Spring 2013 Newsletter

Notable events, news and highlights.
Please send us your updates to feature here.

Like us on Facebook and join the UC Davis Humphrey community

From the Directors

It’s hard to believe in six weeks we will be saying goodbye to our Humphrey Fellows, class of 2013. Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows are here for 10 months of professional and technical development, funded by a Department of State/Fulbright grant. UC Davis has been administering this program since 1986. To date we have hosted a total of 216 Fellows, from 86 different countries. We are now in our 21st year. You can check out who has been here and the countries they are from with our new interactive Alumni Map.


Each year we welcome the best and the brightest mid-career professionals who are outstanding leaders in their fields. This year has been no exception. We’ve enjoyed getting to know 11 Fellows from the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, China, Kenya, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, and Tanzania. Their enthusiasm for learning, the networks they have established, and the contributions they have made while completing field work and their six week professional affiliations is extraordinary.

Professional affiliations this year were completed with academic, government, and non-profit organizations. Fellows are completing work in the field learning about solar energy, plant pathology and disease prevention, integrated microfinance and loans, ecology and beekeeping, food systems, air pollution and hazardous waste, biofuels, farmer’s cooperatives and aquatic ecology. Read more about the rich and diverse experience each Fellow has had through their professional affiliations.

This year UC Davis successfully bid to organize and convene an Enhancement Workshop. Only five workshops are funded each year and open for any of the 204 Fellows to attend. The inaugural “International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Academy” brought 35 Humphrey Fellows to Davis. Presented by the UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Academy highlights included presentations by GSM Professor Andrew Hargadon, the institute’s founder and director, as well as venture capitalists and veteran entrepreneurs. The Fellows developed a business pitch and business plan for their own venture, toured the Mondavi Food Sciences state-of-the-art winery and brewing facilities and visited Old Sacramento. Read more about the event.

Three Fellows brought families and it has been fun to share US and Davis traditions with the kids: pumpkin carving and Halloween, stringing cranberries and popcorn for the Christmas tree, marching in the annual UC Davis Picnic Day parade, and visiting Sutter’s Fort Trade Faire. See more on social events.

Each year brings new adventures, insights, lessons learned, and a wide variety of remarkable opportunities each Fellow can take advantage of. We’ve held 22 weekly seminars, been on 12 field trips, participated as a group in 7 conferences, and heard from 12 guest speakers this past year. Read more about professional development activities. Also two Humphrey Fellows share their reflections on the past year. Read more about their experiences.

Our emerging partnership with Woodland and Los Rios Community Colleges netted some interesting field trips and community service opportunities. We pitched in shopping, preparing and cooking for the homeless in Woodland, CA. We jointly attended the World Agriculture Expo in Tulare, the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. The Fellows spoke to two community college classes, sharing their knowledge and experiences in agriculture, environmental sciences, and the challenges of being a woman working in the sciences. Read more about our campus affiliation.

But, the year is not yet over. There are several more upcoming events we have planned. The Fellows will be in DC the second week in May, joined by all 192 Fellows participating in the program. They will be attending the Year-End Retreat, where they will receive their certificate of completion signed by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, John Kerry. We have our own graduation planned for May 19th and then of course, there is packing and moving out of the apartments.

The Humphrey “family” includes a broad network of individuals who make this program a success. We cannot thank the Davis and UC Davis community enough for the warm welcome and support you provide the Fellows each year. Successfully navigating the transition to a new community in a new country just can’t be done without the kind and generous attention provided by our Friendship host families, the many academic and professional mentors, the International House-Davis, and UC Davis Extension. We are awed each year by your dedication and commitment to this program. So, again, thanks, and we look forward to engaging you again next year. Read more about our supporters.


mbell Gwynn Benner
Mark Bell

Gwynn Benner
Assistant Director

Learning by Doing: Professional Affiliations

One of the most challenging and yet rewarding aspects of the Hubert H. Humphrey program is the requirement each Fellow must complete, a 30 day professional affiliation (PA). PAs can be done at any point during the 10 months the Fellows are here and with any type of organization. Fellows can complete a PA within the social, public or private sectors. Fellows spend the fall developing their program plan, which includes identifying their own interests and then researching organizations who are working in that area. Many find opportunities at UC Davis working with faculty in their labs or on research projects, while others partner with state or federal agencies. And, a few even work within the private sector.

