Winter 2012 Newsletter

Notable events, news and highlights.
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From the Directors

As we enter a cold, gray, and wet winter season, we are reminded of how far we have journeyed since the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows class of 2012-13 arrived atHoliday Greetings the end of August. It was hotter then. Green leaves were on the trees and the Farmer’s market was in full swing. Those early months are an eye-opening experience for the Fellows as they settle into a new community, return to studying for graduate-level college courses, and inevitably ask themselves, “Why did the Institute for International Education place me at UC Davis?”

Eleven mid-career professionals, leaders in their fields are here for ten months of technical and professional development. They have backgrounds in agriculture, rural development, environmental protection and renewable energy. This Department of State/Fulbright program has been administered by the University Outreach & International Programs(UOIP) office at UC Davis for over 20 years. And for each of those 20 years, we have relied upon a whole host of individuals and organizations to help guide the Fellows as they chart their course through this unique experience and prestigious opportunity.

We are particularly grateful to Elisabeth Sherwin and staff at the International House, Davis who graciously welcome and then nurture the Fellows while they are here, many times providing them with food, the wonderful traditional Thanksgiving dinner, for example. I-House is truly a home away from home for the Fellows. Our Fellowship Hosts provide critical support during those first months as Fellows move into their apartments, try to find recognizable spices and foods they can cook with, and learn how to navigate our public transportation system. We are also grateful to the UC Davis Extension Executive Leadership and International Programs faculty who are top rate and provide a solid grounding and essential skills acquisition in professional leadership and management.

We rely heavily on the faculty, staff and students who serve as mentors, advisors, colleagues and friends. As a top ranked research institute, the UC Davis community plays a critical role in the long-term professional development of each Clean UpFellow. Lasting connections are made during the year, which are invaluable.

In the short months the Fellows have been here, we have accomplished a lot. See stories on our partnership with Woodland Community College, many and varied field trips, and more.

A hearty thanks to all that support this unique program. We have a lot planned for the new year and look forward to seeing you at upcoming events.


mbell Gwynn Benner
Mark Bell

Gwynn Benner
Assistant Director

Introducing the 2012-2013 Humphrey Fellows

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program is a dynamic and innovative program that brings career professionals from around the globe to 18 universities in the US for professional development, non-degree coursework and technical training. UC Davis has been administering this program for over 20 years. It is funded by the Department of State and overseen by the Institute for International Education.

This fall we welcomed 11 Humphrey Fellows who are outstanding individuals and leaders in government, academia, and the social and private sectors. The Fellows are here for 10 months, gaining experience and knowledge as well as enhancing their professional networks in the areas of agriculture, rural development, environmental sciences and renewable energy.

While here, the Humphrey Fellows attend classes, conferences and workshops; engage in community service projects; and serve as both disciplinary experts and cultural ambassadors, ultimately benefiting not just their home countries but also the UC Davis campus and Davis community at large.

This year we are proud to announce a new cross-campus collaboration with Woodland Community College. We will be working together on a number of projects and have several joint field trips planned during the year.

The administrative offices of the UC Davis Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program are located on the second floor of the International House, Davis (I-House).

2012-2013 Program Brochure (pdf)




Mr. Nasr Saif Alshamsi


Plant Quarantine Department,
Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries    

Mr. Md Mazharul Anower


Palongkhali Aqua Culture Ltd.

Mr. Richard Bruno


African Institute for Capacity Development

Mr. Tahawar Hussain


Renewable Energy Consultant

Ms. Chunyan Liu


Ministry of Environmental Protection of P.R.C.

Ms. Jacqueline Nesi


Department of International Agricultural Monitoring,Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Supply

Ms. Roselyn Onyuro


Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute

Mr. Tika Ram Thapa


Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives

Mr. Javier Tonatto


Estación Experimental Agroindustrial O. Colombres

Ms. Victoria Torres González


Department of Agrarian Management,
Universidad de Santiago de Chile

Ms. Queen Turner


Department of Crop Production,
Ministry of Agriculture

We’ve been busy…

Since the UC Davis Humphrey Fellows arrived the last week of August, we’ve had 4 weeks of orientation, 2 weeks of professional skills training with the amazing staff at UC Davis Extension International Education, 8 Humphrey seminars, 10 presentations by guest speakers, 5 potlucks, visited 5 local farms, participated in 4 community service projects, and the Fellows have taken 27 classes during the fall quarter!

So, we are saying…“whew” and glad for the upcoming two-week break for winter!

