Dr. Botle Esther Mapeshoane



I joined the KSAL program in 2008 as a PhD fellow in the field of Soil Science. Before that, I had been working for five years as a University Lecturer in the department of Soil Science. I was also a researcher focusing on participatory research and social entrepreneurship. I carried out research on conservation agriculture in collaboration with government institutions and international organizations. I was also involved in community agricultural projects, especially those involving youths, as an agricultural enterprises advisor. My community involvement helped me meet the admission requirements into the KSAL program. The transition from work to university was not easy and put a lot strain on the family, but the generous support for dependents made it possible for me to graduate relatively free from the burden of immense debts. This is empowering and it set my course in life. The KSAL research study grant was not much but enabled me to pursue a study direly needed in my country and I look forward to putting the findings of the study to work in the public interest. In June 2013, I graduated and received my PhD. For this achievement I have nothing but enormous feelings of gratitude towards Kellogg who made this grant possible. I considered the KSAL programme a “sandwich” programme between physical science based studies and social science training. Through a series of workshops, the KSAL programme trained me to think outside the box of the science laboratory and translate my laboratory findings into the social world. More than anything, I saw my family as central to my plough back activities, and this strengthened our relationship.