World Food Prize Director of Global Education Programs, Kelsey Tyrrell, has been named to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. Tyrrell is among five new members who will join the 47-member STEM council made up of leaders in higher education, business, pre-K through 12th grade educators and government officials.
Governor Kim Reynolds expressed her appreciation to Tyrrell for her willingness to serve in this capacity during her remarks at the World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute.
The STEM council aims to boost STEM education and resource availability, encouraging young Iowans to pursue careers in STEM, which has exploded in recent years due to a high demand for filling these types of position in the workforce. Tyrrell has experience with promoting STEM education as part of her position at the World Food Prize Foundation, exposing students to career opportunities in alleviating hunger through the use of science, technology, engineering and math.
“Working in STEM has taught me that you don’t have to be a whiz in science or get a perfect score on your math test to enjoy working in these fields,” says Tyrrell, who serves as the Director of Global Education Programs at the World Food Prize. “It’s about connecting students to their passions and using that interest to benefit businesses who are eager to fill STEM-related positions.”
In addition to Tyrrell’s responsibilities as the Global Education Director, she directs the World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute, an annual event attracting 500 Iowa high school students and educators to a day-long program that encourages all attendees to find their role in fighting hunger and poverty around the world. The Iowa Youth Institute was created six years ago in partnership with Iowa State University and is designed to promote interest among high school youth in solving global challenges related to food security while encouraging them to pursue hunger fighting career paths in the STEM fields.
Tyrrell anticipates her new position with enthusiasm, saying, “I look forward to working with the STEM Council to make STEM programming more accessible to schools and communities that would not otherwise be able to afford high-quality programming without the support of this incredible organization.”
Catherine Swoboda, Tyrrell’s predecessor at the World Food Prize, served on the council for 5 years and will retire from her appointment this year. Their work directing the Iowa Youth Institute served as key preparation for their appointment. Tyrell says, “Coordinating the Iowa Youth Institute has taught me that there’s absolutely no need to be intimidated by STEM, which can often be the stereotype. But when you can apply STEM to life-changing solutions in alleviating hunger, it transforms the way you think about these subjects.”
The STEM Advisory council was created in 2011 by Gov. Branstad. “This group was created to advise our office on ways to improve STEM education and innovation and economic development,” said Lt. Gov. Reynolds at the inception of the council. Tyrell will join the council officially this summer.
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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 45 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. 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 global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.