We are grateful for the support we receive from the PA host organizations, and especially the supervisors. They work with the Fellows to refine and further develop their technical skills. This year all of our Fellows have found extraordinary PAs; some are even completing two. This is what they are doing:

Nasr AlshamiNasr Alshamsi (Oman) started his professional affiliation in April with the California Crop Improvement Association (CCIA) at UC Davis. He is learning about the seed certification system in California with specific regard to seed quality and seed health. He also is participating in training at the USDA-APHIS Plant Inspection Station in South San Francisco, learning about insect identification and inspection of imported plant propagation materials. In addition, Nasr will be completing training on using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique to examine for plant diseases here at the pathology lab at UC Davis.

 Md. Mazharul AnowerMd. Mazharul Anower (Bangladesh) began his PA in January with ACCION USA located in Boston. ACCION is a private, nonprofit organization that provides microloans and other financial services to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs who are unable to access bank credit for their small businesses. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs (often minorities and women) can build assets, better provide for their families, and strengthen their communities. Anower is completing research and outreach to community organizations to build awareness about ACCION, representing the organization at networking events, building new partnership initiatives, and providing financial assistance and education to new clients. He is working with loan consultants providing customer service for small business owners interested in ACCION’s loan program and conducting in-person and phone interviews. With ACCION’s financial education tools, Anower is learning about mechanisms for offering technical assistance in credit management to prospective clients and loan applicants.

Richard BrunoRichard Bruno(Tanzania) is working at Freedom from Hunger, a local NGO with a global reach. Bruno is focusing on training design and delivery for a business model that is affordable for poor communities, targeting farmers and entrepreneurs. He is learning about different methodologies for training delivery and techniques for meeting the needs and demands of different market niches in Tanzania. In addition, Bruno is looking at the possibility of using mobile phone applications (apps), leveraging already existing huge consumer base of mobile phone users in his country, to deliver training and market information to farmers in rural areas. This would increase the number of targeted clients and reduce the cost of delivery.

Tahawar HussainTahawar Hussain (Pakistan) is completing two PAs, one with the California Energy Commission (CEC), Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division and the second completing a policy practicum with the newly established UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy. While at CEC, Tahawar has been focusing on renewable energy policy issues and alternative transportation fuel issues in California. He has been conducting background research, summarizing report findings, and assisting in analysis related to renewable energy policy development and implementation and alternative fuels policy development and implementation. Specific topics include activities related to the Bioenergy Action Plan, development of regulations for the Renewable Portfolio Standards programs adopted by governing boards of publicly owned utilities, and updating of the California Clean Energy Future metrics. With the UC Davis Policy Institute, Tahawar is doing policy research for the California State Legislature working on lifecycle analysis of solar photovoltaic panels for the Senate Republican Caucus.

Chunyan LiuChunyan Liu (China) is working with the China-California Environmental Protection Association, an NGO based in Los Angeles, which focuses its work on training and policy development. She recently participated in their annual meeting and attended several site visits in southern California. Her area of interest is on better understanding how US and California policy and strategic planning is developed in the areas of air pollution and hazardous waste/Superfund sites. She has completed several online trainings offered through the California Air Resources Board and is reviewing numerous reports provided to her by the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 staff in San Francisco.

Jaqueline NesiJaqueline Nesi (Brazil) is completing two PAs this spring. Her first PA will be with the Port of Oakland in the Environmental Programs and Planning office. She will be learning how the Port of Oakland is dealing with their environmental issues, including air, water, waste, resource management and emergency response. Jaqueline's second PA will be at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington, DC. WRI is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 as a center for policy research and analysis addressing global resource and environmental issues. WRI focuses on the intersection of the environment and socioeconomic development. They work to put research and ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives. While at WRI, Jaqueline will be working with their staff to better understand environmental program implementation and development, specifically focused on their new initiative recently launched in Brazil.

Roselyn Agumba OnyuroRoselyn Agumba Onyuro (Kenya) is completing her PA with Prof. Eliska Rejmankova, professor in environmental science and policy at UC Davis with a specialization in aquatic ecology. For her PA, Roselyn will be learning completing plant and water nutrient analysis especially focused on nitrogen and phosphorus, which are the nutrients crucial in water eutrophication. She will learn about the cycling of nutrients, which are critical for management of waste water treatment by wetland plants as well as functioning of healthy riparian vegetation. Roselyn will participate in the on-site training of Guatemalan students in Lake and Watershed Processes and Water Quality Management at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in April, and will also participate in the International Seminar on Climate Change and Natural Resources Management at UC Davis in May. She is expecting to gain practical experience in water sampling and analysis for nutrients and heavy metals in Lake Tahoe in northern California and will be writing a joint proposal for possible funding on lacustrine riparian zone restoration using Remote sensing, GIS and Modeling.

