Christina Kae, M.A. Food Studies

Bioversity International, Italy

The internship I have completed was through Bioversity International in the nutrition division. I first heard about said internship through an email that was circulated by American University of Rome’s Food Studies program director, Maria Grazia Quieti. I was extremely interested in working for Bioversity International as well as conducting work that was close to the context of the classes I took during my time obtaining my undergraduate degree. This was due to the fact that I was extremely interested in the topic and wanted to focus my thesis and future endeavors in the realm of improvement of diets/nutrition.

Bioversity International stood out to me when the director general came to a visit at the American University of Rome and conducted a lecture for the faculty and staff. The fact that the organization focuses on improving environmental conditions while improving diets and looking at the biodiversity that was already present in the area fit in with how I sought to address the issues of food insecurity, land degradation, and biodiversity loss. Bioversity International’s headquarters are stationed here in Rome; however, they have offices across the globe. This includes Europe, Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. The organization’s initiatives are focused on a number of key topics including: healthy diets; farms, forests, landscapes and genetic resources, and their research portfolio addresses a wide variety of issues including: adaptation to climate change, agricultural ecosystems, banana genetic resources and management systems, conservation of crop diversity, diet diversity, forest and tree crop diversity, markets for diverse species and policies for plant diversity management.

The experience that I have gained from this internship is incredible; to be able to learn more about myself and my abilities in research and in the workforce are worth more than I can imagine. This worth cannot even begin to include my understanding of the way that the CGIAR centers in particular operate, along with the knowledge gained on how programs are brought about, implemented and reported. Having established connections with lead researchers in the field of my current and future interest is something that I cannot put a value on as well. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that I have received from the American University of Rome and from Bioversity International. I can only hope that I will take all the lessons that I have learned with me in all my future endeavors.