International travel awards announced in CALS

By Linda McCandless :

Eliot and Rebakah: Rebakah Minarchek (l) has received an AWARE travel award to support her trip to Indonesia to work with small villages on issues of food security. AWARE includes additional funds to help accommodate her son Eliot’s (r) travel and care. PROVIDED.

International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IP-CALS) continues to internationalize the student experience at Cornell with the awarding of five travel awards for graduate students – three Frosty Hill awards and two awards under the Advancing Women in Agriculture through Research and Education (AWARE) initiative.

“The CALS AWARE award is new this year and supported by Kathryn Boor, the current Dean,” said Max Pfeffer, senior associate dean of CALS. “The Frosty Hill Award was set up by former Dean Dave Call.”

Each award ranges from $1,000 to $2,380. Winners are expected to share the outcomes of their research in a future symposium.


Djeinam Toure and Rebakah Minarchek have been named winners of the AWARE award which supports graduate students in CALS who have a gender dimension in their international agriculture, rural development, and nutrition research projects.

“We believe that focusing on women in agriculture as an underserved group holds the greatest potential to make significant impact in rural development,” said Pfeffer. AWARE ensures that gender is considered in all IP-CALS activities, including sponsored and academic programs.

“The AWARE program brings a holistic understanding of gender and agriculture to the table by supporting not only myself but also my young son in the logistics of being able to conduct this research,” says Minarchek, who will receive an additional $2,360 to help accommodate her 3-year-old son’s travel, “This approach has reminded me to be proud of being a young, female researcher with a young family who will accompany me to my field site.”

Minarchek will travel to Gunung Halimun National Park in Indonesia this summer to work with small villages to achieve food security in the absence of market integration. “Specifically, I will investigate the role of adat (traditional law) in limiting market integration and the different ways that gender impacts an individual’s understanding, interpretation and connection to adat and agriculture,” she said.

“I was excited to see a college-wide focus on the role of women in agriculture through the CALS’ AWARE initiative,” said Toure, the second AWARE award winner. She will focus on understanding the role of mothers in leveraging household agricultural production to improve child nutrition in the Central Province of Zambia.

Frosty Hill Travel Awards 

Philip Kear, Timothy Michael Gorman and Julia Berazneva have won 2013 Frosty Hill travel awards. Kear will go to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) for his research work. Gorman will travel to the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Laos, and Bernazneva to the International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) in Kenya.

The Frosty Hill program provides funding up to $2,500 to support CALS faculty and/or graduate students who are interested in collaborating with the International Agricultural Research Centers (IARC). Travel support allocations are awarded to spend time at a Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) center that has special value for the applicant.

Cornell University dedicated the Frosty Hill Fellowship to the memory of Forrest F. Hill, Cornell professor of land economics and co-founder of the CGIAR system, several years ago. Hill contributed significantly to the application of agricultural sciences in addressing critical world food problems. Previously, the fund supported CALS faculty members interested in international research and scholarly exchange with the IARCs of the CGIAR. To stimulate greater interest in this program, IP-CALS broadened the eligibility to graduate students.

“I’m so pleased that our research group has been awarded this travel grant,” said Kear, who will be working on enhancing zinc bioavailability in maize with CIMMYT in Mexico.

Berazneva, a PhD candidate in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, who works at the intersection of development, environmental and natural resource economics, will collaborate with ICRAF scientists on new data collection and research projects that build on her dissertation’s outcomes.

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By Maina Dhital, a Hubert Humphrey Fellow and Nepalese journalist, serving her professional affiliation with International Programs.