Fortifying food and scholarship

A masked woman shops in the dairy aisle of a grocery store

The Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) is celebrating 18 years of partnership with Rollins. Founded in 2002 by Dr. Glen Maberly, former chair of the Department of International Health, and based out of Rollins, FFI helps countries build and strengthen food fortification programs. Food fortification is a proven intervention to prevent the devastating consequences of micronutrient malnutrition, which includes maternal death and birth defects. 

At Rollins, FFI provides students and faculty with an opportunity to apply classroom learning to make lasting public health change. Over the 18-year span, FFI has employed 53 graduate students (including 24 through the Rollins Earn and Learn program), supervised 21 master’s theses and 8 practica, and guest lectured for six courses. The Rollins-FFI partnership continues after students leave the classroom, with 10 alumni having supported FFI’s work as employees, consultants, and volunteers.

Many students leverage their time at FFI to jumpstart their careers. Jonathan Barkely 14MPH says, “The projects I completed at FFI advanced my research and analysis skills and helped me land a full-time epidemiology position after earning my MPH. While at FFI, I gained experience using large databases, responding to data requests, performing analyses, and preparing publications. These skills all contributed to my professional development and have been helpful throughout my career in public health.”