Published May 16, 2016

Great Scot

Exchange student Davidson headed from Monmouth to internship with Food Tank
Scottish exchange student Matthew Davidson only received one year of the Monmouth College experience, but he walked away with a greater understanding of alumni networking, a liberal arts education and food security, in addition to his crash course on American culture.

Davidson’s education on food security will continue thanks to a summer internship he secured with the help of one of his Monmouth professors, Ira Smolensky. The political science professor linked Davidson to Danielle Nierenberg ’95, co-founder and president of Food Tank, which is focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters.

Although Davidson doesn’t yet have the details of his internship with Food Tank, his communication with Nierenberg has let him know that it will be more than just helping out in the office.

“I’ll be getting involved in some research projects, and I’ll be able to pick some of the topics myself,” he said. “There will a level of independence with the work.”

Working for Food Tank is a natural step for Davidson, who plans to use his social sciences degree from Scotland’s University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) to work on international development in food security. He said he developed an interest in the subject as he learned more about the separation between wealth and those who struggle with hunger.

“I want to help countries with their developmental levels to help them reach a point where their food security is covered,” said Davidson, who is considering pursuing a master’s degree after graduating from UHI next year. “The dream job would be to do that kind of work with the United Nations.”

Davidson is limited to a single academic discipline at UHI, so he appreciated Monmouth’s liberal arts approach.

“I loved my year here,” he said. “Monmouth’s got the right idea of how to make the college experience full. I was allowed to take part in whatever I wanted, so I took courses in philosophy and research” in addition to courses in his major.

Davidson said he also had positive experiences outside the classroom, which he credited to Monmouth’s welcoming atmosphere.

“The international community makes students feel equal here,” said Davidson, who lives in Perth, Scotland. “Someone is always here to support you. I knew that anything I needed, I had somewhere to go for help.”
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