SAM HARRIS of Greenbrier, Arkansas, and SOPHIE OLSON of La Crosse, Wisconsin, are the winners of the 2015 Szymoniak Intern Award.
Sam and Sophie received the Szymoniak Intern Award for their outstanding work as 2014 World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Interns.
Sam interned at the Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company Limited (Mahyco) in Jalna, India where he researched sustainability of smallholder farming practices through extension services. Sophie interned at the China National Hybrid Rice Research & Development Center in Changsha, China where she did research on the third generation of hybrid rice and the technique of chloroplast transformation.
Sam is currently a freshman at the University of Arkansas, majoring in Agricultural Business/Pre-Law and Agricultural Leadership. Sophie is currently a sophomore at Wellesley College majoring in Anthropology.
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.Sam and Sophie were selected as Borlaug-Ruan International Interns after participating in the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in 2013. 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.