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ADA – Dr. Stephen Agong, vice chancellor of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Bondo, Kenya, will deliver the 2022 Watkins Lecture at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 30. The lecture will be held in the Estep Multimedia Center of the Bill S. Cole University Center and it is free and open to the public.

“Global Crisis: Food and Water” is the topic of Agong’s address. Agong will be introduced by Bahati Brian Oonga, a student from Kisumu, Kenya, who came to ECU to earn his master’s degree in Water Resource Policy and Management.

In 2018, Agong hosted a delegation of ECU students studying in the Water Resource Policy and Management master’s degree program at his university for the First International Short Course on Water Resources. In 2019, a delegation from JOOUST visited ECU to continue the collaboration. Two students from Kenya have come to ECU as a result of the collaboration. An ECU delegation plans to return to Kenya in 2024. The JOOUST+ECU partnership has resulted in multiple publications on water resources as well as rich experiences for students from both Kenya and the U.S.

Agong received his Master of Science in Plant Breeding at the University of Nairobi, his Ph.D. in Agricultural Science at Justus-Liebig University Giessen in Germany, then conducted post-doctoral research at University of Hanover in Germany and Okayama University in Japan. His specialties include horticultulture, cytogenetics, biometrics, agricultural experimentation and seed science.

He is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and Executive Director at the African Academy of Sciences. In Kisumu, Kenya, Agong is the long-time chairman of the Kisumu Action Team which focuses on sustainable urban development. He is also the author of over 80 scholarly manuscripts.

The Watkins Lecture was created by Lou Watkins, chair of ECU’s Political Science Department from 1980 to 1991, and wife of former U.S. Representative Wes Watkins. The purpose of the lectureship is to bring recognized authorities to ECU to address subjects of public interest at the local, state or national level.

For more information or for a zoom link to the event, please email Dr. Christine Pappas at

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