Meet Our Team

Research Associate

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ERIN VAN FLEET

Erin has been with the team since September 2018. She holds a B.S. in Nutrition from NC State University and a M.S. in Nutrition from Meredith College. During her time with the team she has had the opportunity to work on many projects related to food and wellness policy, food systems, and food safety, though her main contribution has been related to the Contemporary Organic Policy project. Erin brings a unique perspective to the team and aims to understand the links between food policy and public health. She desires to inform efforts to achieve a food system with the capacity to sustain the ever-growing global population by integrating nutrition-related public health issues, environmental concerns, and food production and procurement methods. Her ultimate goal is to earn a PhD degree so she can continue conducting research and educating future leaders as a faculty member at a college or university. Outside of work, Erin enjoys cooking, exercising, traveling, being outdoors, attending concerts, and spending time with family and friends.

Graduate Students

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DAEMYUNG LEE

Daemyung Lee is a doctoral student in Economics at North Carolina State University under the direction of Dr. Xiaoyong Zheng and Dr. Kathryn A. Boys (Co-chairs). His research interests include labor economics, health economics, agricultural economics, and econometrics. His thesis work is on the effects of an introduction of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) premiums on labor supply, medical utilization, health care expenditures, and health outcomes. In addition, he is currently studying market incentives for safe foods and food recalls. He has worked as a teaching assistant as well as a researcher with statistical programming languages, including SAS, Stata, Matlab.

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SHWETA GIMONKAR

4th Year Doctoral Student

sgimonk@ncsu.edu

Shweta is a doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University. She holds a B.A. in Economics from St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai (India) and a Master of Economics (MR) from North Carolina State University. She is interested in exploring the issues of local food systems and sustainable agriculture through her dissertation. Her research includes looking at opportunities and challenges faced by fresh produce growers in marketing cosmetically imperfect produce (CIP). Her other part of dissertation will be focused on the issue of food fraud in the food supply chain.

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SIQI ZHANG

5th Year Doctoral Student

szhang31@ncsu.edu

Siqi received her B.A. in Economics from University of International Business and Economics in China and her M.S. in Economics from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Her research interests include topics related to food marketing, agricultural policy analysis and international trade. More specifically, she measures the impacts of Organic Equivalency Agreements (OEAs) on the imports of organic food products into the U.S. and Denmark. She also explores topics such as the effects of compliance cost on extensive margin of organic trade, and agri-food trade pattern between U.S. and Canada. She has a strong interest in applying econometric methods to assess impacts of agricultural policy and improve understanding of agri-food trade pattern. Siqi enjoys cooking, singing, swimming, HIIT, and teaching.

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WILSON COLLINS

3rd Year Doctoral Student

wfcollin@ncsu.edu

Wilson is a PhD in Economics student at North Carolina State University. Before coming to NCSU, Wilson received his M.S. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His research interests include agricultural economics and econometric methods.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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PATRICK SEIJO

Sophomore

Patrick is a Sophomore from New Bern, NC majoring in Agricultural Business Management with a minor in Political Science. In the past, Patrick has been a Research Assistant in the Department of Horticultural Science but he is happy to join this team in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in which his major is based. He hopes to be of great assistance to the team in accomplishing its goals for a long time. Following his graduation in the Spring of 2023, Patrick plans to enter a career in lobbying for agriculture to gain a couple of years of work experience before returning to NC State to obtain a Master's degree. When not studying or working, Patrick enjoys spending his time with family, traveling on the roads of North Carolina, and discovering local restaurants.

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MEGAN PYNE

Sophomore

Megan is a sophomore from Denver, NC in the process of switching to a major in Applied Nutrition with a minor in Business Administration. She is currently involved in the University Honors Program and is hoping this experience will give her some ideas for her senior capstone project. Following graduation, Megan wants to earn a Master’s degree in Nutrition and become a nutrition counselor. As someone who is recovering from an eating disorder, Megan's goal is to better her relationship with food by learning about it through an agricultural and business lens. She hopes that her personal skills will be of great value to the research team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and enjoying the beautiful North Carolina weather!

UGONNA EZUMA-IGWE

Senior

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Ugonna Ezuma-Igwe is a senior majoring in Biological Science with a cross discipline in Economics with a minor in Africana Studies. Ugonna is involved with many student organizations on campus and loves finding opportunities in which she can expand her skill set. She currently serves as the Managing Editor for Nubian Message. Nubian Messages is a campus newspaper that focuses on uplifting the voices of marginalized and underrepresented groups. Ugonna would describe herself as a creative go-getter who enjoys collaborating with others. Upon Graduation in May 2021, Ugonna plans to earn her Master’s degree in Pharmacology. 

AYAH MOHAMED

Senior

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Past Graduate Students

BYUNGYUL PARK

PhD, 2020

Past Undergraduate Research Assistants

TATE ALTMAN

LONI ASKEW

MAX BOGLE

MADELYN NOLDER

HANNAH SMITH

REAGAN STEELE

PAIGE SWANSON

CHARBY XU

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