Ellen Bornhorst Houghton, Mich. / 26 Biological and Agricultural Engineering PhD, 2016, MS, 2013 Washington State University Biosystems Engineering, Food Engineering concentration BS, 2011 Michigan State University Education is more than just grades. In addition to excelling academically, it’s important to be globally aware and give back to the local and world communities through volunteering and professional service. As an undergrad, I was involved with the MSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders. This experience confirmed the complexity of global issues, especially in developing countries, and the importance of good communication in solving international problems. As the world becomes more interconnected, especially in the food industry, the ability to work with both professionals and laypeople is important, which is why I pursued experiences in Peru and Puerto Rico. An intensive six-week study abroad in Cusco included a home stay with a Peruvian family, classes in Spanish and Peruvian history and culture, and weekend trips to cultural and historical sites. I still marvel at the Incan architecture! My time in Peru helped shape my outlook on world challenges—pollution, climate change, and hunger. I also volunteered for an alternative spring break in Puerto Rico, doing community service in El Yunque National Rainforest, which demonstrated the complexity of environmental issues and the key role education plays in solving globally interconnected problems. My professional goal is to conduct research that challenges me intellectually and advances solutions to current societal needs for a safe, high-quality food supply. I hope to conduct research on the application of novel processing technologies to improve the safety, quality, and nutritional value of food.
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