She received her BS in Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications in 1999, MS in Crop in Soil Sciences in 2001, and PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics in 2007, all from Michigan State University (MSU). While in grad school, she studied maize breeding in Zimbabwe as intern at Pannar Seeds.
She began her career in 2008 as a fixed-term assistant professor and program coordinator in MSU’s Institute of International Agriculture (IIA) in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and the World Technology Access Program (WorldTAP). She designed and implemented training and capacity building programs for international agricultural professionals both in the US and abroad in the areas of intellectual property rights (IPR), technology transfer, and commercialization. In 2010, she joined the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) Department at MSU and added bioenergy and biofuels capacity building to her portfolio.
In 2013, she changed roles to work as a proposal development specialist in MSU’s International Studies and Programs (ISP) in the Office of International Research Collaboration (OIRC), which became Global Innovations in Development, Engagement, and Scholarship (Global IDEAS) in 2020. During that time she also served as a data analyst, providing reports for MSU leadership on the university’s international activities.
In February 2022, she returned to her roots in CANR and international development and capacity building as a Global Network Specialist, and was appointed as a Global Scholar in Outreach/Extension in 2023. In addition to her IPR work, she is developing a program in Science Communication for fellow Global Scholars and for international professionals.
Her dream is a world free from hunger and poverty, and her goal is to be part of the solution through agricultural capacity building and training programs. She is passionate about innovations getting into the hands of those who need them most, and improving the livelihoods of both the innovators and end users.
She has worked in nine countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Apart from her work at MSU, from 2014-2019, she also provided independent editing and writing consulting services under Callista Rakhmatov Consulting.