A university research agenda offers the opportunity to generate knowledge that can uncover solutions to some of our greatest global challenges. The Hunger Solutions Institute is committed to keeping food and nutrition security at the top of the research agenda at Auburn University by supporting and collaborating with our talented Affiliated Faculty in all disciplines. HSI also creates multi-university research opportunities through PUSH at universities around the world.
A university research agenda offers the opportunity to generate knowledge that can uncover solutions to some of our greatest global challenges. For many universities food security, nutrition and hunger issues have risen to the top of the agenda. Additionally, universities have faculty and students from a variety of disciplines trained in research techniques and skills to help frontline practitioners in vetting innovations that can be shared as best practices. As part of the College of Human Sciences, HSI is able to tap into a rich base of existing and emerging human sustainability and nutrition research, as well as benefit from proximity to its newly formed Center for Health Ecology Research.
Through PUSH the Hunger Solutions Institute has also worked with a number of international organizations, such as the International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI), the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to convene researchers and share best practices with practitioners on the front lines of hunger.
A unique aspect of the Universities Fighting World Hunger model is its emphasis on educating students about hunger and ways to solve it as a foundation before they are encouraged to mobilize and act. Auburn University has developed one of the only Hunger Studies minors in the country. Students representing every discipline – from agriculture to marketing, from finance to design – are welcome to apply their major studies in cross-disciplinary classes that interactively study and discuss how to solve hunger. The course is also available for credit online, and an online Hunger Certificate is also available.
The Hunger Studies curriculum is also available online as an independent study format. Here students will examine hunger as a complex issue of sustainable human development. Topics include causes and consequences of U.S. and global hunger, as well as current responses and potential solutions. This course will help students develop a skill set for global citizenship that includes opportunities for advocacy, leadership and critical problem solving. Students will also learn to apply critical thinking skills in addressing hunger as a multi-disciplinary, complex social issue. The certificate includes six units of study, and upon successful completion students will receive a Hunger Awareness Certificate from Auburn University’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education.
A study abroad experience is invaluable in preparing graduates to compete successfully in today’s global economy. Dean June Henton, realizing how critical it is to prepare global citizens has made a goals of having 50 percent of Human Sciences students graduate with academic credit for study abroad over the next five years.
Current CHS-sponsored group travel locations include South Africa, the Bahamas, Cuba, Jordan, Korea, Fiji, and Auburn’s only permanent year-round overseas campus, Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy. Additionally, through Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy, students have the unique opportunity to pursue a consolidated one-semester International Minor in Human Sciences, the only such program on the Auburn campus.
Of these programs, four are focused on food security:
Auburn Abroad in Italy which takes advantage of its Rome location to visit the UN’s three agencies that focus on food security;
Auburn Abroad in Cuba which offers students a 14-day cross country tour looking at food security past, present and future;
Auburn Abroad in South Africa which emphasizes multi-cultural and multi-discipline learning; and
Auburn Abroad Mediterranean Diet where students explore the unique nutritional aspects of common chronic disease, and engage in a variety of hands-on learning experiences integrating the nutrition science of the Mediterranean eating patterns with a gratifying, international food and beverage experience.