Food Security and Agroforestry Specialist- Peace Corps in Zambia
Education: Bakery Science and Management
Graduation Year: 2016
Cristina applied for the Peace Corps nine months before her graduation in the Fall of 2016. She was inspired to join Peace Corps after Dr. Sajid Alavi and Dr. Nina Lilya organized a two-week study abroad trip to Mozambique & South Africa. On the trip, she had the opportunity to see all different forms of aid and how her experience in the grain science department could help those in Africa. Since arriving in Zambia and working with local Zambians, she has been able to teach women's groups about nutrition and increase food diversity, which has ultimately led to food security. She also teaches at the local school by doing demonstrations in the school garden. "It's challenging living in a village with no running water or electricity and feel the immediate effects of climate change in hot season. However, the fact that I get to see the impact I am making in Zambia by working alongside village farmers makes it rewarding."
Cristina completed two summer internships with different companies in bakery science. During her internship with Bimbo Bakeries in Madison, Wisconsin, she worked to improve efficiency in the bakery by creating communication boards and modifying processes. Her second internship was with Kroger Manufacturing in Columbus, Ohio. She was a quality assurance intern and worked on improving flavors and textures of tortilla chips and cookies. Cristina's biggest takeaway from these experiences was that without collaboration and teamwork, there can't be success. Cristina was also very involved in the bakery science club on campus at K-State.
Cristina studied abroad in Spain for a semester during her time at K-State. "Studying abroad for a semester in Spain taught me so much about myself and flexibility. I really enjoyed living with a Spanish family that helped me to learn the language and explore new places. After such an incredible experience abroad, I looked into living abroad post graduation."