Highlights: What we’ve done…

Social events have included the Host Family Potluck in early October. Our 11 host families play a critical role helping the Fellows get settled into their new community, sharing local and national traditions, and providing a sounding board and networking opportunity for professional development. They generously give of their time, food, and even loan coats, hats, gloves and car seats! They are a great group and we are fortunate to have them volunteer so much of their time.

We held our welcome luncheon on October 5th with over 45 attending from the LuncheonUC Davis and Davis community. Fellows were honored when Mayor of Davis, Joe Krovoza, bestowed on them Honorary Citizenship. The luncheon is held early on in the program and is a wonderful way for the Fellows to make connections and feel welcomed into their new community.

In preparation for Halloween (a tradition not usually celebrated in the Fellows’ home countries), we visited a local pumpkin patch, selected the very Pumpkinbest pumpkins and then had a Pumpkin Carving Potluck Party with the International Agricultural Development Graduate Group students. Besides the great food, camaraderie, and connections we made, perhaps the biggest highlight was seeing the glowing results of painstakingly detailed carvings the Fellows made to their pumpkins that evening.

The Fellows enjoyed a “taste of Colombian Carnival” at the 12th annual Colombian Serenade, “The Barranquilla Moon,” on December 10. This event paid tribute to the late Joe Arroyo and Estercita Forero, two music icons of Carnival music who made their home in Barranquilla, Colombia. Performances included live Colombian Folkloric music by Los Primos as well as a live music and dance combo featuring the Semillitas Youth Folkloric Dance Troupe. Special guest was Colombia Viva lighting up the stage with salsa. Dance lessons got us moving to the swing of things. See our video HERE.

Guest Speaker: Organization:
Brennan Bird, Director Peace On Earthbench Movement (POEM)
Anthony Eggert,
UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy
Ethan Evans, Harwant Khush, and Johannes Starke Toast Masters, Davis
Lucas Frerichs, City Council member and Senior Policy Advisory, State Legislature City of Davis
Rhonda Gruska, Owner Monticello Seasonal Cuisine
Steve Hollingworth CEO and President Freedom from Hunger
Steve Purkey, Senior Scientist, US Water Group Leader Managing Environmental Systems Stockholm Environment Institute
Kristin Stoneking,
Director and campus minister
CA Aggie House

Friday Seminars are at the core of the UC Davis Humphrey Fellowship program. We meet weekly for half-day sessions with invited speakers and professional skills training. We also hold full-day sessions led by faculty from the UC Davis Executive Leadership Program.

We covered a wide range of topics during our fall seminars including conflict resolution (faculty: Neil Bodine), building SMART teams (faculty: Paul Porter), and innovative development strategies such as “creative capacity-building” (faculty: Kurt Kornbluth).

Our guest speakers provide content expertise and an educational opportunity for Fellows to learn about cutting edge programs and initiatives being fostered by local organizations both on and off campus.

Field trips are an important part of the Humphrey Fellowship Program. Field trips allow us to provide hands-on experience for the Fellows and share regional best practices in agriculture, environmental sciences, and renewable energy. Our first Student farmfield trip of the year was to the UC Davis Student Farm accompanied by the Berkeley and UC Davis Fulbright Fellows.

Since its inception in 1977, the Student Farm has served thousands of UC Davis students and faculty, farmers, gardeners, and school children. Grade school children participate in the School Garden Program. Staff and students conduct research on plots, take classes at the Bowley Science Center and complete hands-on field work. There are workshops, special events and tours. Weekly, the student volunteers prepare boxes for the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Student Harvest, the farm's functioning subscription program which produces over 60 baskets of organic, student-grown vegetables, herbs and fruits for its subscribers each week. The Fellows and Fulbright Scholars gained practical experience planting seedlings with a tractor, laying irrigation line and harvesting vegetable crops.

WintersOn October 17, the Fellows joined the Woodland Chamber of Commerce for their fall farm tour. We visited three farms: Sierra Orchards, Heron Hopyard, and Free Spirit Farm. The farms cultivate organic walnuts, hops, olive oil and vegetables utilizing cutting edge technologies. "We strive to incorporate sustainable practices into every aspect of our farming operations including many conservation techniques and educational programs," says owner Craig McNamara on his website. A highlight was feeling the ground move under our feet as they shook the trees to harvest walnuts!

There was no snow. A bit of a disappointment after all of the prep work (borrowing hats, gloves and coats from Host Families), getting chains for the van, and mentally thinking, “It’s going to be COLD”. But, what is a person to do? There was no snow only a deep dark fog as we headed out at 6AM for Yosemite National Park. By mid-morning we were peeling our jackets off standing in the bright sun as we stared at the glistening Half Dome.

