Dr. Sheren Farag Laying Groundwork to Grow Program, Green Industry Leaders

Dr. Sheren Farag has spent years researching how crops, plants, trees and vegetation grow. She is also passionate about teaching and designing agricultural and horticultural curriculum for college students. And, she is open to innovation and new technology.

With that combined expertise, Farag is now focused on her new role as program director and assistant professor of the horticulture technology program on the Kent State Salem Campus.

“My main goal is to see the horticulture technology program growing and developing to help our students maximize their educational experiences,” she shared. “I will start by collaborating with the regional partners and potential employers to have a more profound idea of the required knowledge and skills from the program graduates.”

Farag fully understands and appreciates the value of having a network of experts from the local green industry to support the program and her goals.

Dr. Sheren Farag
“I think one of the greatest opportunities is the experienced advisory board members who can give us an accurate and more profound insight into the required knowledge, training and skills of our graduates,” she said. “That would help us tremendously in developing the program curricula. Additionally, our collaborations with some regional industry partners can help us land appropriate training opportunities and paid internships for our students.”

Aside from enhancing the coursework of the horticulture program to align with what employers expect from graduates, Farag intends to lead efforts to update the program facilities, modernize the greenhouse and incorporate new growing systems for urban horticulture.

She also wants to target recruitment efforts for high school students interested in careers in horticulture, as well as adult learners currently in the workforce who want to sharpen their expertise and skills including those working in landscape architecture, urban horticultural and arboriculture and forestry.

Farag received a Bachelor of Science degree in soil and water science from Alexandria University, Egypt, followed by a post-graduate professional degree in integrated planning for rural development and environmental management from Lleida University and Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza in Zaragoza, Spain.

In 2011, Farag received a Master of Advanced Studies in environment and natural resources management from Seville University in Seville, Spain, where she continued her studies and earned her doctorate degree in agricultural engineering (agricultural water management) in 2014.

For more than seven years, Farag held several research positions at various research institutions such as the Natural Resources and Agrobiology Institute in Seville, Spain; Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension-Texas A&M University; and Citrus Center-Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Her primary research focused on irrigation and soil management, crop physiology, horticulture production and using drones for precision agriculture.

Farag transitioned into the classroom and began her teaching career in numerous specialized agricultural and horticultural courses including horticulture food crops, crop science, agribusiness, agriculture records management, geographic information systems (GIS) and precision agriculture.

Intrigued by innovative technologies, Farag became certified as a remote drone pilot by the Federal Aviation Administration. Just prior to her appointment at Kent State Salem, she worked at Texas State Technical College’s Department of Workforce Training and Continuing Education as a trainer and remote drone pilot operator and instructor.

As a workforce trainer, she was required to also become a certified craft instructor from the National Center of Construction Education and Research (NCCER).

“Being a certified craft instructor enabled me to train instructors on courses requiring hands-on sessions,” she explained. “I am so delighted to join the horticultural technology program at Kent State University. I think it’s an excellent opportunity to help me apply all my previous experience to see this program grow and move forward.

“…Kent State University is known as a student-centered university. The slogan is ‘Students First.’ This goal perfectly aligns with my passion for teaching and empowering students and preparing them to become future leaders of the green industry.”

POSTED: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 9:37am
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 1:22pm