Just the facts.
Major: Food Science
Food Science Major
As an Athens’ native, UGA was not Christine Akoh’s first choice for college. But, after spending three summers involved in the UGA Young Scholars program and traveling to Honduras, she fell in love with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She chose the college to have the opportunity to expand her knowledge beyond the classroom. Now, she plans to join the Peace Corp Master’s International Program to further her knowledge in nutrition policy to join the fight against world hunger.
Q&A with Christine
What made you choose to attend UGA?
Growing up in Athens, UGA was not my first-choice school. I wanted to go out of state and see someplace new. However, because I was eligible for the HOPE Scholarship, my parents encouraged me to apply to UGA. Also being accepted into the Honors Program and CURO Apprentice Program greatly influenced my decision to attend UGA. I chose the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences because of the opportunities the college provides its students to expand their education beyond the classroom.
How many times have you changed your major? What made you settle on your current major?
I have changed my major once from Biological Sciences to Food Science. I chose Food Science because I did not want to graduate with a broad major. Instead, I wanted to gain expertise in a specific field that not only impacts our daily lives, but is also important in health.
What exposure did you have to agriculture before coming to CAES?
Before coming to CAES, I had been involved with the UGA Young Scholars Program for three summers. I conducted research in entomology and food science during my second and third summers in the program. In my final year, I was afforded the opportunity to travel to Honduras to learn more about Honduran agriculture and culture. It was my first experience abroad and my first time planting vegetables.
What’s your favorite class and why?
My favorite class has been Robert Shewfelt’s Food Processing class. In the lab component of the class, all of the students are a part of a virtual company where they all have positions. The virtual lab represents a real-world food company, and it faces the same issues that food companies deal with regularly. I had the opportunity to serve as the Corporate Southern Regional Coordinator in my class. The experience taught me how important communication, coordination and working as a team is in keeping a company running smoothly. I was also able to better develop my leadership skills and critical thinking skills when issues arose that had to be solved.
Which instructor at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has been the most influential?
I cannot choose one professor who has been most influential because each professor I have had has helped me in some way or another. I can say that I would probably not have found a career that I am truly passionate in if it had not been for the teachers and advice that I had been given during my first two years of undergraduate studies.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
Always have hope. Most of the time we may not get what we want, but in the end we do get what we need.
What’s one thing you’re always sure to take to class?
My laptop. I use my laptop to type all of my notes for my classes because I type faster than I write. Also, it helps me keep track of all of my notes, class PowerPoints, and lecture outlines since they are all on my computer. I don’t have to spend time or money buying binders and dividers each year because I can just make new folders on my desktop.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I should be finishing up my last year in the Peace Corps through a Peace Corps Master’s International Program.
What’s the strangest or coolest thing that’s happened to you at UGA?
The coolest thing that has happened to me at UGA has been having the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences help support me in attending the 5th Annual Hunger Summit at Auburn University. By far, it has been the most beneficial conference that I have attended. I learned so much about what non-profit, governmental, NGOs and corporations are doing to combat hunger domestically and abroad. I was also able to meet people who are dedicating their lives to combating hunger and gain better insight to the career path that I should take to do so as well. The conference opened my eyes to various aspects of hunger that I was previously unaware of, especially the current status of hunger in the United States, and it has strengthened my dedication to combating hunger and malnutrition.
Favorite thing to do outside class:
I love to dance. Even though I’ve received little to no formal dance training, it is something I have always loved to do. I have been a member of the UGA Breakdance Club for a year and a half. It’s definitely not an easy form of dance. It takes a lot of time, dedication and strength. However, I enjoy challenging myself to learn new moves and improve on the ones I know. I also like to go downtown with my friends to dance at parties and at salsa night.
Best advice for incoming freshmen:
Don’t come to college with everything planned out and set in stone. Be open to exploring new ideas and careers you never imagined. Find out what you love to do and what you do best. Then, make certain that your future career allows you to do what you are passionate about.
One thing about yourself that sets you apart:
I am pursuing an uncommon career path: I am a food science major looking to go into nutrition policy and public service in order to join the world’s fight against hunger.
Share Your Story!
We are looking for interesting students, faculty, and staff to feature in our students section.
If you are involved with CAES academics and would like to share your CAES story, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.