Nowicki headshot

Leland Fellow

Marisa Nowicki

10th Class, 2019-2021

[email protected]

Marisa Nowicki is from McKinney, Texas. She has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Texas. In addition, Marisa has a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. In graduate school, her capstone was a client project for 412 Food Rescue, which resulted in a comprehensive, replicable model to reduce food waste and improve food security in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Outside of the classroom, Marisa has work experience with the U.S. House of Representatives, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and the U.S. Department of State. Marisa aspires to have a career where she applies behavioral science to major global issues, such as food security, human trafficking, and poverty alleviation.

Host Organization: Bioversity International

First Year Placement
Nairobi, Kenya

In her first year, Marisa worked as the Policy Analyst and Behavior Change Specialist for Bioversity International in Nairobi, Kenya. Marisa and her team launched a three-year research project aimed at improving dietary diversity in Turkana County, Kenya through community-led agri-nutrition projects. Marisa helped improve upon this project by analyzing their previous project for lessons learned. For example, Marisa analyzed the potential spillover effects from community-led approaches, and then identified how that phenomena could be measured in future baseline surveys. This process includes extensive research, on-site focus groups with past and present participants, coordination with local academics, and numerous key stakeholder interviews with government officials. Lastly, Marisa collaborated on a food environment study. On this project, Marisa was tasked with designing a vendor analysis tool, training enumerators on how to use it, and supervising data collection.

Second Year Placement
Nairobi, Kenya

Marisa’s second year placement is a continuation of her current work. Her host organization has since merged into The Alliance of Bioversity International & CIAT. Her team operates within the Food Environment and Consumer Behavior Lever. This year, Marisa and her team will continue implementing their community-led, agri-nutrition project in Turkana County. Her work includes completing a food environment study, conducting education activities with community members, collaborating with policymakers, and writing research documents.

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