Stella Salvo, a PhD candidate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics, is passionate about international development. In 2012, she spent a month in Mali working as a volunteer in a farmer-to-farmer technology transfer program to improve best practices and entrepreneurship in hybrid seed production. That year she also founded a UW-Madison chapter of the national non-profit One Acre Fund to help raise awareness on campus about the issues surrounding international development and sustainable agriculture. (Please note: this student org is now in transition.)
Salvo’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2012, she was awarded a high-profile national honor: the President’s Volunteer Service Award. She also received the National Council for Commercial Plant Breeders Graduate Student Award that year, in part to recognize her research on tissue culture traits in maize, work that is helping to lay the foundation for crop improvement applications in biotechnology.