Award-Winning Ph.D. Student Acknowledges WTAMU Professor

March 12, 2018

COPY BY:  Brittany Castillo, 806-651-2682,

Award-Winning Ph.D. Student Acknowledges WTAMU Professor’s Legacy


CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University Ph.D. candidate, Hamé Abdou Kadi Kadi, placed first in the poster presentation of the 2018 Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America.

The conference is focused on improving the adaptation of sorghum in the semi-arid climates. Abdou’s work is specifically about storage of insect pests of cereal grains.

“I was humbled when my name was called to be the winner,” Abdou said. “It was a great pleasure to have other sorghum scientists tell me that my research activity was excellent. It was good for WTAMU, the department of agricultural sciences, my academic adviser, the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab (SMIL), my research institution back home and myself.”

In addition to being an award recipient, contributor to the SMIL and WTAMU student, Abou is a researcher for the National Institute of Agronomic Research of Niger. In 1985, a scholarship from the United States Agency for International Development invited researcher Abdou to the states for studies in entomology. He earned a master’s degree from Texas A&M University (TAMU) in 1999 and enrolled in the doctoral program at WTAMU in 2015.

“I am the first one from my country to be here,” Abdou said. “As an entomology scientist, I research the same topic here in the Panhandle, so I’m doing on-the-job training for my home country’s research institution. I’ve learned so much from this area, and I got to travel all over Texas and the U.S. to share my research results with other scientists.”

While at TAMU, Abdou learned of Dr. Bob A. Stewart, former director of the Dryland Agriculture Institute and distinguished professor of agriculture at WTAMU. Stewart hosted the first international conference for agriculture in Bushland in 1988, and hundreds of participants from 52 countries participated. As an acclaimed soil scientist, Stewart’s reputation preceded Abdou’s arrival on campus.

“I’d heard Dr. Stewart’s name and during my first semester at WTAMU, I took his course on global agriculture,” Abdou said. “He taught us about agriculture in the world like India, Africa, Brazil, the U.S., and it was obvious he truly knew the conditions of dryland farming in those countries by experience. He brought the whole world’s agriculture into the classroom.”

Stewart served as the director of the USDA Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in Bushland, president of the Soil Science Society of America and member of the Committee of Long Range Soil and Water Policy, National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences. He earned an M.S. from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University.

After a long career of research and teaching, Stewart and his only secretary at WTAMU, Linda McDonald, retired in 2017. They occupied the same office for 24 years, where they could be found after class engaging with students like Abdou.

“We’ve had wonderful association to the University,” Stewart said. “I had done a lot of international work, which resulted in about 30 international workshops over 11 years. We’ve had 77 M.S. and Ph.D. graduates from 20 difference countries, and we’re very proud that students like Hame are our legacy.”

Whether they are continuing education or working for a well-respected company, Abdou and others have continued Stewart’s legacy in the agriculture industry through global education and accomplishment. WTAMU continues to be a significant place for revolutionary arid system farming and lasting connections like Abdou and Stewart’s create the pathway for its continuation.



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