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Graduate Student Finds Second Home at Oklahoma State University

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Harsanjam Singh was born and raised in Punjab, India, and he is in the fourth generation of a family in farming. He is the first one in his family who graduated with an agricultural sciences degree from Punjab Agricultural University, majoring in agronomy and soil sciences.


Singh’s research at OSU focuses on the adaptability of cover crops in different environments in Oklahoma, and he is co-advised by Dr. Alex Rocateli and advised by Dr. Sumit Sharma.


“Along with this, we are also focusing on the response of cover crops towards defoliants and ball openers used on cotton,” Singh said. “Because cotton does not leave much residue behind after harvest, we need to protect the soil from fast blowing winds of the Panhandle, and we are concerned about the cover crop impact on soil moisture. We have four locations, which are Stillwater, Perkins, and two in the Oklahoma Panhandle—Goodwell[KK1] .”


Singh said he heard about OSU during his undergrad as a potential institute for pursuing a reputable master’s program in agricultural sciences.


“I was really enthusiastic about plant and soil sciences,” Singh said. “I also heard about the friendly and welcoming atmosphere towards international students in the university.”


Through his interest in Oklahoma State University and combining it with his passion for agriculture being brought up in a farming household, Singh simply enjoys what he does.


“I felt really comfortable working in this environment, as it made me feel like I was at home,” Singh said. “All the agricultural activities and field visits, and also working with farmers is what I have been doing since childhood.”


Singh found the environment, alongside his interactions with his fellow graduate students to be beneficial to his time here.


“All the faculty and administrative staff are always so welcoming and generous,” he said.


His favorite part of graduate school so far has been getting paid to learn about something that truly interests him. In the future, he is firmly committed to pursuing his Ph.D. and hopes to become either a researcher or a professor in the United States or even his home country, India.


“As Dr. Sharma consistently advises me to learn from all opportunities and gather experience across various environments,” he said.


Outside of university work, Singh loves to travel and explore.


“I haven’t gotten much of a chance to do so since my bachelor’s, but I hope to do the same here,” he said. “And a lot of people don’t know this, but I am a professional dancer.”


Apart from folk dancing, Singh likes to work out to keep himself fit, he loves to cook, and he considers both of these activities as free therapy and a good use of his personal time.

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