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UC Global Food Initiative

The UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) grows out of a commitment by President Napolitano and the 10 UC campus chancellors to work collectively to intensify and expand the efforts of the world’s premier public research university to support healthy eating, sustainable agriculture and food security.

To ensure students are engaged in this critical effort, the president announced the creation of the UC President’s GFI Student Fellowship Program. The Fellowship Program provides each campus with $12,000 to fund three student awards of $4,000 each. Additionally, each campus is provided $4,000 to select a GFI Ambassador who will lead campuswide student engagement and communications efforts for the initiative. Campuses may provide these awards to undergraduate or graduate students to fund research fellowships or traditional internships. The program is funded out of the president’s Global Food Initiative Fund.

Systemwide activities for the program begin with an orientation in October and conclude with a symposium and poster presentation held in conjunction with the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in June/July. Additional activities include monthly conference calls, attendance at meetings of GFI leadership, and a GFI Fellows field trip.

UC Merced is excited about this opportunity to recognize and support student research, service learning projects, internships and humanitarian efforts connected to the Global Food Initiative. We have graduate students researching plant ecology, those who are engineering creative solutions to agricultural challenges and others who volunteer their time to develop sustainable practices and address food scarcity. These are just a few examples of the great work being conducted by our students, and we look forward to honoring them by way of this fellowship program.