The World Food Prize Foundation

33 Students Selected for Prestigious USDA-World Food Prize Fellowship

08/12/2014

Press Contact: Keegan Kautzky, Director of National Education Programs, 515-245-3726, kkautzky@worldfoodprize.org  
 

(Des Moines, Iowa) August 4, 2014 -- The World Food Prize Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have this summer awarded 33 students from across the country with a prestigious Wallace-Carver Fellowship, which offers exceptional high school and college students the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned scientists and policymakers through paid internships at leading USDA research centers and offices across the United States. 

Students selected for the fellowship include:

  • Nosa Akol of Binghamton, NY, is working at the ARS Robert W. Holley Research Center in Ithaca, NY
  • Jessica Blosberg of Shoreview, MN, is working at the ARS Plant Science Research Unit in St. Paul, MN
  • Jordan Coughlin of Point Pleasant Borough, NJ, is working at the ARS Plant Science Research Unit in Raleigh, NC
  • Lindsay DeMers of Greensboro, NC, is working at the ARS Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC
  • Huijun “Lucy” Duan of Ithaca, NY, is working at the ARS Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston, MA
  • Ali Ibrahim Elsadiq of Des Moines, IA, is working at the ARS Plant Science Research Unit in Raleigh, NC
  • Caitlynn Fortner of Houston, TX, is working at the ARS National Germplasm Repository for Citrus and Dates in Riverside, CA
  • Zixuan “Yen Yen” Gao of Bloomington, IN, is working at the Office of the Secretary in Washington, DC
  • Rivkah Gardner-Frolick of Des Moines, IA, is working at the ARS National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, IA
  • Brandon Hanson of Morristown, MN, is working at the ARS National Animal Disease Center in Ames, IA
  • Brook Hoover of Ponchatoula, LA, is working at the ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiological Research in Baton Rouge, LA
  • Quinn Inwards of Meridian, ID, is working at the ARS Watershed Management Research in Boise, ID
  • Jerome Jacobsen of Mahtomedi, MN, is working at the ARS U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, NE
  • Rohan Kandel of Omaha, NE, is working at the ARS Grain, Forage & Bioenergy Research Unit in Lincoln, NE
  • DoWon “Dan” Kim of San Diego, CA, is working at the Office of the Secretary in Washington, DC
  • Sarah Kunch of Ft. Madison, IA, is working at the Food Safety and Inspection Service in Washington, DC
  • Lucy Lagoze of Ithaca, NY, is working at the ARS Pasture Systems & Watershed Management in University Park, PA
  • Dakota Lyddon of Des Moines, IA, is working at the ARS Corn Insects & Crop Genetics Research Unit in Ames, IA
  • Sean Lyon of Dryden, NY, is working at the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory in Poplarville, MS
  • Victoria Maloch of Magnolia, AR is working at the Office of the Secretary in Washington, DC
  • Tara Mittelberg of Cedar Rapids, IA, is working at the ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, MS
  • Gretchen Mohr of Long Grove, IA, is working at the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Washington, DC
  • Tessa Ries of Hastings, MN, is working at the ARS U.S. Salinity Lab in Riverside, CA
  • Sophie Robison of Cary, NC, is working at the Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, DC
  • Elizabeth Roche of Westerville, OH, is working at the ARS U.S. National Arboretum Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit in Beltsville, MD
  • Dominique Rowinski of Alexandria, VA, is working at the Office of the Secretary in Washington, DC
  • Pearl Sawhney of Fairfield, IA, is working at the ARS National Animal Disease Center in Ames, IA
  • Caroline Sherlow, of Lafayette, IN, is working at the ARS Crop Production and Pest Control in West Lafayette, IN
  • Jacob Solawetz, of West Des Moines, IA, is working at the Economic Research Service in Washington, DC
  • Veronica Sondervan of Atlanta, GA, is working at the ARS Plant Germplasm Preservation Unit in Fort Collins, CO
  • Anthony Wenndt of Keystone, IA, is working at the ARS Crops Pathology & Genetics Research Unit in Davis, CA
  • Cole Wilhelmi of Omaha, NE, is working at the ARS Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research Unit in Hilo, HI
  • Nicole Wong of San Francisco, CA, is working at the ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, CA

“The Wallace-Carver Fellowship exposes the best young minds in agriculture to the wide variety of opportunities available to them through civil service,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “Their experiences as Fellows will prepare these exceptional young leaders to carry out the vital research and innovation we will need to address the challenge of feeding a growing global population.”

Vilsack and Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, President of The World Food Prize, created this fellowship to inspire the next generation of American scientific and humanitarian leaders.  Over the past four years, 80 students have gone through the program. 
Today, one in eight people go hungry each day, and as the world’s population grows, food security remains a critical issue.

“These students are among the brightest and most passionate young people in the country, and we are thrilled to connect them with these opportunities that put them on track for promising careers in agriculture and international development," Quinn said. "I am sure they will be the leaders of the future in global food security."

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.

The 2014 Wallace-Carver Fellowship kicked off in mid-June with a week-long, high-level leadership symposium at the USDA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. During the week, the fellows had the opportunity to discuss domestic and global food security issues with Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and key USDA leaders; attend the World Food Prize Laureate Announcement Ceremony at the State Department and interact with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry; tour the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, the world's largest agricultural research complex; and meet congressional and humanitarian leaders engaged in the fight against hunger. Following the leadership symposium, the students traveled to their internship sites to begin their work.

Photos  and quotes from each of the students are available, along with more information about the program, at www.worldfoodprize.org/usdafellows.   

 

To view photos and quotes from each intern, click here.

 

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. Thirty-nine laureates have been recognized from Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Israel, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the United States. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge hunger and food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.
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