UC students receive fellowships to study food issues

Nov 19, 2014

November 19, 2014

Pam Kan-Rice, (510) 206-3476, pam.kanrice@ucanr.edu

UC students receive fellowships to study food issues

Three University of California students will be working with scientists in the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) to study food security, nutrition education and agricultural research and extension as part of the UC President's Global Food Initiative Student Fellowships.

UC Berkeley senior Jacqueline Chang, UC Davis graduate student Samantha Smith and UC Berkeley doctoral candidate Kevi Mace-Hill each have been awarded a $2,500 fellowship.

The fellowships are supported by the UC Global Food Initiative, which UC President Janet Napolitano, together with UC's 10 chancellors, launched in July in an effort to help put UC's campuses, the state and the world on a pathway to sustainably and nutritiously feed itself. The UC Office of the President is providing $7,500 to each UC campus, ANR and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the fellowships, which will be awarded to both undergraduate and graduate students, with funds allotted at each campus's discretion in three $2,500 portions.

Samantha Smith
Samantha Smith
"Student involvement is critical to carrying forward UC's work to improve food security for UC students and others in California and beyond," said Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources. "These Global Food Initiative Student Fellowships will enable UC students Jacqueline Chang, Kevi Mace-Hill and Samantha Smith to work with UC scientists who study the food system and provide the latest research findings to farmers and consumers. Working together, we can continue improving access to nutritious foods."

Jacqueline Chang, UC Berkeley
Chang will work with Lorrene Ritchie, director of UC ANR's Nutrition Policy Institute, on a food security research project. The UC Berkeley senior, who is majoring in nutritional science with an interest in food insecurity, will assist in developing and conducting a survey to assess the prevalence of hunger and inadequate access to food among UC students across all 10 campuses. She will write a report and present the survey findings to Napolitano in the spring. Chang, a native of the Southern California community of San Marino, has worked with the Berkeley-based organization Feeding Forward to raise awareness of hunger, food insecurity and food waste.

Samantha Smith, UC Davis
Smith, a public health graduate student at UC Davis, with direction from Connie Schneider, director of UC ANR's statewide Youth, Families and Communities Program, will interview UC scientists about their research and extension efforts in agriculture, food and nutrition statewide and capture their stories to share with the public via blogs and social media. Smith, a native of Pleasanton, earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Sonoma State University and is a California Wellness Foundation Fellow.

Kevi Mace-Hill, UC Berkeley
Mace-Hill will lead a group of graduate students that organizes seminars and workshops for students interested in careers in Cooperative Extension. Their goal is to improve graduate student preparedness for extension, outreach and applied research. Her fellowship will support the UC Berkeley graduate student-led Cooperative Extension Showcase.

The annual event brings UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists who conduct research and extension in nutrition, youth development, agriculture and natural resources to the Berkeley campus to discuss their work and network with graduate students. At the showcase in the spring, students will have an opportunity to meet potential mentors. Mace-Hill, a native of LaVeta, Colo., earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in biology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in biological pest control at UC Berkeley.

Through its Global Food Initiative, UC is building on existing efforts and creating new collaborations among its 10 campuses, affiliated national laboratories and ANR to improve food security, health and sustainability.

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By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach