Ghandi, Martin Luther King (non-violence to resolve conflicts), Mother Theresa (respond with compassion, care for those in need)

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Agricultural/ Medical Entomology Research Center-Teaching (last option)

What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have impact?

  • Have the fear of God in you and be faithful
  • Be humble and hardworking
  • Be respectful and polite
  • Be thankful and grateful
  • Never give up (Don’t quit when troubles come)
  • Be patient
  • Do not live in doubt or fear-Listen to those who have been on the path you wish to choose
  • Be swift to hear and slow to speak
  • Avoid justifying your wrongdoings
  • Learn how to say: “I am sorry….”

Do you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?

My mentor is Dr. Tanja McKay (MS. Advisor from Arkansas State University, Jonesboro).  When I got my admission at Arkansas State University, Dr. McKay held my hands like a child entering pre-school.  She allowed me to be involved in the teaching assistantship (TA) program. I have learnt a lot through the US academic system (meetings with instructors of classes/lab to talk about difficulties we had, previewing weekly teaching assignments, grading, meeting with students when they have complaints, etc.).  I was shy when I started in Dr. McKay’s lab; but she literally “breathed” confidence in me. She always has encouraging words which dusted any doubts in my mind. For all that I have learned as her graduate student, I will be forever grateful.

Why did you join the CPS?

I do like the idea of giving back, so when I read about CPS and I found out that they have a scholarship program, it really motivated me to join this organization.

I hear you will be volunteering soon in Cameroon? Can you tell us more about that?

I am already a volunteer member of a humanitarian organization (ASCOVIME/Dr. Bwelle, CNN Heroes 2013).  But, I have never been in a campaign trip (to witness activities on the field).