Announcing the Summer 2020 Zero Hunger Interns

Updates, Zero Hunger

We are delighted to announce the 2020 cohort of Zero Hunger Interns, who will dedicate their summer to learning about solutions to domestic and global hunger and developing the necessary skills to be effective anti-hunger leaders. The 15 talented, committed members of the cohort were selected from over 300 applicants, and will be placed with organizations working to promote food security in the United States and around the world.

"I'm excited to start working with these fifteen exceptional individuals," said Sam Stevens, who manages the program. "I'm also grateful that, while many summer internships and programs have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have been able to adapt the internship to a virtual setting while maintaining our dedication to training the effective leaders we will need to address food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic, and beyond."

Normally a ten-week summer internship in Washington, D.C., the coronavirus pandemic has moved this year's internship into the virtual world. Interns will still be expanding their host organization's capacity to address hunger and developing their leadership skills through remote projects, virtual learning sessions, and an online Seminar Series. "We are especially thankful for our partner organizations who will host our interns remotely this summer, and to the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation for their continued support of the program," said Stevens. "Their flexibility coupled with their commitment to leadership development and serving vulnerable communities allow our program to continue, despite challenging circumstances."

Meet the Zero Hunger Interns


Alma Mater

Sandrine Bakuramutsa Michigan State University
Mary Jane Builes American University
Jaylah Davis University of Michigan
Gasana Elyvine Michigan State University
Alyssa Fortner Mercer University
Jacob Ivey Berry College
Khiem Nguyen University of Southern California
Hinal Patel Mercer University
Emma Peterson Lindsey Wilson College
Britney Powell University of Oklahoma
Aedan Raleigh Siena College
Ivan Ruiz-Hernandez University of Georgia
Jessi Russell Wesleyan University
Paige Swanson North Carolina State University
Erin Warren Villanova Univeristy

Sandrine Bakuramutsa

Alma Mater: Michigan State University
Course of Study: Food Science & Food Industry Management
Hometown: Gakenke, Rwanda
Placement: NCBA/CLUSA

"This summer, I am looking forward to amplifying my knowledge on anti-hunger and food security policy making, project management and advocacy that centers the lived experiences of marginalized people. Participating in this internship program will also give me a platform to improve problem solving skills, critical thinking, and communication skills."


Mary Jane Builes

Alma Mater: American University
Course of Study: International Studies
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Placement: Share Our Strength / No Kid Hungry

"The Zero Hunger Internship Program is an amazing gateway into learning about food insecurity from a grassroots to a policy level, I am excited to do more research on food justice and equity."


Jaylah Davis

Alma Mater: University of Michigan
Course of Study: Political Science; International Studies
Hometown: Muskegon Heights, Mich.
Placement: Alliance to End Hunger

"This summer, I am excited to participate in the Zero Hunger Internship Program, because it will give me an opportunity to enhance my advocacy and research skills, gain a better understanding of the current global economic and health disparities, and play an active role in the fight to end global hunger."


Gasana Elyvine

Alma Mater: Michigan State University
Course of Study: Nutritional Sciences; Women and Gender Studies
Hometown: Kigali, Rwanda
Placement: CARE

"I strongly believe that hunger and poverty can be terminated. Through Zero Hunger Internship, I will be able to gain skills that will help me to be part of the force that made it their mission to eradicate hunger and poverty."


Alyssa Fortner

Alma Mater: Mercer University
Course of Study: International Affairs; Global Development; Anthropology
Hometown: Chickamauga, Ga.
Placement: Oxfam America

"Through the Zero Hunger Internship Program, I am excited to cultivate my skills as a researcher and advocate within the NGO sector. I look forward to helping address agriculture, food security, and climate change globally, especially in regard to COVID-19."


Jacob Ivey

Alma Mater: Berry College
Course of Study: History; Studio Art; Business
Hometown: Cleveland, Ga.
Placement: National League of Cities

"I am excited to learn this summer about the different ways I can better serve communities dealing with issues of hunger and poverty through policy and advocacy, as well as how to apply these policies in real-world settings."


Khiem Nguyen

Alma Mater: University of Southern California
Course of Study: Global Health; Psychology; Law
Hometown: Suisun City, Calif.
Placement: International Food Policy Research Institute

"I am excited for the Zero Hunger Internship because of the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and to advocate for a hunger-free world."

Headshot of Khiem Nguyen

Hinal Patel

Alma Mater: Mercer University
Course of Study: International Relations & Global Development; Political Science
Hometown: Kathleen, Ga.
Placement: InterAction

"I look forward to learning about how global and domestic hunger policy can affect minorities and immigrant families, as well as the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted these groups in the U.S. and around the world."

Headshot of Hinal Patel

Emma Peterson

Alma Mater: Lindsey Wilson College
Course of Study: Political Science; Sustainability and Environmental Health Studies; Spanish
Hometown: Columbia, Ky.
Placement: Congressional Hunger Center

"I am excited to participate in the Zero Hunger Internship Program because it will help me learn new ways I can help my community tackle issues related to poverty and hunger."

Headshot of Emma Peterson

Britney Powell

Alma Mater: University of Oklahoma
Course of Study: Accounting; Finance; Criminal Justice
Hometown: Norman, Okla.
Placement: Food Research & Action Center

"I am excited to learn more about making policies to prevent hunger and presenting my own ideas about using food waste to help out students in need."

Headshot of Britney Powell

Aedan Raleigh

Alma Mater: Siena College
Course of Study: Economics; Certificate in Community Development
Hometown: Warwick, N.Y.
Placement: Congressional Hunger Center

"I am excited to join the Zero Hunger Internship program this summer to better inform my future career plans in international development and sustainability, and network with those involved in such a crucial issue in this field."

Headshot of Aedan Raleigh

Ivan Ruiz-Hernandez

Alma Mater: University of Georgia
Course of Study: International Affairs; Horticulture
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Placement: ACDI/VOCA

"As an incoming young professional hoping to be involved the discussion of addressing global hunger, I am excited to be working for ACDI/VOCA, and I look forward to the opportunity of better understanding how international development agencies function."

Headshot of Ivan Ruiz-Hernandez

Jessi Russell

Alma Mater: Wesleyan University
Course of Study: English; Political Science
Hometown: Athens, Tenn.
Placement: RESULTS

"The Zero Hunger Internship promised the chance to link my personal and professional experiences of hunger to federal anti-hunger policy. I am excited to learn how anti-hunger advocacy in D.C. alters the programs that I benefited from as a child."

Headshot of Jessi Russell

Paige Swanson

Alma Mater: North Carolina State University
Course of Study: Applied Nutrition; Science, Technology and Society; Nonprofit Studies
Hometown: Pawleys Island, S.C.
Placement: Food Recovery Network

"I'm excited to learn more about the connection between food waste, hunger, and advocacy among college students."

Headshot of Paige Swanson

Erin Warren

Alma Mater: Villanova University
Course of Study: Global Interdisciplinary Studies; Global Health
Hometown: Wilmington, Del.
Placement: International Food Policy Research Institute

"Through the Zero Hunger Internship Program, I am excited to gain knowledge from: policy and research experts, program mentors, and fellow interns, which will help me advocate for anti-hunger and malnutrition efforts from a robust and diverse collection of resources."

Headshot of Erin Warren

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