Tika Ram ThapaTika Ram Thapa (Nepal) is working with the California Center for Cooperative Development (CCCD) and International Refugee Center (IRC), on a USDA funded project training refugee farmers how to design and develop a farmer’s cooperative in Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles for his professional affiliation. He recently returned from a trip to San Diego and reports, “I was able to interact with three groups of refugees from Burma, Vietnam and Somalia. We shared production costs from their farms. We went to the Puma Valley outside of San Diego, where those groups are practicing organic farming. It was a nice opportunity to get first-hand experiences on farming done by small farmers. I had a chance to visit Nepali speaking Bhutanese refugees who are completing a training program for farming. We also interacted with staff from IRC Food Security and Community Health.”

Javier TonattoJavier Tonatto (Argentina) has already completed one PA here at UC Davis with Prof. Steven Kaffka and has just recently started his second PA at United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC. For his PA with Prof. Kaffka, who is an Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences and Director of the California Biomass Collaborative, Javier worked in the field helping plant biofuel “energy” crops (e.g., sweet sorghum) and then harvesting for field trials and also worked in the lab completing economic modeling for biofuel crops in the San Joaquin Valley in California. At USDA in DC, Javier will learn about USDA bioenergy programs, participate in project review meetings regarding the Department of Energy biofuels programs, and work on project planning for an upcoming sweet sorghum initiative with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). He will also visit the USDA/ARS laboratory in Beltsville, MD where they work on research related to crop genetics, breeding, protection and management.

Victoria TorresVictoria Torres (Chile) is completing her 6 week PA at Columbia University in New York City. She is working with Glenn Denning, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs; Director, MPA in Development Practice Program; and Director, Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development at the Earth Institute and the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS). ILAS is the center for research, teaching and discussion on Latin America at Columbia University. Its main goal is to bring together and provide resources for Columbia faculty, students and visiting scholars, recognizing the diversity of their interests and approaches while strengthening their links with Latin America and with communities of Latin American origin in the United States. In addition to seminars and lectures, Victoria recently participated in a field trip to the Rodale Institute, self-proclaimed as the “Birthplace of the Organic Movement in America”.

Queen TurnerQueen Turner (Botswana) is completing a PA at the Laidlaw Honeybee lab, working with Prof. Neal Williams. Dr. Williams is a professor in Ecology at UC Davis. The Laidlaw Honey Bee lab is the largest and most comprehensive state‐supported apiculture facility in North America and the only one in California. Queen will be learning about sampling protocol, database development, identification and collection of honeybees and plant specimens as well as working on field-based sampling. She has numerous field trips to conservation and farm sites in the region and is attending conferences, workshops and seminars. In May, Queen will be in Beltsville, MD with the USDA Bee Research Laboratory. There she will learn about field and laboratory diagnosis of parasitic mites, small hive beetles and brood diseases of honeybees. She will also learn about laboratory methods for definitive diagnosis of Nosema and other diseases. In addition, Queen will be learning more about colony management and and queen rearing as well as presenting her own work in Botswana to the UC Davis bee research team and the laboratory staff in Beltsville.

Honing Professional Skills: A Core Component of the Humphrey Program

Principles of interest-based processing for negotiation, determining your leadership style, understanding the difference between job knowledge and skills as a supervisor, and analyzing the triple constraints in project management (time, budget, expertise), were all covered during the Humphrey Seminar. A required component of the program, Fellows meet every Friday from September through March to hear presentations from content experts, practice utilizing relevant case studies and do exercises that hone their knowledge as professionals and leaders in their fields. Ten of the Friday seminars were taught be staff from UC Davis Extension through their Executive Leadership program. The Executive LeadershipHussainprogram seeks to help career professionals learn to adapt and thrive in the face of change, gain practical techniques and strategies that can be immediately applied.

