The World Food Prize Foundation

2019 Wallace-Carver Fellows

The prestigious USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship offers the most promising college students in America the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned scientists, policymakers and public servants through paid fellowships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the Summer of 2019, thirty fellows are stationed at USDA research centers and field offices across the country to analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research.

ANDREIA BELEAIR
Broward College

Placement: Auburn, AL
Agricultural Research Service
Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit 

"I developed a vaccine by combining catfish antibodies with a protein to treat fish affected by a bacterial infection."

NICK BOWSER
Purdue University

Placement: Washington, DC
Foreign Agricultural Service 
Office of Capacity Building & Development

"I worked with program analysts on the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program to provide support to our government’s school feeding and literacy programs in over 30 developing countries around the world."

MOLLY CARROLL
Purdue University

Placement: Geneva, NY
Agricultural Research Service
Plant Genetic Resources Research Unit

"I identified antioxidant properties in different varieties of tart cherries to study the diversity of the species, which has implications for improving human health."

BRIANNA CHEEK
Texas A&M University

Placement: St. Paul, MN
Agricultural Research Service
Cereal Disease Lab

"I studied stem rust disease resistance in a wild relative of wheat in order to transfer the resistance into the plant genome."

RHIANNON COBB
University of Nebraska - Lincoln  

Placement: Washington, DC
Office of the Secretary of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

"I organized the inaugural American Diversity Month showcasing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s diversity and how it contributes to the ONE USDA mission."

OLIVIA CONWAY
University of Texas - Austin

Placement:  Fargo, ND
Agricultural Research Service
Cereal Crops Research Unit

"I studied genes in wheat related to protein content and disease resistance in order to improve the performance of this essential staple crop."

KATIE DRISCOLL
Rowan University

Placement: Davis, CA
Agricultural Research Service
Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit

"I characterized thirty strains of soilborne tumor-inducing bacteria isolated from walnut varieties, in order to develop methods to protect California's $1.6 billion dollar walnut industry."

LAUREN ENGLISH
University of Notre Dame

Placement:  Washington, DC
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition

"I analyzed, identified, and prioritized the most promising research opportunities in agriculture and life sciences over the next decade, and advised the National Institute of Food and Agriculture on its strategic funding priorities in order to improve the USDA’s scientific research agenda."

LILY FILLWALK
Pitzer College

Placement: Peoria, IL
Agricultural Research Service
Functional Foods Research Unit

"I evaluated the characteristics of gluten-free flour alternatives in consumer products to inform efforts to improve nutrition for individuals with Celiac Disease and other gluten intolerances."

HERMELA GEBREMARIAM
Vanderbilt University

Placement: Athens, GA
Agricultural Research Service
Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research Unit

"I researched the effects of soil on bacterial populations of zucchini squash to reduce food-borne diseases and improve public health."

BRIDGER GORDON
Harvard University

Placement: Washington, DC
Office of the Secretary of Agriculture
Office of the Chief Economist

"I created statistical models to estimate the damage caused by current international trade disputes on American agriculture and the economy."

MIKAYLA GRAHAM
North Carolina State University

Placement:  Lexington, KY
Agricultural Research Service
Forage-Animal Production Research Unit

"I tested the impact of supplementing cows’ diets with red clover and its impact on gut microbes, and found that it can ultimately improve animal nutrition, increase meat production, and result in increased income for farmers."

EMMA HANISKO
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Placement: Madison, WI
Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center

"I analyzed the biological structures in heirloom cranberries to determine if they provide health benefits for both humans and animals."

NICK JACOBSON
Macalester College

Placement:  Reno, NV
Agricultural Research Service
Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit

"I conducted research on insects that attack cheatgrass and other biological control methods to contain the flammable invasive grass responsible for many wildfires each year, including last year's deadly Camp Fire in California."

