First recipients of scholarship honoring food security advocate David Lambert named at Borlaug Dialogue Symposium

Fritz portrait
Katelyn Fritz

AMES, Iowa — An Iowa State University sophomore and junior studying global hunger issues are the first recipients of a new endowed scholarship honoring global food security advocate David Lambert.

Katelyn Fritz from Pleasant Hill and Michelle Friedmann of Mendota Heights, Minnesota, were named recipients of the David Lambert ‘Hunger Fighter’ Memorial Scholarship, that honors his efforts in addressing global food security and malnutrition during his lifetime. The presentation was made during a luncheon held in conjunction with the World Food Prize’s 2016 Borlaug Dialogue international symposium.

“David Lambert, a passionate advocate for the hungry, malnourished and deprived and a great friend to me, passed away a year ago while attending the World Food Prize,” said Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize. “The scholarship established in his memory by the Seed Science Center of Iowa State University will continue David's heartfelt mission of inspiring the next generation of young scientists.”

“This scholarship honors David Lambert in the most appropriate way,” said Manjit Misra director of Iowa State’s Seed Science Center. “David was a kind and generous man. He was a Distinguished Fellow for our center, an avid supporter of the World Food Prize and a tireless hunger fighter. David committed his life to developing policy to fight malnutrition to make that goal a reality. These two individuals exemplify the principles that he stood for.”

Fritz, a sophomore studying agronomy and global resource systems, began her journey to fight hunger during her junior year of high school when she was selected to serve as an Iowa Youth Delegate to the World Food Prize’s Global Youth Institute. Shortly thereafter, on a mission trip to Guatemala, Fritz said she had her first opportunity to witness hunger firsthand.

“Nothing prepared me for the first time I looked into the eyes of a child whose growth was stunted from a lack of nutrients,” she said. Fritz went on to serve as a Borlaug-Ruan International Intern at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. There she worked on a project to biofortify rice to combat zinc deficiencies.

Friedmann is a biological systems engineering sophomore focusing on food engineering and food science. She serves as a member of the executive committee of Engineers Without Borders ISU and is part of a team that is working to develop a sustainable solution for a water dam and irrigation system for farmers in Ullo, Ghana.

“The community has no form of irrigation system and relies on buckets to water their crops,” she says. Friedmann plans to travel to Ghana to help design and install an irrigation system that will provide area smallholders with a much-needed water supply .

Funded by contributions from Lambert’s family and friends, and administered by the Seed Science Center at Iowa State, the $1,000 scholarship was designed to be awarded to one sophomore or junior each year who exhibits a demonstrated interest in seed science, global food security and/or childhood nutrition on the basis of academic excellence, leadership skills and interpersonal skills.

This year, however, according to Susana Goggi, an Iowa State agronomy associate professor who heads up the selection committee, two individuals were identified to receive the award. “When the committee reviewed this year’s candidates, there were two students who clearly stood out as being exceptionally deserving of the scholarship,” Goggi said.

The Seed Science Center is a center of excellence in seeds at Iowa State University. Its mission is to improve the production, quality assurance, marketing, utilization and regulatory environment of seed through research, testing, teaching, outreach and international programs.

Friedmann portrait
Michelle Friedmann