Dr. Florah N. Mhlanga
Dr. Florah Mhlanga was born and raised in rural Zimbabwe in a family of nine children. Zimbabwe is a small country in Southern Africa. She obtained a BS Honors degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) after which she worked for one and half years as a Dairy Officer in the Research and Specialist Services of the Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture. With this brief experience in Animal Science, she proceeded to Michigan State University for both her MS and PhD in Animal Breeding and Genetics. She was awarded her doctorate in 1994. Upon completing her PhD at Michigan State University, she returned to Zimbabwe and taught at the UZ’s Department of Animal Science for eight years, three of which she was department chairperson. During her tenure at the UZ, she was actively involved in both undergraduate and graduate research and in fostering institutional linkages. Her work on test-day methods of genetic evaluations posited the basis for all subsequent work on test day modeling in southern Africa.
While at the UZ, Florah met her husband Fortune, and the two got married in 1995. They have two boys, Carl (born in 1997) and Craig (born in 2002). The family left Zimbabwe in October 2002 and came to the USA, where Florah and Fortune taught at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama for close to five years and then at Abilene Christian University (ACU) for four years. During her tenure at Faulkner University, Florah taught in the Science department, diverse courses that included biology (for non-majors), genetics, cell biology, microbiology, human nutrition, scientific research, environmental sciences and vertebrate and invertebrate zoology. At ACU, Florah taught several animal science courses in the department of Agricultural and Environmental sciences and was instrumental in undergraduate research and the redesigning of the animal science curriculum.
Florah seeks to glorify God in everything she does. She wants her children to grow in the knowledge of God and to appreciate His providence. Both Florah and Fortune have a heart for missions targeted at development. They were members of the Missions Vision Team for Landmark Church of Christ in Montgomery, Alabama. They have participated in mission work towards construction of an orphanage in Zimbabwe. Prior to coming to work in the USA, they attended Avondale Church of Christ in Harare, Zimbabwe. Besides her work, Florah loves to cook and spending time with her family. She loves her cup of hot tea (and, yes, with milk!).