HANNAH JO
Cornell University

Placement: Ithaca, NY
Agricultural Research Service
Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research Unit

"I identified species of bacteria infecting lavender plants in floral nurseries around the US so that future research can be done to prevent these infections, improve plant health, minimize economic loss in the multi-billion dollar horticultural and nutraceutical industries, and promote ecological stability."

NICOLE KREIDER
Grinnell College

Placement: Washington, DC
Economic Research Service
Markets and Trade Economics Division

"I created a high-level policy briefing on the economic implications of African swine fever, which reached China in 2018 and currently threatens a significant portion of the global pork supply."

CHASE KRUG
Iowa State University

Placement: West Lafayette, IN
Agricultural Research Service
Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit

"I tested a water mold that causes soybean root rot in order to develop viruses that can be used as a biocontrol method."

JAIRUS KUPLEN
Messiah College

Placement: Washington, DC
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Institute of Youth, Family, and Community

"I reformed the Request for Funding Applications (RFA) for 2020-2021 of the Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Grants Program, which seeks to strengthen agricultural education programs in HSIs, and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grants Program for Education and Workforce Development."

AUNDREA LAWSON
Texas Tech University

Placement: Washington, DC
Agricultural Research Service
Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit

"I digitized the preserved plant specimens at the U.S. National Arboretum Herbarium, to make the collection accessible to researchers around the globe."

CHARLES MAHONEY
Rollins College

Placement: Washington, DC
Economic Research Service
Food Assistance Division

"I developed a database of state school food policies to inform best practices on national-level food assistance programs and improve children’s nutrition and health in America."

CHARLES MAUS
North Carolina State University

Placement: Poplarville, MS
Agricultural Research Service
Southern Horticultural Research Unit

"I developed safe and effective pest management techniques for an invasive fly that is currently devastating fruit crops in the US and around the world."

GEORGETTE MBENGUE
University of North Texas 

Placement: Fargo, ND
Agricultural Research Service
Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research Unit

"I developed a test to identify major pesticides that are detrimental to bee health and the ecosystem."

ARACELY MIRON-OCAMPO
University of Iowa

Placement: Athens, GA
Agricultural Research Service
Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research Unit

"I helped develop a chicken vaccine to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella food poisoning by combining the DNA of Salmonella and E.coli to identify proteins and induce an immune response."

 

ERIN NOWAK
Salem College

Placement: Poplarville, MS
Agricultural Research Service
Southern Horticultural Research Unit

"I developed a DNA extraction protocol to extract high-quality genes from blueberry leaves that can be used for sequencing in order to improve the quality, productivity, and disease-resistance of the fruit."

JAMES PINKNEY
University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Placement: Davis, CA
Agricultural Research Service
Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit

"I studied the diversity of A. tumefaciens isolated from walnuts produced in California to help develop methods to manage and prevent the tumor-producing bacteria that causes Crown Gall Disease."

ZETA POWELL
Georgia State University

Placement: Fargo, ND
Agricultural Research Service
Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research Unit

"I evaluated the effectiveness of different plant species’ ability to attract pollinators in order to improve the U.S. Government’s efforts to increase the diversity, abundance, and health of bee populations."

TYLER REID
University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Placement: Washington, DC
Office of the Secretary of Agriculture
Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement

"I helped manage the 1890 National Scholarship Program and other USDA Higher Education Initiatives that provide financial support, training and career development opportunities for underrepresented student populations."

TREY RICHARDSON
Texas A&M University

Placement: Washington, DC
Foreign Agricultural Service
Office of Operations and Budgeting

"I helped to maximize efficiency and optimize accountable government spending at the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service by revamping the standard operating procedures used to educate and train employees."

INDIRA ROY
Columbia University

Placement: Washington, DC
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
International Services, Trade and Capacity Building

"I analyzed international agricultural trade policy and identified factors that could predict future trade disputes with key countries."

KELLI WICKS
Iowa State University

Placement: Washington, DC
Foreign Agricultural Service
Office of Capacity Building and Development

"I worked to open up markets between the United States and South East Asia through improved seed trade."

 

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