Seventeen Doctoral Candidates Receive Fellowships to Further Food & Agriculture Research
RALEIGH and WASHINGTON (August 13, 2019) — Developing the food and agriculture scientists of tomorrow starts by investing in them today. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR) is excited to announce the second cohort of FFAR Fellows, a unique three-year fellowship that prepares the next generation of food and agriculture scientists for the workforce by providing hands-on support and mentoring from industry. FFAR awarded the 2019 FFAR Fellowship to seventeen doctoral candidates across the country who are conducting research that supports one of FFAR’s six Challenge Areas.
Employers agree that US universities could better prepare a career-ready STEM workforce by enhancing professional development opportunities and teaching “soft skills” to create well-rounded graduates. Furthermore, many food and agriculture research students are not exposed to the many career opportunities available to them outside of the laboratory.
The FFAR Fellowship, established in 2018, addresses these needs by funding research and professional development opportunities for 48 students over three years. The FFAR Fellows Program pairs doctoral candidates with academic and industry mentors to equip them with professional development and critical workforce skills. Each industry sponsor matches FFAR funding to double the investment in early-career scientists workforce development.
Fellows also engage with their peers in professional development programming both virtually and at the annual one-week residential session, which is taking place this week at North Carolina State University. Throughout the Fellowship, participants learn team building, project and time management and science communication from their mentors and one another.
“The FFAR Fellows Program provides selected students with hands-on mentorship and valuable professional development experience,” said FFAR’s Executive Director Sally Rockey. “This fellowship not only invests in the research conducted by the students; it better prepares them for the scientific careers of the futures by broadening their skill sets."
The FFAR Fellowship program is led by the Academic Programs Office at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.
“The Fellows are an impressive group of Ph.D. students whom we know will have a lasting effect on food and agriculture," said Dr. John Dole, who manages the program at North Carolina State University. “The FFAR Fellows program will give them the tools and training to hit the ground running and make an impact from day one in their future positions.”
The following students comprise the 2019 FFAR Fellow cohort:
- Alex Batson, Washington State University
- Scott Cosseboom, University of Maryland
- Maria Gannett, Cornell University
- Natalie Goh, University of California-Berkeley
- Sihui Ni, North Carolina State University
- Nate Korth, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Miriam Martin, Kansas State University
- Kelsey Peterson, University of Minnesota
- Linda Beckett, Purdue University
- Gwen Donley, Case Western Reserve University
- Karlinton Flores, North Carolina State University
- Danielle Gelardi, University of California-Davis,
- Annemarie Krug, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Krista Marshall, University of California-Davis
- Dhruv Patel, University of California-Berkeley
- Inocent Ritte, Tuskegee University
- Danielle Stevenson, University of California-Riverside
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges. FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation.