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Rachel Bezner Kerr Wins the CALS Early Achievement Award

November 16, 2016

Dean Kathryn J. Boor and Rachel Bezner Kerr

On Monday, Nov. 7, Dean Kathryn J. Boor presented Rachel Bezner Kerr with the Early Achievement Award. Bezner Kerr is an associate professor in the department of development sociology. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell in 2006, and, after working at the University of Western Ontario, she returned Cornell to teach in 2012.

Bezner Kerr’s research has been dedicated to Malawi for over a decade, taking every opportunity to change the conversation around food, agriculture, nutrition, and development in the twenty-first century. She combines an understanding of agronomy and nutrition with social scientific perspectives, and researches the possibilities of low-input, agro-ecological methods of farming in ensuring food security in rural regions, especially in the shadow of climate change.

As the director of the Malawi Farmer-to-Farmer Agro-Ecology Project and a four-year project on climate change adaptation for improved food security and nutrition, Bezner Kerr has generated interest from the Ministry of Agriculture and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in his 2013 Malawi Report. Her time and energy also extends to service across the college. She’s the research coordinator of the Soils, Food, and Healthy Community organization in Malawi; an Einaudi International Faculty Fellow; a member of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Atkinson Center; and co-chair of the ESS Major Committee.

The Early Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership or scholarship in applied or basic research, extension, outreach, integration of science-based knowledge into public policy, or service to the College and University during their initial years at Cornell.

Bezner Kerr joined 12 other CALS faculty and staff who received awards that night in different categories that highlighted the best and brightest of CALS. Learn more about the winners here.