Meet the winners of the 2016 Distinguished Fellows Video Contest!

  • First Place: Rebecca Brunner
  • Second Place: Francis Wong
  • Third Place: Benjamin Krause
  • Fourth Place: Angelica Casas

Winners received research travel grants in the amounts of $1,500, $1,000, $750, and $500 respectively. Because several videos were fiercely competitive as close runners-up, a fourth place winner was added this year. All of this year’s videos are well worth viewing!

First Place: Rebecca Brunner

Recipient of the Hellman Graduate Award
1st-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management
MS, Cornell University; MPA, Columbia University; BA, Cornell University

As a tropical field ecologist with a background in conservation policy and education, Becca researches strategies that aim to benefit both biodiversity and the livelihoods of local people. Originally from a small cornfield town in Illinois, she has lived and worked in many jungles around the world, including Peru, the Philippines, and Madagascar. She currently researches the nexus of ecosystem services and conservation, as well as synergies between biodiversity and human health.

Second Place: Francis Wong

Recipient of the Chancellor’s Fellowship
2nd-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics
BA 2003, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, Francis explores topics in development and public finance, such as the development of infrastructure and public goods in ethnically fractured societies and decentralized economies and governments. This summer, he plans to work on a research project focusing on unconditional cash transfers in Kenya. After completing his Ph.D, he hopes to pursue a career in academia.

Third Place: Benjamin Krause

Recipient of the Berkeley Fellowship
2nd-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
MA, Johns Hopkins University; BA, Xavier University

Ben is committed to investigating and promoting community-based development and sustainable solutions to poverty. Originally from Nebraska, he has worked in disaster relief and community engagement throughout the U.S. and in dozens of other countries. He plans to leverage his experience working in international development and humanitarian relief in East Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean to examine how government officials in poor countries make incremental improvements in service delivery, accountability, and governance.

Fourth Place: Angelica Casas

Recipient of the Graduate Opportunity Fellowship
1st-year M.A. student in the Graduate School of Journalism
BA, Our Lady of the Lake University

Angelica has presented to state symposia her research on the influence of news media on women, and she has published print and video journalism in the San Francisco Chronicle and Richmond Confidential, among other outlets. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, she is interested in reporting and storytelling about issues that affect underrepresented communities.

View past contest submissions