Media Contact: Dr. Angel Cruz, CEFS Academic and Extension Initiatives Manager: 919-513-0954 or

Raleigh, NC: The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) has announced the 2019-2020 recipients of its NC State Graduate Student Fellowships.  The CEFS NC State University Graduate Fellows Program was developed to provide financial support and recognition for the future leaders, researchers and contributors to sustainable agriculture and local food systems while they pursue academic research to further the field of study.

The Fellowship offers a one-year, $5,000 stipend for Master’s students and a two-year, $5,000-per-year stipend for Doctoral students.

“This year was extremely competitive with more than twenty applications for only two spots. It’s exciting to see so many brilliant young scientists dedicated to sustainable agriculture and local food systems in North Carolina. We look forward to seeing where their career paths lead and supporting them along the way,” says Angel Cruz, CEFS Academic and Extension Initiatives Manager.

The CEFS NC State Graduate Fellowship Program was made possible by an endowment from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

The 2019-2020 CEFS NC State University Graduate Fellows and their departments/research areas are:

Hannah Levenson | Ph.D. Candidate | Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

Pollinators are facing pressures from a wide range of factors – such as habitat loss, increased monoculture, and pathogens – which can lead to severe population declines. To combat this, providing pollinators with planted habitat has become an increasingly popular conservation method; however, there are still many knowledge gaps on the impact of this conservation method. Hannah’s research evaluates these impacts by surveying native bee populations at planted habitat across the state over time, which will result in the most detailed survey of native bees in NC to date. Additionally, Hannah is evaluating pollinator health at the habitats as well as the effect the presence of this habitat has on nearby crop pollination and the resulting yield. Results from this research will fill important knowledge gaps and aid in making future conservation decisions.

Timothy Clark | Ph.D. Candidate | Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Timothy is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at North Carolina State University. His dissertation research examines the disparate effects of economic development on labor and ecology in aquatic food systems and communities. His work connects supply chain management to other issues of social justice, such as food security and community economic well-being.  In the coming years, he hopes to learn more about local seafood supply chains and the potential for increasing ties across them so as to encourage sustainable food system growth. Timothy earned his Master’s in Sustainability Studies at Texas State University, where he studied how city governments implement policies related to sustainability, social equity, and food security.

For more information about the CEFS NC State University Graduate Fellows Program, please visit the CEFS website.

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems is a partnership of NC State University, NC Agricultural and Technical State University and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CEFS develops and promotes just and equitable food and farming systems that conserve natural resources, strengthen communities, improve health outcomes, and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond. For more information, please visit

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