The World Food Prize Foundation

2014 Szymoniak Award Winner

Tara Mittelberg of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was awarded the Elaine Szymoniak Award during the World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony on October 16, 2014 at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines.

She received the Elaine Szymoniak Award for her outstanding work as a 2013 World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Intern.

Tara completed her internship at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) in Londrina, Brazil where she explored soybean rust diseases. Specifically, her research consisted of genotyping soybean rust isolates to determine their genetic diversity. This information will aid EMBRAPA researchers in the selection and breeding of soybean rust resistant soybean varieties. 

Tara, a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, is now studying Human Anthropology at Northwestern University.

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.

Tara was selected as a Borlaug-Ruan International Intern after participating in the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in 2012. 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. 

Tara received her award prior to the awarding of the 2014 World Food Prize to distinguished scientist — Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram of India and Mexico.


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