Global Affairs Seed Grant Projects to College of Letters and Science Aim to Solve Global Challenges

Some of the project teams that received Grants for Advancing Sustainable Development.
Some of the project teams that received Grants for Advancing Sustainable Development. (Courtesy of UC Davis Global Affairs)

Projects bring together researchers from across UC Davis and the world.

Through annual grants from UC Davis Global Affairs, faculty in the College of Letters and Science provide students with global learning experiences and work toward goals such as ending hunger and eradicating inequalities. This year’s projects feature collaborations across UC Davis and institutions worldwide, fostering partnerships that will advance groundbreaking research. The College's Global Affairs awards for 2021 are highlighted below.

2021 Grants for Advancing Sustainable Development Goals Projects

Culturally Diverse Participatory Public Plant Breeding: Supporting Farmers of the Asian Diaspora

Award recipients: Ga Young Chung, assistant professor of Asian American studies in the College of Letters and Science; E. Charles Brummer, professor of plant sciences and director of the Center for Plant Breeding in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and Katharina Ullmann, director of the Student Farm in the Agricultural Sustainability Institute.

The team plans to build a collaboration between UC Davis’ departments of Plant Sciences and Asian American Studies, the UC Davis Student Farm, along with Namu Farm, a farm focused on Korean vegetables based in Winters, California, and the state’s Asian Diaspora community. Since the diets of people around the world are culturally diverse, the team hopes to build more understanding and begin to develop a public breeding program that accounts for culturally relevant foods, addresses food security, and broadens the education of UC Davis students in participating in this work.

Migrant Citizenship for Inclusive Societies

Award recipients: Jeannette Money, professor of political science in the College of Letters and Science; Gabriel ‘Jack’ Chin, the Edward L. Barrett, Jr. Chair and Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor in the School of Law; Anna Boucher, associate professor of government and international relations at the University of Sydney in Australia; and Le Ahn Nguyen Long, assistant professor of behavioral, management and social science at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. 

Knowing access to citizenship represents one important avenue for providing migrants with equal opportunity within an inclusive society, the team’s project seeks to identify and help international migrants navigate legal barriers to acquiring citizenships. The team plans to build institutional partnerships while combining theoretical and policy components to identify determinants of states’ naturalization legislation and to better understand migrant decision-making on whether or not to naturalize. These findings will helpgenerate recommendations to facilitate change and to enhance knowledge of citizenship opportunities.

Community Mentorship Program Pilot for Radical and Relational Approaches to Inuit Food Security

Award recipients: Jessica Bissett Perea, assistant professor of Native American studies in the College of Letters and Science; Maria Marco, professor of food science and technology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Stephanie Maroney, postdoctoral scholar and program manager for the Mellon Public Scholars Program in the Humanities Institute; and Aviaja Hauptmann, postdoctoral scholar at the University of Greenland.

The team is using the grant to engage in inclusive and collaborative transdisciplinary research with international communities and university partners to better understand, document, and share traditional Inuit subsistence lifeways and food preparation methods as a means to advance food security in the circumpolar Arctic. Their work blends scientific approaches, such as emphasizing microbiology in homes, with arts and humanities approaches that are Indigenous-led and Indigeneity-centered.

Greenland research project
From left to right: Sakæus Uumaaq Hendriksen, Nukappiakkuluk Hendriksen, Aviaja Hauptmann, Patdloq Hendriksen and Ilannguaq Hendriksen working to advance food security in Siorapaluk, North Greenland (Avanersuaq). (Courtesy of Daniel Lyberth Hauptmann)

Student Farms Around the World: Learning While Feeding Communities

Award recipients: Katharina Ullmann, director of the Student Farm in the Agricultural Sustainability Institute; Maria Cecilia Colombi, professor of Spanish in the College of Letters and Science; and Amanda Crump, assistant professor of plant sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Their project brings together student farms and student farmers at UC Davis and the University of Talca in Chile to understand challenges, help each other using interdisciplinary and systems-based perspectives, and organize a Global Student Farm Symposium, building on work underway in collaboration with the Global Education for All Student Fellows. In addition to focusing on food production, the international collaboration will center around agroecological principles, community, and recognizing students as key leaders in pushing boundaries.

2021 Global Affairs Seed Grants for International Activities Projects

The Design and Implementation of an Online Corpus Query Tool for Spanish Learners’ Errors (Spain)

Award recipients: Claudia Sánchez-Gutiérrez, assistant professor of Spanish in the College of Letters and Science; Agustina Carando, assistant professor of Spanish in the  College of Letters and Science; and Kenji Sagae, assistant professor of linguistics in the College of Letters and Science. Supported by the Richard F. Walters Seed Grant.

Integrating Cognitive and Cultural Approaches to Empower Youth Against Misinformation (Georgia)

Award recipient: Narine Yegiyan (Associate Professor of Communication, College of Letters and Science).

— Adapted from a story by Bonnie Shea, executive director of communications and marketing, Global Affairs

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