The best time to visit Yosemite Valley is between holidays on a regular two day weekend when there is not much of a crowd, which was the case on December 8-9th. It was a glorious two days with Tree huggerscrisp clean air and a sense of ease after ten weeks of classes, workshops, seminars and conferences. It was with a great sigh of relief and accomplishment that we trudged up the Yosemite Falls trail. It was so wonderful to be outside, moving our bodies after so many hours sitting in classrooms. We just relaxed for two days taking in the beauty. While at the park, we visited Mariposa Grove. The Fellows became “tree huggers” as we surrounded our arms around the largest living trees in the world.

NanosolarFor our last field trip of the fall, we visited Nanosolar and the Renewable Energy Testing Center, LLC (RETC). The field trip, organized by UC Davis Humphrey Fellow, Tahawar Hussain (Pakistan), showcased the latest in solar PV research and production. Nanosolar is utilizing copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cell technology which strongly absorbs sunlight and can be produced as a much thinner film compared to other semiconductor materials. The CIGS absorber is deposited on a glass backing, along with electrodes to collect current. RETC is an engineering services, test and certification center for solar and renewable energy products and is located in Fremont. They test multiple panel types for performance and durability.

Campus events are plentiful and often draw a large crowd. Fellows were tiny specks in a sea of upturned faces at UC Davis’ main campus on October 9th when former president Bill Clinton rallied an estimated crowd of 8,000. While stumping for local Democratic candidates, Clinton mixed his typical folksy humor with sobering statistics on Medicare and lack of job growth.

Dr. Benjamin Santer, Lawrence Livermore, National Academy and recipient of the MacArthur genius award spoke to a packed room about “Human Impacts & Climate Change”. Through detailed analysis, he described his pioneering use of pattern-based statistical techniques, called "fingerprint" methods, to identify the effects of human-caused changes in greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosol particles in observational surface temperature records.

Consulate General GaoOn November 18, Consulate General of China Gao Zhansheng spoke to a diverse group on campus about the future of education, the tangible linkages between the US and China in teaching youth, and told a touching story about the importance of personal connections. Humphrey Fellow Chunyan Liu (China) was able to talk to Mr. Gao after the session.

Networking and skill building at the Global Leadership Forum were priorities in October as the 194 Humphrey Fellows (class of 2012-13) convened in DC. Sessions included reaching consensus on critical world issues through the Copenhagen Consensus Project. Within an afternoon, regional groups had to decide how to spend a limited global budget on pressing issues such as HIV/AIDS, global climate change, education, potable water, and women’s rights. Fellows also heard from Humphrey alumni who provided tips, suggestions and opportunities to consider when charting their Humphrey year. A particularly thoughtful presentation was given by Shanta Nagendram (Malaysia, 1987-88), founder and director of SkillFocus Consultancy who challenged the group to think big, have vision and "go for it" during their Humphrey year.

We met with our Cornell colleagues to identify and agree upon a topic for our upcoming teleconference scheduled for early next year, and had two site visits. Thanks to UC Davis Humphrey Fellow alumni, Johnjoe Cantos (2011-12, Philippines) a group of UC Davis and Cornell University Fellows were able to meet for 1 1/2 hours with Dr. Robert Dixon, Director of Climate and Chemicals for the World Bank/Global Environment Facility. It was a terrific opportunity to hear about the various programs and even potential for completing a six week professional affiliations at the GEF. WRI

Thanks to the organizing efforts of UC Davis alumni, Huguette Nglambi (DR Congo, 2011-12), we spent an afternoon with staff at the World Resources Institute. Huguette is just now completing an extended professional affiliation with colleagues she had worked with previously in her home country. WRI has embarked upon a number of new strategic initiatives including opening a new office in Brazil.

Community service is an essential element of the Humphrey program. Each year we organize activities allowing Fellows to get involved and engaged with their new community. At the beginning of our program year we participated with a booth and speakers at the International Festival, an event which celebrates our community’s rich cultural diversity. This annual event organized by the International House, Davis hosts international dances, music, foods, crafts and presentations throughout the day. It draws thousands of people to the Veteran’s Memorial building. We also annually participate in the Putah Creek Cleanup, which is organized by the Putah Creek Council where we collect trash from the banks of the river. Celebrated on International Coastal Cleanup day around the global, locally it brings hundreds of volunteers out to the banks of the river, highlighting the fragile riparian ecosystem and the need to maintain a trash free river.

