05 2018 (May)

UW student’s entry wins ag econ group’s outstanding thesis award

Headshot of Sachinta Mendis
Sachintha Mendis

A former master’s student in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wyoming has received the prestigious Outstanding Master’s Thesis award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA).

Sachintha (Sah-CHIN-thah) Mendis (Men-dis) completed her master’s degree in agricultural and applied economics at UW in 2017 and is pursuing her doctorate in agricultural and resource economics at Colorado State University, say Ben Rashford, head of the department in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The AAEA is the largest and most prestigious professional association for agricultural and applied economics, says Rashford.

“The AAEA each year selects a maximum of three theses from nominations representing the best graduate student research in the country,” he notes.

Mendis’ thesis was “Estimating Demand for Food Quantity and Quality in China.”

“Her investigation of the structure of food demand in China contributes to our understanding of the demand for food quality and has implications for marketing U.S. food products in China’s ever expanding consumer market,” Rashford says.

Mendis is the second UW student selected for the award in the last four years.  Anna Scofield received the honor in 2015.

Mendis is originally from Sri Lanka, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and a master of philosophy in agricultural economics.

Her UW thesis committee members were chair Assistant Professor Vardges (VARD-ges) Hovhannisyan (Hov-HAH-nis-yahn) and Associate Professors Chris Bastian and Alexandre Skiba.