UC Berkeley student from Del Mar wins fellowship to study food issues


A Del Mar native is among three University of California students who will be working with scientists in the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources to study food security, nutrition education and agricultural research and extension.

UC Berkeley graduate students Erika Brown, a Del Mar native, and Matthew Shapero, and UC Davis senior Jay Gelvezon will each receive a $4,000 fellowship through the university’s Global Food Initiative.

“It is imperative to get students involved in UC ANR’s activities to move the world toward food security for all and a more sustainable future,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources. “The fresh ideas that the UC Global Food Initiative fellows contribute will help us extend what we learn through research to improve the health of Californians.”

Brown, a native of Del Mar, will work closely with Lorrene Ritchie, director of the UC ANR Nutrition Policy Institute, on a student food-security research project. In spring 2015, nearly 9,000 students from all 10 UC campuses participated in a survey designed to document the prevalence of food insecurity among students and to identify characteristics of those students affected.

Brown, a public health graduate student at UC Berkeley, will help analyze the survey results. Since arriving at UC Berkeley, she has worked with several organizations in the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Food Security Taskforce, to identify and eliminate barriers to achieving food security.