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Professor dies after yearlong battle with leukemia

September 24, 2008

Kamal Adam, assistant professor of agricultural engineering technology, died Sept. 23 following a yearlong battle with leukemia.

Adam was recently hospitalized in the intensive care unit at the Mayo Clinic with severe pneumonia, according to a press release from the UW-River Falls Public Affairs department.

The funeral was Tuesday in Ames, Iowa.

Adam was diagnosed with an agressive form of leukemia last fall and was undergoing intensive chemotherapy and radation therapy.

Earlier this year he received a bone marrow transplant from his sister and was expected to recover.

Adam first taught at Iowa State before coming to UWRF in 2005. He specialized in seed sorting technology and machinery and was in the process of developing a program on campus based on his specialization.

“He really loved teaching and loved his students,”Lisa Owens, CAFES dean’s assistant, said.

CAFES faculty and staff had organized a meal delivery pool for Adam’s wife Salma and their three children while Adam was in the hospital, and they plan on continuing that pledge, Owens said.

The Agricultural Mechanics Club, which Adam advised before his diagnosis, helped the family with tasks such as mowing the family’s lawn and keeping their driveway plowed in the winter, Dean Olson, agricultural engineering department chair, said.

“It’s an extreme shock to us,” Olson said. “Our hearts go out to his family.”

Adam is survived by his wife, Salma Atroon, and three sons, Talal, Shihab, and Mustafa.

Cards and donations can be delivered to the CAFES dean’s offoffice in room 210 of the Ag Science building.