High Impact Experience Networking Works

ALEC 646 graduate students networking with Darlene Brady Christopher from the World Bank Group (second from left). Students are (left to right) Michael Moscarelli, Lacey Roberts, Lindsey Coleman, and Daniela Silva.

Ph.D. Student Lacey Roberts is demonstrating two cases that show how networking with High Impact Experience (HIE) funds provided by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications (ALEC) are effective.

Lacey was one of four graduate students enrolled in ALEC 646 – Institutions Serving Agriculture in Developing Nations. In a five-day period during the spring semester of 2019, partially sponsored by the HIE, they visited 21 organizations and their staffs that conduct international development work in Washington, D.C.

In the first case, Lacey has received funding approval from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to conduct research related to their Farmer-to-Farmer program (F2F) in four countries. The countries are Nepal where F2F is being implemented by Catholic Relief Services and Bangladesh, Lebanon, and Egypt where F2F is being implemented by Land O’Lakes. Her research will focus on the F2F visual communications methods and she will also serve on USAID’s communication outreach committee to assist with drafting a future USAID communication strategy. The implementors will sponsor her travel to each country during the fall semester of 2019.

This opportunity evolved from a USAID Higher Education internship in which Lacey was mentored by Dr. Samantha Alvis, ALEC 2016 graduate and USAID higher education specialist, who encouraged Lacey to apply for the F2F program and with whom Lacey met during the visit to D.C.  In the process for applying for the F2F program, Michael Moscarelli, ALED Ph.D. student and one of the four students on the D.C. visits and senior director for Economic Development and Health with Partners of the Americas who administers the F2F program in the Caribbean and Latin America, introduced Lacey to Erin Blaze, USAID Bureau for Food Security program analyst. With advice from Dr. Alvis and Michael and guidance from Erin, Lacey was able to get support from Catholic Relief Services and Land O’Lakes to conduct her dissertation research.

In the second case, during the D.C. visits, Lacey met International Humanitarian Photographer Kelley Lynch. Now, with HIE funding Kelley will join Lacey to conduct a three-day workshop for students enrolled in AGCJ 308 Agricultural Photography and offer a seminar for faculty and students July 21-24, 2019. These are based on her experiences over two decades living and working in the developing world bringing to life unique and emotionally engaging stories for NGOs. The breadth of experience and understanding of international development sets her work apart. Her photos, stories, and publications have been used to raise awareness, communicate with donors, advocate with policy-makers and mobilize millions to fund programs for vulnerable populations. http://www.kelleyslynch.com

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