Food Studies

Lindsay De May, 16′, Food Studies Major

Lindsay DeMay Portrait

An Interview with Lindsay De May

Food Studies Major, Minors in Management Studies and Nutrition
Class of May ’16

What was the focus of your work in Food Studies? If you did an internship, what did it entail? If you did a thesis, what did you focus on?
The focus of my work in Food Studies was pretty broad. For example, I interned at a Certified Organic, vegan farm in the Finger Lakes one summer, but also spent 2 years working as a culinary arts learning assistant. My senior thesis followed theme to my experiences where I took a holistic approach on food and researched the complexities of implementing a US National Food Policy through a Human Rights Framework.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I love the Food Studies family! The professors continue to inspire me, even after I’ve graduated. Many of my fellow Food Studies alumni remain some of my closest friends.

Talk about a challenging or new experience you faced during your internship/research, how you managed it, and what you learned as a result.How did your Food Studies classes experiences/degree/internship prepare you to work in the broad field of Food Studies?
I think the perspective and background that I sequestered through Food Studies classes are extremely applicable to many fields. The secret strength of the Food Studies program is that I gained a basic understanding of the inter-sectional nature of our food system, which required me to learn about other fields (geography, sociology, economics, political science).

What’s next for you of what are you up to now?
After graduation, I spent 2 years divvying up my time as a garden teacher, grant writer, farmer’s market assistant manager, and community representative. This semester, I began my joint degree at Vermont Law School working towards a Juris Doctorate and Masters in Food and Agricultural Law and Policy. I never anticipated going to Law school until my last year in the Food Studies program, which opened my eyes to the need for lawyers in the field of Food and Agriculture.

Welsh’s expertise in agriculture’s technological change shared with U.S. EPA scientific panel

Rick Welsh PortraitA critical issue facing U.S. and global agriculture, specifically corn and cotton crops, is widespread resistance to crops genetically engineered to manifest the soil bacteria bacillus thuriengensis or Bt. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has convened a Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to consider a set of eight Charge Questions related to the issue titled: “Resistance of Lepidopteran Pests to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Plant Incorporated Protectants in the United States.” Rick Welsh, the Falk Family Endowed Professor of Food Studies, served as an ad hoc panel member during a workshop held in Rosslyn, VA from July 17-20.

Syracuse University’s food studies program is often sought after for expertise on U.S. and global agriculture issues. Welsh, who chairs Falk College’s Department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition, has a long record of surveying and interviewing farmers about technological change in agriculture and related environmental management strategies. The author of numerous publications on environmental regulation of Genetically Engineered Crops, he brought expertise to the SAP primarily regarding farmer non-compliance with refuge requirements for Bt crops.

The commercialization of Bt crops in the early 1990s led to rapid adoption rates among U.S. farmers. Because of the widespread use of Bt crops, the U.S. EPA was concerned that pest populations in these crops would develop Bt resistance. Therefore, it required farmers to plant non-Bt crops on a small percentage of their land to create refuges for susceptible pest populations. According to Welsh, “this theoretically would delay or forestall resistance development since a population of susceptible insects would be maintained. However, it appears that at least in the southern states, farmers have not complied with the requirements, and widespread resistance for major pests of corn and cotton has emerged.”

Caroline Bridges Plante, 18′, Food Studies Major

Caroline Bridges Plante portrait

An Interview with Caroline Bridges Plante

What was the focus of your work in Food Studies?
I have become focused on the human rights of food producers in developing nations, specifically the protection of indigenous peoples’ lands and foodways, which was the focus of my thesis.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I enjoyed piecing together my interests in sustainability, human rights, and food throughout the research process, and exemplifying the importance of looking at food issues through both lenses.

How did your Food Studies classes experiences/degree/internship prepare you to work in the broad field of Food Studies?
From learning how to sustainably grow crops in Agroecology to the role of government programs in Emergency Food Systems, I am confident that I could successfully take my career in any direction I choose.

What’s next for you?
I recently moved to Denver and I will be starting a Master’s program in International Human Rights at DU in the fall.

Anything else you’d like to add about your food studies experience in general?
When people ask what Food Studies is about I feel like I could spend an hour answering their question. They usually conclude by saying it sounds fascinating– and I couldn’t agree more! I am so thankful that I found this program by sheer chance, and that I get to turn my love for food into a meaningful career.

