The World Food Prize Foundation

2010 Szymoniak Award Winner


Danika Schaaf

Lauren Schefter

DANIKA SCHAAF of Des Moines, Iowa, and LAUREN SCHEFTER of Mount Vernon, Iowa, were awarded the Szymoniak Intern Award during the World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony on October 14, 2010 at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines.

Danika and Lauren received the Szymoniak Intern Award for their outstanding work as 2009 World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Interns.

Danika interned at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Chennai, India where she researched how community-managed small-scale irrigation systems (community ponds for short) have affected the lives of rural women in Meiyagoundanpatti, Pudukottai, India. Lauren interned at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, Philippines, where she evaluated rice varieties for optimal cooking behavior by measuring gelatinization temperature, starch polymer biochemistry and the frequency of alleles for Starch Synthase IIa.

Danika is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and attends Iowa State University where she studies Global Resource Systems.  A graduate of Mount Vernon High School, Lauren is majoring in Natural Sciences and International Studies at St. Olaf College.

The Elaine Szymoniak Intern Award was created in 2010 and is named in honor of the Iowa State Senator, Des Moines City Council Member and hearing and speech specialist known for her dedicated public service and great efforts to save the World Food Prize. This award is presented annually to a Borlaug-Ruan International Intern whose fulfillment of his or her research program at an international research center best exemplifies Senator Szymoniak's commitment to meet the needs of the community and dedicated efforts to promote education, health, economic development, equality and justice.Danika and Lauren were selected as Borlaug-Ruan International Interns after participating in the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in 2008. The Global Youth Institute provides high school students the opportunity to interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates, connect with other student leaders from around the world, tour cutting-edge industrial and research facilities, and discuss pressing food security and agricultural issues with global leaders in science, industry and policy.

Danika and Lauren received the award prior to the awarding of the 2010 World Food Prize to David Beckmann and Jo Luck of the United States.





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