Professional skill development is a unique hallmark of the Humphrey Fellowship program. Fellows who are young or mid-career professionals already have professional skills they have relied on…in fact these are what they have used so far getting to where they are now: department heads, senior officials in a ministry, with hundreds of staff reporting to them. And, as is the case in the US, Fellows also rarely have time in their professional lives before entering the program to step back, assess, re-tool and refine their skills. Enter a ten-month program, like the Humphrey program, and they get the opportunity to do just that.

Neil Bodine, JD worked with the Fellows during two sessions: Collaborative Problem-Solving and Conflict Resolution. Fellows learned about points of greatest friction, evaluation and closure, stages of group development and the “8 Attitudes of Effective Relationship Building”. Dr. Kurt Kornbluth, adjunct professor with UC Davis Biological and Agricultural Engineering, shared his perspectives on community engagement in development, “listening to the customer”. Fellows did an exercise making a wallet based on their “client’s” interests.
Project management

The Fellows spent three sessions with Joe Gee learning about project management. Gee has served of industry experience and served as a Chief Fiscal Officer and Chief Information Officer with the State of California. He brings his knowledge and practical, day-to-day expertise to each lively session. Gee worked with Fellows on a step-by-step process for ensuring project planning is done up front and talking through the implementation steps after the project is underway.

In addition, to professional training in a classroom setting, the Fellows also gain knowledge and expertise through field trips and conferences. As the UC Davis Humphrey program emphasizes agriculture and rural development, farming and farm-related issues is a key focus each year. This year, we visited the UC Davis Student Farm, Yolo Bulb Farm owned by Mike and Dianne Madison, the Center for Professional trainingLand Based Learning and the Tulare Agriculture Expo. At Yolo bulb we learned how to process olives for olive oil and then re-purpose the “wastes” as lip balm, hand creams and salves. At the World Ag Expo we were overwhelmed by the size and complexity of the tractors which are now mostly computer driven and precision instruments.

Guest speakers also join us for our Friday seminars. This year Anthony Eggert, director of the newly launched UC Davis Policy Institute spoke to the group about their work in energy, environment and the economy. Lucas Frerichs, Davis City Councilmember and California State Legislature staff, provided a comprehensive civics lesson, perfectly timed before the presidential debates. David Purkey shared the work the Stockholm Environment Institute does in water shed mapping and decision making. Other guest speakers were: Joe Krovoza, Mayor for the City of Davis, Rhonda Gruska who spoke about the California ballot initiative to label for GMOs, Brennan Bird, founder of Peach On Earthbench Movement, and Kristen Stoneking, campus minister and director of the Cal Aggie Interfaith Housing Community.

As a cohort we attended the California Climate Agriculture Summit, the Chancellor’s Colloquium, the Humphrey-Fulbright Reception hosted by both theCalifornia Climate Agriculture SummitChancellor and Provost, and a presentation by Dr. Benjamin Santer on climate change.
It is hoped that these activities serve to build a broader perspective, enhanced understanding of both technical and professional skills and are also fun.

We are wrapping up the year now and will all convene soon in DC for the Year-End Retreat. Fellows from each of the 18 campuses will be there, plus the dedicated Institute for International Education staff, who manage the national program. Sessions will include ways Fellows can take what they’ve learned and apply it back home and what to expect when adjusting upon their return.

Collaborations: Building Partnerships Across Campuses

Woodland Community College

WCCThis year we fully launched our campus affiliate program with Woodland Community College’s agriculture and environmental leaders. We kicked off the program with the Humphrey Fellows presenting information to their plant sciences class about agricultural challenges and opportunities. Jaqueline Nesi (Brazil), Javier Tonatto (Brazil), Richard Bruno (Tanzania), and Victoria Torres (Chile) were the presenters.

We then jointly planned, shopped, cooked and served up a meal for the homeless at Fourth & Hope in Woodland. It was sobering feeding 100 people (including kids) who then trudged back out into the increasingly cold night. It gave us an opportunity to learn about homelessness in the US and Yolo County.

Our next adventure was jointly attending the World Agricultural Expo in Tulare. Thousands come from all over the world, mostly farmers and farm-related businesses. The Expo holds claim as the largest of its kind in the world. In addition to the amazing machines, there were also seminars and workshops. The Fellows attended an interesting panel on California’s new Cap and Trade program.