2017-2018: A Year In Review

Newsletter of the Graduate Program in Food Studies

Volume I

Inside this Issue

  1. Message from the Graduate Director
  2. Congrats Food Studies M.S. Graduates
  3. Continuing Graduate Student Research
  4. Conferences & Presentations
  5. Awards
  6. Scrapbook

A Message From Dr. Anne Bellows, Food Studies Graduate Director

Anne C. BellowsThe 2017-2018 academic year has closed with four students earning Master of Science (M.S.) degrees and three students with Certificates of Advanced Studies (C.A.S.) in Food Studies. They include: Briana Alfaro, Hillary Chartron- Bartholomew, Mallory (Molly) Ennist, and Irma Nurliawati with the M.S. degree and Nodira Azizova, Tom Mackey, and Kris Walton with the C.A.S. In December 2016, Shelby Squire rocketed through with our first Food Studies M.S. even as we were moving the program into full swing. This year is really our first regular graduating class and we are very excited to see them launch forward. As you will see from the descriptions inside, each has excelled at research and program engagements, presenting their work at national and regional conferences and workshops. We look forward to next year with a powerful group of returning M.S. students – Maegan, Katie, Cheyenne, and Adrianne – as well as a greatly anticipated crop of new students. The program is growing; our collaborations with partners on campus and beyond expanding; and we are ready to develop our particular program niche and strengths in food justice and policy, political economy, and human rights.

Congratulations M.S. Food Studies Graduates 2017-18

Briana Alfaro

Practicum site: San Diego Food System Alliance, San Diego, CA
“I collected narratives on accessing public land for the Urban Agriculture Working Group, created an assessment tool to determine whether a restaurant is “healthy” from a food systems perspective, helped to plan a Farm Bill Forum for local stakeholders, and undertook grant research.”

Hillary Katrina Chartron-Bartholomew

Practicum site: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County, Syracuse, NY
“This Practicum facilitated a 2018 Central New York Food Summit with the theme Improving Our Local Food System. Focusing on all sections of our food system, this event connected farmers, processors, distributors, community partners, educators, and policymakers to help advance our local food system in Central NewYork.”

Molly Ennist

Practicum site: Capital Roots, Albany, NY
“I spent my Practicum working with Capital Roots on the Greater Capital Region Food System Assessment, an ongoing assessment of the regional food system encompassing 11 counties. Specifically, I analyzed the food recovery system in the region, developing a systems map and identifying key players. This work included analyzing survey information, interviewing, and general research.”

Irma Nurliawati

Practicum site: Agricultural Affairs Division, The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Washington, DC
“My main job as an intern under the agriculture attaché was to assist with her works, such as preparing and attending
meetings; writing technical papers; and preparing information or data related to trade, agriculture (including food and fisheries), forestry and environment. I was assigned to assist the attaché in organizing the 2017 ASEAN Agricultural Attaché Roundtable and preparing a technical paper, “The Potential of Cacao Products From Indonesia and its Market Opportunities in the United States” for The Ministry of Agriculture.”

Irma’s thesis title was: “Indonesia’s Food Safety Regulations on the Import of Fresh Agri-Foods: Balancing Public Health Protection and Trade Facilitation.” Policy makers have the responsibility to balance the economic benefits (e.g., right to work and the right to adequate standard of living) and public health protection (right to safe and adequate food) to ensure an inclusive regulation. The study analyzed Indonesia’s existing national food safety standards for imported fresh foods using a food sovereignty framework and human rights perspective. It identified the most suitable food safety control mechanism at the border, particularly for fresh imported products in Indonesia.

Research from Continuing Students

Maegan Krajewski

Lunch Money: School Food Programming in Regina, Saskatchewan
The study will use qualitative interviewing techniques to understand the work that local organizations, volunteers, and school administrators do to provide school food programming in the city of Regina. With no national school food program in Canada, Regina will serve as a case study for how a particular municipality operates to provide food to schoolchildren.

Katherine Mott

Shortcomings of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives in Grocery Stores: The Case of Syracuse, New York
This paper aims to analyze Near Westside residents’ food access strategies in the wake of the loss of their cornerstone grocery store. This research contributes to broader discussions on the complexities of food access issues within marginalized communities. Precisely, this paper examines why grocery stores within low-income neighborhoods of color might rely heavily on financing initiatives for produce and why these initiatives are often times unsuccessful.

Cheyenne Schoen

Opportunities and Challenges of Refugee Farmers in an Organized Farming Project in Syracuse, New York
This paper qualitatively analyzes the Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment (RISE) farming project, which engages New Americans in an organized gardening and farming program in Syracuse. Cheyenne will interview active farmers in the RISE project to understand their cultural perceptions, barriers and goals to farming, and compare those to the goals of organizational staff and farm land owners.

