Elaine Albertson (BS and MS '12) was named the 2012 Whitley Citizen Scholar for her work in urban food systems and sustainable development. As an undergraduate, Elaine engaged in and led environmental activism efforts at Stanford. She was engaged in student groups including Students for a Sustainable Stanford and the Green Living Council. She also served as the student government (ASSU) Chair of Sustainability Initiatives, founding the Stanford Green Store to make eco-friendly products more available to the student body.
As a junior, Elaine enjoyed the opportunity to study abroad through Stanford's Bing Overseas Studies Program in Madrid, Spain and Cape Town, South Africa. While in Cape Town, Elaine discovered her passion for anti-poverty work as a service-learner with a local nonprofit organization supporting urban agriculture projects. Elaine subsequently returned to South Africa to partner with the same organization and conduct community-based research on knowledge systems in urban agriculture. While at Stanford, Elaine also worked as a research assistant studying community-based fisheries management in Hawaii and Cameroonian urban meat trade. She also spent a summer as a science communications intern with the National Park Service in Marin.
Throughout her Stanford career Elaine mentored local youth through the Stanford Haas Center's Science in Service program. In her senior and coterminal years she pursued her passions for language and adult education by volunteering as an English tutor through El Centro Chicano's Habla program. As a coterminal MS student Elaine also worked as an on-campus student advisor to the Bing Overseas Studies Program, helping to prepare students for the abroad experience. She also worked as a teaching assistant (TA) for Introduction to Earth Systems and Concepts of Urban Agriculture.
Elaine's other awards and honors include the Dean's Award for Undergraduate Achievement, election to Phi Beta Kappa, and several undergraduate research grants. In addition to her Earth Systems degrees she holds a minor in modern languages with a focus on French and Spanish. Elaine will continue working towards food security and sustainable economic development in the US as a 2012-2013 Emerson National Hunger Fellow.