Our last joint activity for the year was a pollinator’s field day. We were fortunateCorky Quirk enough to have the opportunity to share a morning with Corky Quirk who is a bat rehabilitation specialist. She brought her live “patients” to the International House and we learned about not only the critical role bats play globally as insect eaters and pollinators, but also how threatened they are from “white nose” syndrome and human impacts to nesting sites.

We then visited the Hagen Daz Honeybee Haven and heard a talk by Christine Casey, UC Davis Department of Entomology, and Professor emeritus Robbin Thorpe, about the importance of bees as pollinators. One-third of our food Honeybee Havenplants, from tomatoes and squash to apples and almonds, a regionally important crop, depend on the services of a pollinator. Bees are the most important pollinator.

Then we walked next door to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honeybee Research Facility where we met by Billie Synk, staff research associate. Billie had described the research being done on “colony collapse disorder”, a syndrome Beekeepingresulting in 5-10% or more of the commercial honeybee colonies to suddenly abandon their hive. Billie had us don beekeeping hats with veils and trudge out to see the research hives on the property. The queen, which is about a third larger than the worker bees, is tagged with a speck of paint to keep track of it. The lab is experimenting with barriers to reduce infestation of varroa mite.

We are looking forward to future activities in the coming year with our 2013-2014 cohort.

Cornell University

UC Davis is one of 18 US universities administering the Humphrey Fellowship program. Each university welcomes Fellows with specific sector background. At UC Davis, appropriately so, we receive Humphrey Fellows with expertise in agriculture, rural development, environmental sciences and climate change. Other campuses Cornellemphasize journalism, higher education, public health, social justice and law. Though over 2,700 miles away, one campus in the group shares our content focus: Cornell University. If we were on the east coast this would be a dream as those campuses within proximity are able to cross-pollinate their groups, attend joint field trips and build relationships. With the entire USA between us, we’ve struggled to find a mechanism to do that.

Last year, for the first, we decided to convene the group by teleconference. And, so we continued tradition this year. On February 6th both cohorts convened via high technology. It was a fun and interesting process watching ourselves on one screen and seeing the presentation and the Cornell Fellows on a second and third screen. For our topic we chose “Global Food (In)Security”. Two Fellows presented their work defining the problem and outlining strategies for addressing this critical issue. Ajay Raghava, Deputy Director, Ministry of Environment & Forests, National Ganga River Basin Authority in India from Cornell University and Victoria Torres-González, professor at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile in Chile from UC Davis.

We had a half an hour facilitated discussion sharing various strategies and challenges from the countries represented by the group. Fellows were asked to consider how serious this issue was for their own countries.

It was a fruitful and educational discussion.

A Bit of Fun Too!

In addition to all of the serious, hard work and professional development training, the Humphrey Fellows also get to have a lot of fun. We enjoyed Picnic in the Park, a potluck with our Friendship Host families, watching the presidential debates, finding pumpkins at the PatchPicnic Day parade and then making extraordinary carvings, joining the community at the International House Thanksgiving dinner, stringing cranberries and popcorn for the Christmas tree, participating in a “White Elephant” exchange, and celebrating with UC Davis by joining in the Picnic Day parade.
We’ve also reached out to the community and helped with the annual Putah Creek clean-up, which takes place in October; joined our voices in the International Human Rights Day by reading passages in the Fellows’ native languages; and most recently helped build an Earthbench at “Compassion Corner”.

The Earthbench construction was approved by the Davis City Council last month and, when finished, will be a functional bench but also public art. It is located at “Compassion Corner”, so named for work started in 2009 by David Breaux, who has stood on the corner of Third and C streets inviting people to wrPOEM benchite their ideas about compassion in a notebook. Before construction began David shared his notebook with the Humphrey Fellows. He has completed five notebooks since he started.

The work party was an all day affair and included elementary, high school and UC Davis students, community residents, the Mayor and a member of the City Council, and the Humphrey Fellows. We spent two hours helping construct the bench.

The Peace on Earthbench Movement (POEM) was founded by Brennan Blazer Bird and utilizes recycled "bottle bricks" which are densely packed 20-ounce plastic bottles filled with plastic bags and inorganic waste.

Current Humphrey Fellows Share Reflections on the Past Year

The Hubert Humphrey Program Will be More Than You Could Expect

by Victoria Torres, (Chile)

I had never thought how important the Hubert Humphrey Program would be in my life. In 2011, I read on the Chilean Fulbright commission’s website about it. It was defined as a non-degree program for professional and leadership development, and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts. After one year, this definition seems so small in comparison to my Victoria Torresexperience during the program because it impacts my professional life, but also it impacts me as a person.

