Visiting Scholar Joins ALEC Team

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By: Mollie Lastovica

With countless relationships in academia across the world, it comes as no surprise that the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications welcomes visiting scholar Sevtap Gumus, Ph.D., to campus for the year.

Gumus arrived in College Station in June on sabbatical and will stay through June 2014. A native of Turkey, Gumus is an Associate Professor at EGE University in the Department of Agricultural Economics. Her visit to Texas A&M University for academic and research purposes is supported by the Turkish government and, specifically, the Scientific Research Institute.

“Coming to Texas A&M allows me to do better research, improve my background and at the same time take a few classes here to learn more,” Gumus said. “When I get back, I plan to tell my students in Turkey about what I learned, my experiences and my academic gains while I was here.”

Gumus’s research revolves around changing demands of agriculture and opportunities in increasing the income level of the youth population through agricultural value chain analysis. She will be working closely with faculty in the ALEC department along with the Department of Agricultural Economics to expand her research findings. In fact, it was the working relationship between the two departments that led Gumus to Texas A&M.

“Agriculture is very important at Texas A&M,” Gumus said. “Agricultural economics and agricultural leadership, education and communications have a big project in my area of research. This research is very important for Turkey.”

In Turkey, Gumus teaches courses on rural development and sustainable agriculture, two concepts that are not foreign to ALEC’s commitment to international development.

So far, Gumus is impressed with the campus and has a few goals for the remainder of her time in Texas.

“I love the campus,” Gumus said. “I hope to attend meetings, symposiums and conferences while here. Participating in those will be important for my experience.”

Gumus did not travel to Texas alone. Her husband, Ahmet, and son, Okyanus, also made the move. Okyanus is in seventh grade at A&M Consolidated Middle School.

“For me, it is a big experience to live in Texas for one year, for both academic and other reasons,” Gumus said. “It is also a big experience for my son, as he is being educated here and getting accustomed to everything.”

Although her transition to a new country and new culture has been relatively smooth, Gumus notes one of the biggest adjustments she has had to make—Texan language.

The department is pleased to welcome Gumus to the ALEC team.

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