LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech University continues to be a world leader in the area of food safety and security, and the next generation of students is being recognized for their work ensuring the integrity of the world’s food supply.
Sarahi Morales, a graduate student and research assistant from Honduras in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, was selected as a 2017 Next Generation Delegate for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Global Food Security Symposium.
Morales will gather with other delegates for the symposium scheduled for March 28-30 in Washington, D.C. The annual showcase brings together the top innovators and visionaries in business, social issues and policy for discussions on maintaining the safety of global food supply and technological advancements in agriculture.
“I feel very honored and fortunate to have been selected as a delegate to the global food security symposium,” Morales said. “It will be a privilege for me to be able to participate in the current discussions for a food-secure world and meet other students whose goals are similar to mine. As a delegate, I hope to contribute to the discussions of food security and the importance of building resilient communities.”
Morales was chosen from a pool of more than 600 students representing 313 universities and almost 90 countries. With her selection, she is recognized as one of the emerging leaders in global agriculture, public policy, food, health and nutrition.
“Sarahi has been a true asset to our department as a graduate student,” said Scott Burris, interim chairman of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. “I am so excited she has been selected for this prestigious opportunity. I am equally confident that she will be a great ambassador for the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication and for Texas Tech University.”
Morales’ research focuses on food security and agricultural leadership in various corners of the world. She examined how the traditional leadership structure in certain South African tribes limited food security when promoting extension programs, and in another study she examined how government-sponsored agricultural investment to promote economic growth affected food security and dietary diversity in households in Honduras.
Her hope is to demonstrate that agricultural investments and nutritional education go hand in hand to ensure proper household food security instead of impulsive purchases.
“As an agricultural educator, I believe it is my duty to contribute to build a food secure world by understanding and helping to shape adequate agricultural interventions that take into account individuals’ behaviors and culture to minimize food insecurity, build resilient communities and, most importantly, reduce individuals’ vulnerability to food insecurity,” Morales said.
The Global Food Security Program focuses on the progress into global food security both by the U.S. and international community to meet the new challenges facing the food security industry. The Next Generation Delegates started in 2013 to provide students the opportunity to be a part of current discussion on food security.
“I am very thankful for faculty in my department, especially my adviser Todd Brashears,” Morales said. “They are an amazing group of people who are always there to guide me, support me and shape my research to where it needs to go. I could have not chosen a better place for my graduate education.”
–Texas Tech University
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