The Humphrey Program was an invaluable opportunity to develop professional skills. It has helped me to improve my leadership and my abilities to start successful working groups. In addition, I received important lectures each week. They addressed different topics, such as methods and tools for project formulation, leadership, human capital management, conflict resolution, negotiation skills, etc. For instance, the second lectures taught me how to make a successful Elevator Pitch. It was great to learn how to address someone and explain your idea, your project, or the importance of your work in just 30 seconds. It might seem easy but it is in fact not. It is a process in your mind and it is also related with your personality and your culture. This is the start of networking successfully.

In this period, I also realized the importance to organize your work in the long term, around one and two years in advance. I thought when people plan that long in advance they lose flexibility and opportunities, but I was completely wrong. During my HH program, I had to schedule my work at least one year in advance. It allowed me to open my mind to other things and see opportunities very clearly. In addition, I would like to highlight that professors and American colleagues share their knowledge, experiences, and contacts. They understand the importance of a network and how to build and maintain it. They know the importance of synergies and transfer their knowledge to build a better society. Indeed, the Humphrey Program helped me to explore and develop many skills that I have never thought I had.

Humphrey students in front of the CapitolThe Humphrey Program also impacted my personal life. Chile is a very homogeneous society. After the program, I have increased my flexibility and tolerance regarding cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity. Moreover, although we live in a globalize world and we have access to information, I had never realized how deep the political, economic, and social issues are that some of my fellows face in their countries. In addition, I learned the importance to debate and express your opinion, even though you could be in complete disagreement with your professor or your boss. Americans analyze their society with a critical point of view, and they decide to make changes by themselves. Therefore, during this year I opened my mind and increased my global and critical thinking.

To sum up, the Humphrey Program has impacted my work as well as my personal life. I improved my leadership and planning skills, the long term organization of my work, the importance of a short and effective introduction of myself and my work, how to build and maintain a network, be tolerant and flexible in a heterogeneous society, the importance of the debate and discussion, be more generous, not to be afraid to think differently, and that I can start myself, to make a small change through my work and my personal life to build a better society. Therefore, with the HH Program I am better person.

My Perspectives on My Humphrey Year

by Nasr Alshamsi (Oman)

Since I have brought my family with me I believe it has been an amazing experience for them Nasr Alshamsiespecially for the children. My wife had the chance to take some courses in information technology and broaden her knowledge in this field. The children were able to learn English and meet new friends from the United States and other countries.

For the children at the ages of 5, 7 and 10 years old it is an experience and a kind of exploration for new worlds in one place and see how diverse Explorationis the world. Though they miss their home country sometimes, but they have enjoyed going to the school and to the Yolo library. We as a family had the chance to see the snow in Tahoe and visit the Disney Land during the winter break. In general, it is going to be an unforgotten memory for all of us.

Academically, it has been a great chance for me to take courses from UC Davis either for credit or just auditing. Here I found diversity of courses and topics that I can take to refresh my old information or enrich and open my mind to new topics and thoughts. I have been able to take and audit four courses three of them have relation to pest management and crop protection. In addition, being in direct contact with scientists in the academia will add to my communication network. Therefore, I think all this will add to my knowledge and experience something I might not notice now but it will definitely do in the future.

With regard to the professional affiliation it has been an experience to me and I personally gained new skills and learned several lessons in this regard. I learned how time and communication network are crucial and important, respectively, in order to achieve the goal of having an internship or doing any other business. Besides, the skill of presenting myself to others has improved. In fact it is a continuous learning process and the development of my resume at the beginning of this academic year has helped a lot. I have started my professional affiliation since April 8th with the California Crop Improvement Association (CCIA) here at UC Davis. I am learning now about the seed certification system in California with regard to seed quality and seed health in partial.
Plant inspection station

It also includes training at the USDA-APHIS Plant Inspection Station in Southern San Francisco about insect identification and inspection of imported plant propagation materials. In addition, I’ll have the chance to get training on using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique to examine for plant diseases here at one of the Pathology lab at UC Davis. All these together will definitely have an impact on my career and my proficiency in the near future. Furthermore, I believe the network of communication with new people and meeting with them will give the greatest benefit to my career and I hope it will positively be reflected on my profession in the future. This part of the program is crucial and beneficial to me and other fellows but I believe there shall be other alternatives to it, such as taking specific number of credit courses. This, from my perspective, will provide more area of choices to fulfill the requirements of the fellowship and at the same time reduce any pressure and save time.

