We actively seek opportunities to engage undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in our mission of ending global poverty and hunger. There are several ways students can become involved with the Deaton Institute:

For Any Students:
Create a Deaton Scholars Program or similar model scholar program at your institution

We’ve seen the research-backed success of implementing the Deaton Scholars Program at the University of Missouri and want to provide our team as a resource to help other institutions, domestic and international, to implement similar programs on their campuses. The Deaton Scholars Program was proposed by, and has been led by, students! Our program has worked in a classroom setting, a peer-to-peer mentorship setting, and in large and small group cohort situations — let’s work together to make the best fit for your university.

If there is an opportunity to speak to students, administration, or faculty about this opportunity, please email

For University of Missouri Students:

The MU Deaton Scholars Program is an innovative team-based interdisciplinary approach to solving the world’s most challenging issues. Students who are interested in tackling food and nutrition insecurity, extreme poverty, or related issues are invited to apply to be a Deaton Scholar and join an esteemed cohort of student change-makers (750+ and counting!). Participation involves developing a community development project proposal alongside other students and learning about complex global problems, with the option to continue for an additional semester to implement your program/project.

If there is an opportunity to speak to students or faculty about this opportunity, or you know of students that you would like to recommend for consideration into the program, please email

Take the Zero Hunger Challenge Course

Dr. Kiruba Krishnaswamy teaches a fall course called Zero Hunger Challenge alongside the Deaton Scholars Program. The course focuses on the second sustainable development goal defined by the United Nations: zero hunger. Students in the course form groups while learning about the complex global issues surrounding extreme poverty and hunger. Registered students are considered part of the fall cohort of Deaton Scholars Program participants and are welcomed to attend the five cohort events and other activities throughout the semester. The course is available for undergraduate and graduate students, and as an honors course.

Join the Scholar Advisory Board

After going through the Deaton Scholars Program, students are invited to stay engaged by joining the Scholar Advisory Board. Part of the leadership team, Scholar Advisory Board members help guide the direction of the Deaton Scholars Program, plan and carry out program events, propose and organize other activities for Scholars, and coach Scholar groups through the collective peer mentorship and project proposal processes.

High School Opportunities:
Missouri Youth Institute and Global Youth Institute

The Missouri Youth Institute (MYI) is a state-wide high school conference and preliminary event to the Global Youth Institute, a youth program of The World Food Prize Foundation. MYI invites high school students to research a topic of global hunger and write a paper to explain their research and ideas to address hunger in their target country. The students then came to Mizzou where they learn more about global efforts to address food insecurity, and they form small groups to present and discuss their topics, and get feedback from an expert panel. Read CAFNR’s story on the 2020 edition of MYI.