Elaine grew up in Woodinville, Washington, and graduated from Stanford University in 2012 with B.S. and M.S. degrees in interdisciplinary earth systems science. As an undergraduate she did national-level public opinion research with the Political Psychology Research Group, and through various projects helped map local food systems in both Hawaii and California. As a master’s student, she partnered with a South African nonprofit to conduct community-based research on urban farming knowledge systems. Elaine was the 2012 recipient of the William Whitley Citizen-Scholar Award.
Field placement: Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
Elaine supported four farmers’ markets that work to increase access to local, healthy food for low-income consumers. She researched and developed innovative evaluation methodologies that community organizations can use to track the impact that farmers’ markets have on nutrition, food access, social capital, and civic participation.
Policy placement: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Elaine researched opportunities for the Office of Early Childhood Development to support American Indian and Alaska Native child health and nutrition. She conducted a literature review and interviewed federal and tribal leaders to assess the state of child health and nutrition in Indian country. Elaine also researched the scope of federal nutrition programs operating in tribal communities and explored opportunities for enhanced collaboration between federal programs serving Native children.