MPS Class of 2024, Global Development
- Grand challenge: Resilient communities and agroecosystems; adaptability to change; transformed approaches to relief frameworks
- Where she calls home: San Diego, California, USA
- Connect: rtr45 [at] cornell.edu () | LinkedIn
Rhealynn Ravarra has used her background in plant science to advocate for equitable and sustainable food systems at the local level. Throughout her work as a researcher, educator, and program coordinator, she has preserved a curiosity and passion for nurturing the relationships between plants, people, and their communities. Interpreting resilience as the capacity for change, she is interested in examining the intersections of agroecology and community resilience. Through the MPS in Global Development Program, she would like to explore how integrated approaches to food-system management could help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change and societal shifts. She seeks to elevate local knowledge, increase social capital, and challenge the relief paradigms used to address food-security in displaced communities.
Prior to Cornell, Rhealynn received a Bachelor of Science from California Polytechnic State University in Agricultural and Environmental Plant Science, where she focused on sustainable fruit and crop production. She worked for the Cal Poly Strawberry Center as a research assistant in strawberry pathology, and for her senior thesis, she co-developed experimental trials that tested the efficacy of Blue N Biofertilizer in organic crop production. Following her research, she worked as an educator connecting youth with urban agroecosystems and served in AmeriCorps as the Community Garden Specialist at Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden— a space for refugees and asylum seekers to connect and grow culturally-relevant food.