Community serviceOn a blustery, cold and rainy day in November, we celebrated International Education Week with a poster Community servicesession held outside on the patio at the Silo. The Fellows had worked hard all week preparing their posters which were detailed, colorful and full of pertinent information about their country, their work, and their own experiences.

We now relax and prepare for winter quarter and the many upcoming events, field trips and professional affiliations which are scheduled for the new year.

Affiliate Campus Partnership with Woodland Community College

We launched our campus affiliate partnership this year by introducing the UC WCCDavis Humphrey Fellows to Woodland Community College students in their plant sciences class. Fellows presented background information about their countries, particularly emphasizing agricultural and environmental concerns. They described the work they are doing in their various fields, including import/export challenges at the Port of Santos in Brazil (Jaqueline Nesi) and the challenge confronting small farmer selling produce in urban markets in Chile (Victoria Torres).

After the presentations, we set out to plan for the first joint community service project. We planned, shopped and prepared a meal for over 100 at the Fourth and Hope (formerly Yolo Wayfarer Center) in Woodland. It is humbling feeding that many, including young children. It Feeding the homelessopened up the opportunity to talk about homelessness in the US and explore the various fiscal, political and social constraints involved in grappling with the problem. Yolo County has approximately 2,000 homeless individuals in a given year (2009). With continued budget cuts and the economic downturn an increasing number are living on the streets. We spoke to the director and coordinator while there and learned about the programs they have in place dealing with the drug addicted and chronically homeless. It was an eye-opening experience.

Alumni map

Introducing our NEW Alumni Map

To capture the diversity and breadth of participation, Curran Hughes, a recent graduate of the International Agricultural Development program, developed an interactive alumni map. Just click on the country and scroll to see their names, areas of expertise and the link to their web page. Individual web pages are available for Fellows in the program starting in 2009-2010.

Alumni News

The following section highlights the ongoing initiative and creative collaborations underway with our UC Davis Humphrey alumni. We have been administering this program for over 20 years - 202 Fellows have graduated from the program from 83 countries.

Hugues Louis Jacques, Haiti (2011-2012)
Since last year Hugues has been very busy working on proposals with members of CONSULTEX. Out of four proposals submitted, CONSULTEX was selected to implement three projects in Port au Prince. The projects include an environmental education program in schools and remote areas and integrated water management in watersheds. Hugues has also applied for a job in UNDP and has succeeded in the pre-selection process for Chief executive of trans-border projects (Haiti-Dominican Republic).

Myo Aung Kyaw, Myanmar (2010-2011)
Myo recently visited Vietnam in July 2012 to meet with Ha Van Vo (2010-11 alumni) in Can Tho Province. Myo is now not only working for his on-going business and his CSO work, but also working as a consultant for the Crop and Environmental Science Division of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines. He is responsible for a project with collaboration between IRRI and UNOPS (United Nation Office of Project Services) in Myanmar. The project, which targets development of the value chain system in Myanmar’s rice industry, began in April 2012 and will last until 2015. Furthermore, Myo is planning to conduct a program to conserve Inle Lake, which is around 2900 feet above sea level and 44.9 square miles in surface area.

Ha Van VoHa Van Vo, Vietnam (2010-2011)
Ha recently attended the Lower Mekong Initiative conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. US alumni came from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Participants exchanged experiences, ideas and cooperation for a sustainable future.

Cecilia González Seoane, Uruguay (2009-2010)
Cecilia writes, “I’m back in Uruguay, working at the public electricity company again and applying for a promotion.” She is also working on a thesis for the final piece of her MS in Regional Planning, Urbanism and Environmental issues that she recently finished in Spain. Her thesis topic is renewable energy promotion policies and laws in Europe and in Latin America.

Mandip Rai, Nepal (2009-2010)
Mandip has been offered the Australian Development Award to complete a PhD at Australian National University (ANU) in Research School of Social Sciences. He will be going to Canberra, Australia in January 2013. His family will join him sometime in the spring of 2013, since he will be there for almost four years. Upon returning home after his Humphrey fellowship in 2010, he has been working at the country office of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and has been engaged in very diverse projects from citrus/orange management to gender and social inclusion to food and nutrition security. He says, “I must say the Humphrey experience and all the learning and support that I have had from each one of you [Fellows from the 2009-10 cohort & program staff] has been very crucial for my performance.”

Dennis Yiga, Uganda (2009-2010)
Dennis visited Davis in November and attended the International Education Week poster session, where he was able to meet the 2012-2013 cohort. He also came by our program office and sat down for an interview with Assistant Director Gwynn Benner to discuss the impact of his fellowship year. You can see the video HERE.

