Nicole Wong, a Conservation and Resource Studies major starting her junior year, completed a prestigious World Food Prize fellowship this summer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California.
Wong was one of 33 students nationwide--and the only UC Berkeley student--selected to participate in the Wallace-Carver Fellowship, a program hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Food Prize Foundation that offers exceptional high school and college students the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned scientists and policymakers through paid internships at leading USDA research centers and offices across the United States.
“The Wallace-Carver Fellowship exposes the best young minds in agriculture to the wide variety of opportunities available to them through civil service,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “Their experiences as Fellows will prepare these exceptional young leaders to carry out the vital research and innovation we will need to address the challenge of feeding a growing global population.”
Vilsack and Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, President of The World Food Prize, created this fellowship to inspire the next generation of American scientific and humanitarian leaders. Over the past two years, 83 students have gone through the program.
Fellows were stationed at USDA research centers and field offices across the country to analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research.
After attending a symposium in Washington D.C. with food science and food security thought leaders, USDA officials, and scientists, Wong worked in an Agricultural Research Service international nutrition lab on the UC Davis campus, helping analyze blood samples for a study that is looking at the relationship between wildlife preservation and human health in Madagascar.
"Overall, the experience allowed me to see the many diverse disciplines and perspectives involved in agriculture," Wong said. "Being a Wallace Carver Fellow has renewed my enthusiasm to learn and put everything I have into my research."