UG-graduate and food scientist Marleysa Bishop perseveres
Waterfalls Magazine – Marleysa Bishop beamed with excitement last weekend when she collected her award-the Council of the University prize-from the University of Guyana (UG) as she graduated with a Degree in Food Science. It was not only the culmination of hard work, but a moment Bishop holds dearly, even as she recalled dropping out of university once to give birth and raise her daughter.
“I was reading for a degree in chemistry, however, this was cut short after I became pregnant with my daughter in my second year and everything went downhill from there. I looked at myself failing repeatedly, while all my peers left and started their professional lives and I was busy trying to play catch up with my grades,” Bishop said.
‘Big girl pants’
Bishop, who was born and raised on the Essequibo Coast, completed studies at the Anna Regina Secondary School in 2005 and always had an interest in the science field. “I was always passionate about becoming a Paediatrician,” she told The Waterfalls.
Bishop subsequently moved to Georgetown to further her studies in the 2006 at the University of Guyana, where she embarked on reading for a degree in chemistry.
However, she became pregnant in her second year of study. “Eventually, I lost momentum and decided that leaving was the best thing to do at the moment because I no longer had the drive to be a student,” she said.
“Being a parent was my top priority. I refused to be hateful because I knew my situation was owing to the consequences of my actions. I put on my big girl pants and took responsibility for myself and my daughter as I too, like my mother, became a single parent,” she said.
Bishop would later gain employment at manufacturing company Banks DIH Limited and it was from there that she found stability to move forward to more stable times. “My first experience made me feel like such a failure, I kept running on a wheel and I was not getting anywhere.”
Bishop then restarted her university journey, and read for the Bachelor of Science, Food Science Degree. “I chose this path because I was employed at Banks DIH Ltd where I functioned as a Yeast Management Technician in the brewery department. I did not know that Food Science was a discipline being offered at the university, I did not even know that Food Science was something that I wanted to do, all I knew was that I was ready to return to the university, however, when the memo came out that the company was offering a scholarship to pursue this degree, I jumped at the opportunity because I felt it would be pertinent to my line of work and upon my return, I would be able to make impactful contributions,” Bishop said.
She described her second trip as one “filled with hope” since she noted, “I was more mature and I knew what I wanted, this wasn’t a burden to me because it wasn’t something that I was told that I needed to get done. Fuelled by my passion to be successful, I put my everything into this degree, I participated in everything.”
University award and ‘Girls Squad’
According to the university, the Council of the University prize is awarded to the graduating student who has attained at least a “Pass with Credit” and has made the greatest contribution in other areas of University’s activities. It was against this backdrop that Bishop received the award.
“I wanted the full university experience, not to just sit in a lecture session and hear my lectures drone on, write the exams get good grades and then go about my business. I wanted to make meaningful connections, and as such, I networked, joined different student clubs and gave my service to both clubs and the university,” she added.
Bishop said when I started reading for the degree on her second sojourn, she met a group of girls and they dubbed themselves ‘Girls Squad.’
She said the group worked diligently together, supporting each other in good and bad moments, never allowing anyone to give up. She said one momentous occasion was when her friend saw her name in a post that I was sharing an award with someone else for a special prize received from the university. “Hearing her screaming my name like it was her win too really cemented in my heart that I met a group of beautiful women dedicated to the cause of uplifting each other,” she said.
At Banks DIH, Bishop was appointed Product Development Manager and she noted that one of the courses she encountered during this degree was Food Product Development. She said Food Product Development, “allows you to appreciate the complexities involved in creating something from scratch, and the trials and error involved until something is perfect. I believe that having this training and appreciating the importance of food safety will go a long way in ensuring what we produce will be safe and wholesome always.”
Inspiration from her mother
While growing up, Bishop said she always admired her mother and the sacrifices she made for her family.
“I saw my mom work day in and out to provide for my brother and me, sacrificing so much of her time to ensure that we had a comfortable life,” she said.
“Her struggles inspired me to do better and be better. My grandmother on the other hand always believed in me, even when I decided to quit university all those years ago, she said to my mom, –Leave her alone, she will do it in her own time. I am happy that I followed my heart’s dream to return when I was ready, doing something that I was happy about,” Bishop said.
Being one of thirteen students who started the programme, Bishop said she is sure that once given the opportunity and food science becomes more recognized. “We can change the perception of others as it relates to food safety and all it entails,” she said.
She said Food Science is an applied science, and being a new discipline, it is not as recognized as the other sciences such as engineering or chemistry. “Very often when people hear about food science, they believe that we are chefs. This is not the case,” she said.
Bishop said Food Science has a significant impact on one’s daily life in various ways. “It’s a fascinating field that contributes to the safety, nutrition, and enjoyment of the food we consume every day,” she said.
She encouraged anyone who is passionate about food, “its safety, its wholesomeness, its engineering and its sustainability to get invested in the Food Science programme.”
She said the time is ripe for people to recognise the important role, which the field of science and food plays in their daily lives.
Keep your eyes on Venezuela!
Dec 08, 2023By Rawle Toney Kaieteur News – Tulsa Woodham, Senior Operations Manager at the International Cricket Council has stated that the global cricket governing body is actively monitoring the recent...
Dec 08, 2023
Dec 08, 2023
Dec 08, 2023
Dec 08, 2023
Dec 08, 2023
Kaieteur News – Days after the results of the referendum in Venezuela were announced, there has been a crackdown against... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.