Personally, it has also been a great experience to live in the United States, know Humphrey fellowsabout some of the local traditions and meet with new people from the United States as well as from several other countries. During this year, I have experienced several important events in the United States, such as the Presidential Election, and have lived the debate of “gun control” after what happened in Newtown in Connecticut. In addition, the Friday seminars and other seminars have opened my mind to new areas of science and thinking, have added other perspectives to consider when we deal with others and have given me some ideas to improve my personal characters.

In conclusion, the mixture of all these components and the enormous amount of information I have got will definitely play a great role in shaping my personality and my profession to a better level in the future.

Alumni map

Have You Checked Out the Alumni Map Yet?

Once again we would like to highlight our interactive alumni map. Just click on the country and scroll to see the names, areas of expertise and the link to the web pages of our diverse Humphrey Alumni. Individual web pages are currently available for Fellows in the program starting in 2009-2010.

Alumni News

Hugues Louis Jacques, Haiti (2011-2012)
Hugues says, “I am in Paris now to pursue my graduate studies in geography and territory planning. I benefit a scholarship from France Embassy in partnership with State University of Haiti. I will keep you posted about the progress in my graduate studies at the University of Paris 8. I hope to visit you in California before returning back home.”

Myo Aung Kyaw, Myanmar (2010-2011)
Myo writes, “I was recently elected Vice President of the Myanmar Rice Traders Association. It was the first election in decades Executive Committee Members were nominated democratically by voting. My country's political situation is changing day by day right now.”

Pericles Weber, Brazil (2009-2010)
I am very proud to inform that I was named to be the new Director of Sustainability of my company, Sanepar, by the Parana’s Governor. Sanepar is the company responsible for providing drinking water and sanitation services to 350 cities and 10 million people. Its annual revenue is around U$ 1 billion and one of the main Brazilian companies in the water sector.
I am sure that my Humphrey experience prepared me and gave me confidence to carry on this new position. All the leadership seminars, courses and information I got will be priceless for me. I am thankful to the American government, through Department of State, IIE, UC Davis and Fulbright Commission for this opportunity. I hope I can establish some partnerships with UC Davis, and American companies in order to meet Sanepar’s sustainability goals and enhance the Humphrey Program in Brazil.

Daniel Somma, Argentina (2001-2002)
Daniel writes, “I´m very happy to share some special news with you. Since February 1, 2013, as a result of an institutional and academic contest, I have become the new Regional Director for the regional center North Buenos Aires of INTA (the National Institute of Agricultural Technology). This regional center (CRBAN) is among the principal agricultural regions of the country and this position is a great honor and, at the same time, a great responsibility. Because I consider myself a UC Davis Aggie, I would like to share this achievement with all my friends at UC Davis, as a way to give thanks to UC Davis and its people for my time of scientific and managerial training there. That time in Davis was a very special period and I remember it as a very strong mark. Certainly, that stage was essential in my professional life.”

Current UC Davis Humphrey Fellow, Md. Mazharul Anower (Bangladesh) was recently featured in an article from the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), highlighting his work and the impact of rural development in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Business Expands by Training and Employing Women.

APPLY NOW - Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF)

AEIFTeam up with other members of International Exchange Alumni to develop projects and win up to $25,000 to make a difference in your world. Log into the International Exchange Alumni website and start building your project today!

Lasting Connections

Sometimes wonderful things happen with a single introduction. Illac Diaz (an MIT Humphrey Alumni, 2005-06) participated in the 2012 Year-End Retreat and was introduced to UC Davis Humphrey Coordinator, Gwynn Benner. Gwynn then introduced him to Brennan Bird Blazer, founder of the Peace on Earthbench Movement (POEM), which promotes creation of earthbenches made in part from plastic bag stuffed in recycled plastic bottles. Illac's organization "A Liter of Light" is using plastic bottles filled with water and chlorine to create natural sky lights for those without electricity. They are currently building a library and classroom, which is where the earthbenches were built.

Many Thanks to Our Supporters!

Our heartfelt thanks to all that make this program a success:
UC Davis University Outreach and International Programs Office

International House, Davis

UC Davis International English & Professional Programs Office