This is the fourth in our Student Spotlight series, where our students tell their stories in their own words.
“My name is Sami Humaid and I am from Mukalla in Hadhramout, Yemen. I earned a PhD in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Maine, USA, and I have a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Food and Fish Technology from Hadhramout University in Yemen and a Master’s degree in marine biology from King Abdelaziz University in Saudi Arabia. Currently, I’m an assistant professor at Hadhramout University. I grew up in a family that placed a strong emphasis on education, and I was inspired by the educational achievements of my family members. My older brother, who is now a doctor in Germany, and my sister, who is currently studying English literature, have been my role models in pursuing higher education. As I work towards my PhD in Food Science and Nutrition, I am proud to become the third member of our family to attend college, as education has always been a significant part of our family's values and aspirations.
I chose my major in Food Science and Nutrition with a deep sense of purpose and commitment to addressing critical challenges in Yemen. It is a nation that has grappled with malnutrition, inadequate food quality, and significant issues related to food safety and security. My decision to pursue this field was driven by a strong desire to make a meaningful impact on the lives of my fellow Yemenis. The ultimate goal I set for myself was to become a catalyst for positive change in our country's food landscape.
In my pursuit of a PhD in Food Science and Nutrition, I sought to equip myself with the knowledge and skills necessary to find effective solutions to the pervasive issue of food insecurity. This included a focus on enhancing food quality, ensuring safety, and creating sustainable food systems.
I’m driven by a vision of a Yemen where every citizen has access to safe and nutritious food products. My academic journey, research, and professional endeavors are dedicated to realizing this vision. I am committed to not only understanding the complexities of food security but also actively working towards its improvement and the overall well-being of our people. My choice of major is not merely a career path; it is a calling to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of Yemenis by addressing the critical issues of malnutrition, food quality, safety, and security.
My journey as a Hadhramout Foundation scholar commenced when I achieved the highest academic distinction, ranking first with honors during my undergraduate studies. Recognizing my potential and commitment to education, I aspired to pursue further academic excellence. Subsequently, I diligently applied for a scholarship through the Hadhramout Foundation, an esteemed organization known for its support of higher education endeavors. Following a thorough evaluation of my application and my successful fulfillment of the scholarship requirements, I was honored to be granted a full scholarship, which has played a pivotal role in advancing my educational pursuits.
My education in Food Science and Nutrition, particularly my Ph.D. from the University of Maine, USA, has equipped me with valuable knowledge and skills that I believe can significantly benefit Yemen in several ways. Yemen faces serious food security challenges, and my expertise in Food Science and Nutrition can contribute to the development of sustainable agricultural practices, food processing, and preservation methods with these efforts helping to ensure a stable food supply for the nation. In regard to public health and nutrition, like many countries, Yemen faces health issues related to malnutrition and diet-related diseases. With my background, I plan to engage in research and education to promote healthier eating habits and improve the overall nutrition of Yemeni communities. Also, as an assistant professor at Hadhramout University, I can share the knowledge and experiences gained from my education with students and help build a skilled workforce in the field of Food Science and Nutrition, which is essential for the country's development. This also will help conduct research in collaboration with local and international partners to address food-related challenges specific to Yemen. This research can lead to innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture, food safety, and nutrition. I intend to work closely with local communities, NGOs, and government agencies to implement educational programs on nutrition and food safety. This will help raise awareness and provide practical solutions at the grassroots level.
I’m hopeful that my education in Food Science and Nutrition provides me with the tools to address critical issues such as food security and public health in Yemen. My future plans involve a holistic approach that includes research, education, and community engagement to contribute to the well-being of Yemen and its people.”
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