Getting to Know SAFHS: Meet Shaun Francis

Shaun Francis 2015The successes of the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences are largely due to its dedicated employees who are passionate about their work. Our “Getting to Know SAFHS” series highlights some of our talented faculty and staff and lets you know a little more about them.

What is your job role at UAPB?
As research horticulturist for UAPB, I have both research and Extension responsibilities. This means I research issues such as production practices and pest control involving vegetable crops, and then conduct outreach activities aimed at transferring appropriate technologies to farmers.

Where is your hometown?
Georgetown, Guyana

Where did you go to college?
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from my home university, the University of Guyana. Later, I graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

What did you major in?
My bachelor’s degree is in agricultural science and my master’s degree is in agricultural regulations.

What year did you graduate?
I gained my bachelor’s degree in 2002 and my master’s degree in 2013.

What do you like most about your job?
I like that I get to practice doing the things I love. I love being out in the field and I like to drive. Driving is like stress therapy to me. My job affords me the opportunity to enjoy both of these things.

Describe your career before you came to UAPB.
Before coming to UAPB, I worked in a similar capacity in my home country, where I was the field officer for an agricultural development program. There, I provided technical assistance primarily to poor rural farmers.

If you weren’t working at UAPB, what would your dream job be?
My dream job setting would most likely be working among groups of children and teaching them how to use low-input technology to produce healthy foods, thereby improving their nutrition and enabling them to earn some income.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
Sometimes I think of my work as my greatest hobby. I just love to be outside “meddling in the mud,” and am always trying to grow something. I also like listening to music – especially reggae – and every so often I enjoy a good, long drive.

Do you have a favorite movie or book?
I’m not a movie fan but I’m always up for anything that will make me laugh. As such, while I have no favorite movie, most of my favorite actors are comedians.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
Because of my fascination with the Rastafarian culture, I would go to Ethiopia to visit the birthplace of Emperor Haile Selassie, whom Rastas believe is the Messiah that the Bible promised will return to save the world.

What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
While my greatest wish is to see my sons become fathers when the time is right, the one goal that I’d like to accomplish during my lifetime is to obtain a doctorate degree while I’m still fit and healthy enough to utilize it.

Who is your hero?
My hero is Clive Lloyd. He is Guyanese (from Guyana) and was the most successful captain of the West Indies cricket team. He took the West Indies cricket team from being the “beating boys” of the sport to the best team in the world during the 1970s and 1980s. They became the pride and joy of all West Indian people and cricket became a unifying sport across the Caribbean region.

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