Emely Lopez Barrera – 2018

School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Food Science and Human Nutrition

  1. School/University and current year entering the 2018 semester
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 4th year Ph.D. student
  2. Academic advisor(s):
    Dr. William G. Helferich, Dr. Juan Andrade, and Dr. Nicki Engeseth
  3. Degree/Major/Research focus:
    Ph.D. in Food Science and Human Nutrition, focusing on malnutrition and food security: Development of technologies to stabilize micronutrients in foods.
  4. How did you choose your area of study?
    Coming from a developing country, I always wanted to pursue a career that had positive impact in my home country and similar developing regions of the world. I could think of nothing better than food science to help me achieve this goal. Food will always be needed, in one or another form, our scientific community will be responsible for taking major decisions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050 and transform food industry and agriculture.
  5. How has this scholarship helped you?
    More than financially, this scholarship will help me grow my professional development and sense of contribution to the world. Winning this scholarship feels like a big responsibility, but more than anything, a huge inspiration to continue developing solutions for the food challenges of our time.
  6. What is your favorite class this semester and why?
    My favorite class was “Sustainable solutions for subsistence marketplaces”, a 1-year long class combining technology, science, business, and marketing in partnership with a food company (Abbott Nutrition) to develop a food product with potential of reducing Type 2 diabetes in Chennai, India. I liked it the most because of its holistic approach to solving complex problems, which was reflected in combining students from multiple departments and expertise to work for a common goal. It felt like a real Food Industry experience.

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