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Hawaii, Virginia Tech students win Syngenta Ag Scholarship

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University of Hawaii master’s student Aimee Uyehara and Virginia Tech University bachelor’s student Abigail Han are the national winners of the fourth annual Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship.

Uyehara and Han were selected out of more than 100 eligible applicants who crafted essays about the importance of diversity and inclusion to the future of the agriculture industry. Applicants were also asked to identify opportunities for Syngenta and other industry leaders to foster and encourage diversity in ag.

“Aimee and Abigail are excellent student ambassadors for agriculture,” said Mary Streett DeMers, senior communications lead, Syngenta. “Both of these future leaders are deserving of this award and we are excited to see how they will foster diversity in the industry as they embark on their careers.”

Uyehara and Han each received $6,000 in national awards, in addition to the $1,000 received earlier this fall when selected as regional winners, to assist them in meeting financial obligations and ultimately realizing their educational and career goals.

“Agriculture is, itself, a diverse science,” said DeMers. “It’s important that the diversity which fuels our industry is also represented in its people.”

Uyehara shares in her essay that one of the best ways to promote diversity in organizations is to “support current diverse employees in the industry and advertise their accomplishments as an example for future generations.”

“Being selected as a national winner is affirmation that I am wanted and can succeed in the agricultural field as an urban, mixed race woman,” said Han. “It is such a great feeling to know I am encouraged to pursue the path that I am on and I am so grateful to Syngenta for that.”

Six additional students were each awarded a $1,000 regional scholarship prize. Recipients included bachelor’s students, Caylen Goldsberry (Tuskegee University), Isabella Usenza (University of Kentucky), and Andrew Hanson (University of California, Davis), and master’s students, Jacobo Sanchez (Texas Tech University), Lindsay Overmyer (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), and Kaitlyn Orde (University of New Hampshire).

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