2014 Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security

The 2014 Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security was held June 8 - June 20, 2014 at Purdue University's Discovery Park. Twenty-nine graduate students representing twenty-two universities across the United States participated in lectures, practicums, farm tours, field trips, and social gatherings. The two-week institute featured several guest presentations from individuals including Julie Borlaug (Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture), Julie Howard (USAID), Connie Veillette (The Lugar Center), Suresh Babu (IFPRI), and Jonathan Gressel (Weizmann Institute of Science), and concluded with a small group project competition. 

2014 Schedule of Events (PDF)

2014 Speaker Bios (PDF)

Full List of Borlaug Summer Institute Participants

"The Summer Institute broadened my definition of food security and introduced me to several areas of research I didn't have the opportunity to study during my Master's. It was the ideal introduction to my fieldwork and Borlaug fellowship, and it provided me with an invaluable network of researchers and young scientists." - Claire Fitch, MS Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

"The Borlaug Summer Institute proved to be an incredible opportunity to collaborate with and build professional relationships with other young food security scholars in a truly transdisciplinary setting. The two-week course at Purdue University's Center for Global Food Security in West Lafayette, IN, allowed fellows from a number of disciplines to delve deeply into current themes and issues in food security research and practice. The institute was a unique opportunity for food security scholars across the country to come together and work in an uninterrupted setting with instruction and support from world-class scholars and practitioners in global food security. I wish I could participate every year!" - Diana Caley, PhD Food Studies, New York University

"The 2014 Borlaug Summer Institute allowed me to challenge myself to think critically, address cross-cutting socio-economic considerations and collaborate with relevant disciplines. It connected me with leaders in the field of food security and inspired me to apply and pursue the Borlaug Fellowship, which has been the most rewarding and best learning experience. As a nutrition public health practitioner, I find the Summer Institute an indispensable experience that has set me up on a career path to help achieve global food security." - Alessandra Grasso, MS Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

"It was an honor and a privilege to take part in the 2014 Borlaug Summer Institute. In a matter of two weeks I learned about the multifaceted and interdisciplinary world of food security, and what my current and future role could be to make an impact locally and internationally. We heard speakers with expertise in policy, water resources, land, gender issues, climate change, economics, just to name a few. The group project that was assigned was a very intensive collaborative effort, which pushed us out of our comfort zones and caused us to think outside the box for some extraordinary solutions to help achieve food security in the developing world. We got to work closely with a mentor who provided us with an intimate view of what it is like to work with issues related to food security. I will never forget my time there and the people I met while at the Summer Institute. I left those two weeks as a better person than when I first arrived." - Jennifer Frederick, PhD Grain Science and Industry, Kansas State University

"It was a great opportunity to participate in the 2014 Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security. It broadened my understanding of food security in terms of water and nutritional security. The speakers involved at the Institute had sound understanding of the subject. It was very nice and friendly discussions among scientists and participants from various walk of life. The rigorous group work was the core part of the program. Group work was very special in the sense that we developed very nice work in the multidisciplinary team of outstanding students and professionals. The panel discussion on various subjects was also very useful to broaden our understanding of the subjects. Overall, it was a very effective program for my career to build a network among people of similar interests. I am very thankful for organizers Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, Gary Burniske, Pamela McClure and entire team for putting together such a wonderful program." - Basu Bhandari, PhD Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Louisiana State University

"The Borlaug Summer Institute was a wonderful opportunity to interact and collaborate with an interesting and diverse group of people with a common goal; and it instilled my current research with a new sense of context and purpose." - Joey Knelman, PhD Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado Boulder

"I am so grateful for the experience last year. I learned so much about what the challenges are and what is being done currently to meet these challenges in respect to food security. The people that held the conference and the guest speakers were all wonderful. Their knowledge and experience were amazing. This is an experience that I could not have paid for. I am planning on working in international development and the things I learned at the conference will make me so much more prepared to make a real difference, and also to be aware of the tools and challenges that exist in development projects. It was a great honor to attend, and to meet Dr. Ejeta and the other dignitaries. Another wonderful part of the conference was to make new contacts/friends with the other participants, they were all so bright and engaged." - Ross Wagstaff, PhD Crop Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign