West Lafayette, Indiana - The fourth annual Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security will be held June 7-20 at Purdue University, challenging graduate students from around the country to pool their research in various areas of study in finding innovative ways to alleviate world hunger.
In attendance will be 40 graduate students selected from 23 universities, including Purdue, from across the United States. Participants were selected based on their demonstrated interest and commitment to finding solutions to world hunger. All have chosen dissertation research that addresses global food security.
The two-week program, hosted by the Purdue Center for Global Food Security, will engage the students through lectures by prominent faculty and guest speakers, practicums, small-group research work and visits to local farms and research facilities at and near Purdue.
"The goal of the summer institute is to provide these outstanding students with a more holistic understanding of the conceptual challenges around global food security, with a focus on cross-disciplinary approaches in addressing major global development challenges," said Gebisa Ejeta, director of the Center for Global Food Security, based at Purdue's Discovery Park. Ejeta, distinguished professor of agronomy and the 2009 World Food Prize laureate, is among Purdue faculty who will work with the students during the institute.
The 2015 class consists of 15 students from Ecuador, India, Uganda, Nepal, Brazil, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Philippines, Slovenia and Pakistan in addition to 25 from the United States. Their academic disciplines include agronomy, plant pathology, human nutrition, agricultural and biological engineering, economics and other social science areas such as conflict resolution.
Students will develop country-specific food security group-project reports in response to a simulated request for proposals from the United States Agency for International Development. Purdue professors with experience in international development will simulate a donor panel on the last day, challenging students to defend their proposals.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture, will address the students.
Other prominent speakers include:
* Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, president, the World Food Prize Foundation
* Julie Borlaug, assistant director for partnerships of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University. She is the granddaughter of the late Norman Borlaug, an agronomist and humanitarian for whom the institute is named.
* Susan Owens and Clara Cohen of USAID's Bureau for Food Security Office of Agricultural Research and Policy.
The summer institute is part of the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security program, funded by USAID under the Feed the Future initiative. The program is aimed at preparing the next generation of U.S. food security professionals with the scientific foundation needed to effectively study and manage the global landscape in support of sustainable food systems.