Written by Guestblogger: Stephanie Swinehart, IPED 2019
2018 Borlaug Food Security Summer Institute participants. Stephanie is on the 2nd row (standing row), 8th from the left.
I recently represented Fordham at the 2018 Borlaug Food Security Summer Institute at Purdue University from June 3-16 in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Institute, now in its seventh year, is an annual two-week program for graduate students interested in developing a holistic understanding of the conceptual challenges around global food security. Discussion topics ranged from genetics & plant breeding, ecology, and funding agricultural research to climate change, pastoralism, and the global challenge of meeting future energy demands. The two-week summit featured presentations from a team of experts in the academic and private sectors including Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, 2009 World Food Prize winner; Shenggen Fan, Secretary General of the International Food Policy Research Institute; and Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of Norman Borlaug, the Institute’s namesake and recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize.
Stephanie with Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, 2009 World Food Prize winner
Stephanie presenting on her research at Fordham and on her work with UNDP
While there, I presented research that I have been conducting with a team at Fordham on pastoralism in East Africa and on my work as a program assistant at the United Nations Development Program in New York City. This opportunity not only allowed students to increase knowledge in new areas, but facilitated unexpected opportunities for collaboration between the social and agricultural sciences. While the challenges to global food security are great and often feel discouraging, the goal of the institute was to empower students with the multidisciplinary tools to be the next generation of changemakers in the field of food security and climate change.
Stephanie with other Institute participants
Millet variety test fields at Purdue University’s research farm
Written by guest blogger Carlos Baeta
For the 9th summer in a row, the IPED commons had witnessed a cacophony of activity that directly corresponded with the arrival of 22 African students to our picturesque Rose Hill campus. The students above, have been selected to attend IPED’s flagship advanced certificate in Emerging Markets and Country Risk Analysis program. This year’s cohort consisted of twenty South African students that included eight top-performing economics students from the University of Pretoria as well as twelve middle management employees from the National Treasury, The South African Reserve Bank, Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), amongst others. What separates this years program, however, is that it has been extended to include two students who are Economics and Finance lecturers at the Catholic University of Ghana in West Africa.
Throughout their six weeks in New York, the 22 students took two rigorous courses in Strategic Financial Management and Political Risk Analysis. These courses were completed alongside local IPED and Economics graduate students and taught by Professor Rengifo and Entelis respectively. Beyond interacting with Fordham faculty members, the students had the opportunity to engage and network with real business leaders and policymakers through several organized site visits in New York and Washington D.C respectively. These included meetings with large international institutions at the World Bank, the Council on Foreign Relations and at multinational corporations such as IBM, Bank of America, Merill Lynch and Credit Suisse.
After returning to South Africa, the students will by joined by Fordham IPED and Economics graduate students at the beginning of August to complete the third and final Emerging Markets course at the University of Pretoria in South Africa’s capital city.
2018 represents the 9th year in which students from South Africa participated in this dynamic academic and cultural exchange program. The impact of the program is seen from the successes of its alumni. Many have gone on to represent leadership positions in both the public and private sector across Africa and the world soon after receiving their qualification from IPED. They continue to reference their experience in New York as an important experience in their career development and education.
Carlos Baeta was among the participants of the Emerging Markets South African Exchange Program in 2015. He later returned to Fordham to complete the MA IPED (2017) and MA Economics (2018) programs.