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THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE FOUNDATION SELECTS 13 UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FOR BORLAUG-RUAN INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP
Source: The World Food Prize news release

Des Moines, IA - The World Food Prize Foundation announced today the selection of 13 students for its prestigious Borlaug-Ruan International Internship. For the first time in the program's 22-year history, the Foundation offered innovative, online internships for these exceptional students.
Hailing from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the 2020 Borlaug-Ruan International Interns will interact online with scientists and policymakers around the world to address issues related to poverty and global food security.

Since 1998, the World Food Prize Foundation has sent 358 students on 8-week, all-expenses-paid research internships to learn about food security issues and nutritional problems in developing regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Given the wide-spread global pandemic, the Foundation changed course this year to an online setting with the goal of still providing rewarding internships for these hunger fighters.

"One of the things I am most excited for during this internship is [virtually] meeting the farmers of Kenya and getting a firsthand insight into the agriculture there," said 2020 Borlaug-Ruan International Intern Amulya Pillutla. "I am also very excited to meet and work with my fellow interns and mentors. I am so thankful to the World Food Prize Foundation for making this internship happen in spite of the circumstances."

Although interns are not able to travel, they will develop valuable research skills, create lasting connections with mentors through online discussions and learn about the culture and history of the country that is the focus of their research.

Dr. Norman Borlaug and John Ruan Sr. created the program in 1998 with the hope that it would inspire young people to consider academic and career paths in agricultural science, food technology and natural resource conservation.

"The Borlaug-Ruan International Internship reinforces the idea that food security is much more complex than it seems," said former Borlaug-Ruan International Intern Akriti Bhattarai. "The more I learned about micronutrient deficiencies and biofortification for my research project, the more interested I became in this issue. My work as a summer intern solidified my resolve and commitment to combating food insecurity."

Interns will be involved with a variety of projects dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger in: the production of cowpeas on the livelihoods of farmers; the preservation of indigenous cultures; and the ability of wheat to withstand droughts. Several are also conducting research on how the coronavirus pandemic may affect agriculture in their assigned regions.

A prerequisite for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship is attending the three-day World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, which occurs each October. Global Youth Institute participants present research papers and interact with World Food Prize Laureates and renowned experts to discuss issues relating to food security throughout the world.

"I have always known I wanted to make a global difference with my career, but I did not know where or how to start," said 2020 Borlaug-Ruan International Intern Aracely Miron-Ocampo. "After being part of the World Food Prize youth programs throughout high school I was connected with like-minded students and professionals who had the common goal of tackling prominent world problems. This organization has led me towards a career path where I want to combine agriculture and medicine through global health and nutrition by investigating food security issues and nutritional problems around the world."

2020 Borlaug-Ruan International Interns
1. Andrew Berley | North Carolina State University
Intern at: China Agricultural University in Beijing, China
2. Allison Chhay | The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Intern at: World Vegetable Center in Tainan, Taiwan
3. Amanda Dougherty | The University of Iowa
Intern at: M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India
4. Shantal Hernandez | Brown University
Intern at: International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya
5. Michael Laumbach | Rutgers - New Brunswick
Intern at: International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya
6. Aracely Miron-Ocampo | The University of Iowa
Intern at: World Vegetable Center in Tainan, Taiwan
7. Sanjana Molleti | University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Intern at: International Potato Center in Lima, Peru
8. Amulya Pillutla | Stanford University
Intern at: International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya
9. Grace Reiss | Iowa State University
Intern at: M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India
10. Hannah Schiesl | Iowa State University
Intern at: International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya
11. Bethany Starlin | The Ohio State University
Intern at: International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya
12. Mukund Tarimala | The Ohio State University
Intern at: Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, China
13. Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman | Iowa State University
Intern at: M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India


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