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University of Phoenix alum Dr. McCarthy Ijiebor receives Cochran Fellowship

By Sharla Hooper

The fellowship provides training to agricultural professionals from emerging markets

University of Phoenix is pleased to share that alum Mccarthy Ijiebor, Ph.D./HEA, has been selected to receive a Cochran Fellowship by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service. The Cochran Fellowship Program has been in operation since 1984, and according to the agency's website, has provided U.S.-based training opportunities to more than 18,000 agricultural professionals from 126 countries. Training topics include agricultural marketing and trade, biotechnology, food safety, livestock genetics and management and rural development and extension.

Ijiebor has been a self-employed entrepreneur since 2000 and now owns a chain of restaurants in Nigeria. A seasoned and accomplished businessperson, his professional interests include education, engineering, food, finance, and hospitality. A member of several professional associations, including the Insitute of Planning in Nigeria, Ijiebor is dedicated to improving the lives of his fellow citizens through improvements to existing infrastructure projects and policy.

“Being selected for the Cochran Fellowship was a wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge of the global food supply chain,” shares Ijiebor. “We had the opportunity to study how American restaurants operate from farm to table. It was an eye-opening experience because it allowed me to think differently about the food microcosms that exist in the United States and opportunities to improve food cooperatives and responsible sourcing.”

The Cochran Fellowship Program, named after the late U.S. Senator William Thad Cochran, provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies. Aims of the fellowship include helping eligible countries develop agricultural systems necessary to meet the food and fiber needs of their domestic populations and strengthening trade linkages between eligible countries and agricultural interests in the United States. Fellows receive hands-on training to enhance technical knowledge and skills in areas related to agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing.

“Dr. Ijiebor’s community-focused leadership and commitment to sustainable supply chains is a fine example of the work we hope to inspire here at the University,” states Hinrich Eylers, Ph.D., P.E., vice provost, College of Doctoral Studies. “Our programs serve working adults, like Dr. Ijiebor, many of whom are already making a positive impact in their communities and places of work. I am immensely proud of our graduates and the work they do across the globe.”

Ijiebor completed his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with the University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies in 2022. Ijiebor also holds a Master’s in Public Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration, and a Master's in Education from Imo State University in Owerri, Nigeria.

About the College of Doctoral Studies

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies focuses on today’s challenging business and organizational needs, from addressing critical social issues to developing solutions to accelerate community building and industry growth. The College’s research program puts students in the center of an effective ecosystem of experts, resources and tools to help prepare them to be a leader in their organization, industry and community. Through this program, students and researchers work with organizations to conduct research that can be applied in the workplace in real time.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit