2019-2020 Luce Scholar

Michał Matejczuk is pursuing a Master of Professional Studies in Global Development with a concentration in International Agriculture and Rural Development at Cornell University. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a recipient of the 2018-19 James Beard Foundation National Scholars Award. Using his culinary prowess as a catalyst and inspiration for behavior change, Michał aspires to improve household nutritional models through the use of traditional food preservation and fortification practices from around the world. These methods, employed during both dry and rainy seasons, can help to combat global food insecurity and child malnutrition. He is conducting this research in Buvuma District, Uganda where he and his team are implementing multiple impact projects that aim to improve livelihoods and increase climate resilience of rural women farmers. Prior to his graduate study, Michał served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in Eastern Uganda as part of USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative, working across various sectors such as agribusiness, public health, and education. Michał managed various projects dealing in food security, environmental conservation and HIV/AIDS prevention, and worked with Olam International on its coffee supply chain. He also served as the national director of StartUp Uganda, a Peace Corps initiative promoting entrepreneurship and youth empowerment throughout rural communities. With financing from the World Wildlife Fund, Michał led the Ichupa Upcycle Project, which, as an effort to address growing water scarcity due to climate change, used discarded plastic bottles collected from around the community as raw material for constructing rainwater harvesting systems. The nine rainwater catchment tanks built by the project utilized over 30,000 plastic bottles, and created a total holding capacity of more than 40,000L for rainwater throughout the community of Mbale, Uganda.