| Universiti Putra Malaysia

Equine health specialist, food technologist: fraternal twins as UPM lecturers

By: Nurul Ezzaty Mohd Azhari

Dari kiri: Prof. Madya Dr. Noraniza Mohd Adzahan & Prof. Madya Dr. Noranizan Mohd Adzahan


SERDANG - "We have never planned to be lecturers together at this university since each of us has never had the same interests and ambitions," said the twin lecturers, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noraniza Mohd Adzahan and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noranizan Mohd Adzahan.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noranizan, a lecturer from the Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, said since primary school, her mother told her and her twin sister to hang out with other classmates to the extent that they forgot they were twins.

"Since the first grade, our mother and father told the teachers to separate us into different classes so that we could make friends with other people. Because of this, we had different groups of friends.

"When we were in a secondary school at MRSM Jasin, now known as MRSM Tun Ghafar Baba, we were placed in the same class because the school did not want to separate us, but my friends and sister were from different groups," she said.

In addition to having different interests and tendencies, both have different personality traits, which help the twins become unique and complementary pairs.

"If other twins like to wear the same clothes and colours, we are not like that. I prefer to wear baju kurung or skirt, but my sister is more comfortable wearing trousers.

"I am more extroverted, but my sister is the opposite. If there were guests, she would prefer to prepare drinks in the kitchen, but I will socialise with them. Likewise, our other personality traits are always opposite," she said.

Recalling her schooling days, her sister's name was struck off when sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) speaking test after the examiner felt there was a spelling mistake in the name with the only difference of the alphabet 'N' at the end of the name.

"Our identification card numbers are also the same; the only difference is the rear number. Likewise, the same happened in the recent general election, where we voted in the same area.

"So, my name was almost struck off because the officer on duty thought my name was written twice, but my sister informed the officer that the other name was the twin sister and was waiting outside the polling booth," she said.

In terms of her career at UPM, she started as a tutor in 2001, while her sister became an academic in 2003.

Meanwhile, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noranizam, better known as Dr. Niza, a lecturer from the Department of Farm & Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, said although each of them is working at UPM, they hardly met.

"The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is far from the main campus area, so we hardly see each other. We will be together if there are bigger university programmes, such as on duty at the UPM booths at MAHA.

"We have published a research paper together, and that was the only time because a student supervised by Dr. Nora needed some of my expertise. Maybe after this, we will plan to work together again," she said.

She explained that the opportunities given by UPM had led each of them to make a name in their field of expertise until today.

According to her, she developed her identity as an equine health expert at UPM for almost 20 years, taming and playing with horses.

"UPM is a university with a good reputation and has its greatness in certain fields. Therefore, this opportunity should be well taken, and UPM has also helped to lift our names in our field of expertise," she said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nora said UPM's expertise in the field of food technology has made her feel comfortable developing research in that field at this university.

"UPM is a university which is always at the forefront in the field of food technology. I feel it would be a loss if I leave UPM, and we have also frequently made a name for winning in food production or invention competitions," she said. - UPM