David Kapindula, Zambia (2005-2006)
Abel and DavidThe phrase “Humphrey family” is defiantly true in this case. David’s brother Humphrey Fellow, Abel Manangi was awarded a fellowship at MIT for the current 2012-13 cohort. Abel completed his pre-academic training at UC Davis and stopped by our offices to say hello over the summer. David reports that the program was a great experience for him and exposed him to great opportunities, “a network of colleagues”. He represents Zambia on a number of international conventions and currently coordinates the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) at continental level.

Lasting Connections

Tehut Tesfaye Sidelil, Ethiopia (2010-2011)Tehut Sidelil
Tehut had the opportunity to meet with Shanta Nagendram, Humphrey alumni from Malaysia, who completed her fellowship at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in 1987-88. The two Humphrey alumnae co-facilitated a negotiations workshop in June 2012. The workshop was given to participants from the Institute of Leadership and Good Governance and the Ethiopian Civil Service University. Shanta is planning another trip to Ethiopia and will be working again with Tehut on training in leadership, conflict and negotiation.

Director Mark Bell Meets with Humphrey Alumni in Bangladesh    
Mark Bell in BangladeshProgram Director Bell recently met with two Bangladeshi UC Davis Humphrey Alumni – Mohammad Khurshid Alam (2008-09) and Md. Ekram Ullah (2010-2011) – at a USAID sponsored workshop held in Dhaka earlier this month on the use of ICT (information communication technology)for Agricultural Extension in Bangladesh. It brought together 40 representatives from over 20 different governments, private and nonprofit organizations to look at the potential to apply new tools to help impoverished farmers in southwestern Bangladesh. Director Bell was one of the team including UC Davis, University of Illinois, Access Agriculture, and BIID, who facilitated the workshop and provided input into the development of the strategy to better use such tools in a larger USAID sponsored program.

Myo Aung Kyaw, Myanmar (2010-2011)
Connects with UC Davis Associate Dean of International ProgramsMyanmar
Myo (2010-2011, Myanmar) met with Dr. Jim Hill, Associate Dean of International Programs, when he visited Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in November 2012. Dr. Hill met with the Union Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. He also had a meeting with faculty members from Yezin Agricultural University to discuss curriculum development and exchange programs. Together Myo and Dr. Hill are making brilliant things happen towards feeding the future.

Samson Ngutwa, Malawi (2010-2011)
Partners with UC Davis D-Lab and student Eric Kim

Samson has been involved in a joint project to address the current situation of household energy use in the Malawian community. The project originated from a feasibility report assignment at the UC Davis Program for International Energy Technologies D-Lab. After the reports and findings were presented and delivered, the Malawian community and leaders believed in the implementation of the project. The rate of deforestation is increasing as Malawians continue to rely solely on wood and charcoal for their household energy needs. Exacerbating the problem are the high rates of population growth, imposing a greater need for food production, and further clearing of forests for agricultural uses. A shift in energy practices, particularly in the direction of renewable energy, is needed in order to ensure the well being of both the population and the environment moving forward.

The feasibility report that led to this project was drafted by several UC Davis D-Lab students, including Eric Kim. Eric is currently a 5th year undergraduate student, majoring in Environmental Policy and Planning. After graduating this fall quarter, Eric’s career goals include bringing renewable energy solutions to the markets of developing countries. Eric stayed in contact with Samson after the feasibility report was submitted and approved to conduct additional research for the implementation of the project. After about a year of communication and planning, Eric will soon travel to Malawi to collect data for analysis and establish a relationship with the community. Since the country does not have any recorded data that shows household energy use or types of energy resources available, the main goal of the trip will be to initiate the proper data collection and construct a solid understanding of the problem before a solution is drafted. Eric hopes to recruit a team from UC Davis in 2013 to initiate the design and implementation of the project.

The project will partner with the Likuni Girl’s Secondary School, which will serve as a host for potential pilot projects. The school has alrLikuni Girl's Secondary Schooleady shown both an in depth knowledge and enthusiasm for environmental sustainability by organizing public information and education programs through drama to sensitize the communities about the effects of climate change. In addition, the school’s Environmental Club has held tree plantings (pictured right) as well as demonstrations for the community.

The potential in this project extends to the Malawian’s enthusiasm and willingness to search for environmental sustainability. For a land locked country that relies heavily on its own limited natural resources, Malawi is primed to lead by example in environmental stewardship and resource sustainability.