Adrianne Traub

Female Fermenters of New York
In 1913 considerably more than half the cannery workers in New York State were women (Factory Investigating Commission, 1913). Who were these female fermenters and how did their role shape the cultural food ways of the region? How did their roles in their families, communities, and workplaces change? Through interviews, archival research, and scholarly literature their story is revealed as one of reliance and multifaceted identity.

Conferences & Presentations

AFHVS/ASFS 2017 – Migrating Food Cultures: Engaging Pacific Perspectives on Food and Agriculture

Briana Alfaro, “Local Beer, Local Governance: Policy Issues for San Diego Breweries”
Molly Ennist, “Locating the Intersection of Violence Against Women and Violations of The Human Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition”
Irma Nurliawati, “Food Safety Regulations on the Import of Fresh Agrifoods: A Human Right Perspective on Fair Trade and Right to Safe Food in Indonesia”
Adrianne Traub, “Fueling the Rural Economy: Funding Food Infrastructure”

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) 2017: “It Takes a Region” Conference

Graduate Student Posters:
Adrianne Traub
Katherine Mott
Molly Ennist

AFHVS/ASFS 2018 – The Agroecological Prospect: The Politics of Integrating Food and Farming with Values and the Land

Maegan Krajewski, “Together We Can Grow Community: Community Gardening in North Central Regina”
Katherine Mott, “Shortcomings of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives in Grocery Stores: The Case of Syracuse, New York”
Cheyenne Schoen, “Food Insecurity & Feeding Work Among Immigrant Women Domestic Workers”
Adrianne Traub: “Female Fermenters of New York”

Falk College Research Poster Celebration 2018

Maegan Krajewski, “Rights or Wrong: Concerns with Canada’s Implementation of the Right to Food”
Katherine Mott, “An Analysis of the Closing of Nojaim Brothers Supermarket in the Near Westside Neighborhood of Syracuse, NY: Initial Findings”
Cheyenne Schoen, “Right to Food in U.S. News”
Adrianne Traub, “Procuring Local and Regional Foods from Beginning Farmers: A Qualitative Study of Intermediaries”

Award Recipients

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award – Briana Alfaro

“Briana always exceeds expectations as a Teaching Assistant by providing critical assistance to the students both in and out of the classroom. She has proven to be highly motivated, exceptionally competent, and genuinely passionate about her position as a Teaching Assistant. Her outstanding dedication to student learning makes her a strong asset to our University community and Food Studies Department.”
~ Adrianne Traub, Adjunct Instructor and graduate student

2018 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award – Dr. Evan Weissman

“Dr. Weissman is an innovative scholar who sees opportunities for engagement in the classroom as tied to social justice, practical application, and community engagement. His graduate level courses meet students where they’re at in their academic journey, and then push them to become engaged scholars who are concerned with the lasting impact that a well-informed citizen can make in their community, at any level. His students have benefitted from this grounded approach and go on to complete cogent research and critical professional advancements.”
~ Elissa Johnson, Internship Practicum Coordinator, Food Studies

Roseane do Socorro Gonçalves Viana Human Rights Award – Cheyenne Schoen

Best graduate paper on human right to food, nutrition, and/or health.

Scrapbook 2017-2018

Graduates pose outside Manley Field House
Graduate food studies students on their graduation day in May 2018. Pictured from left: Hillary Katrina Chartron Bartholomew, Briana Alfaro, Molly Ennist, and Irma Nurliawati.
Student and Professor pose with award certificates
Dr. Evan Weissman and graduate student and teaching assistant Briana Alfaro receive awards for excellence in graduate education teaching as outstanding faculty and graduate teaching assistant, respectively.
Group shot in With Love restaurant in Syracuse, NY
Food Studies faculty, staff and graduate students at an end-of-year dinner in May 2018. Pictured from left:
Back row: Dr. Evan Weissman, Elissa Johnson, Adrianne Traub. Front row: Dr. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Maegan Krajewski, Irma Nurliawati, Katherine Mott, Molly Ennist, Briana Alfaro, Jennifer Hurley.

Learn more about Food Studies

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Ashia Aubourg, 18′, Food Studies Major

Ashia Aubourg holds picked strawberries in a field

An Interview with Ashia Aubourg

Where did you complete your internship and what did your internship entail?
I completed my internship at the High School for Leadership & Public Service in New York City. My role was “Teaching Intern”. This entailed developing a semester long curriculum for senior high school students and teaching the students as well. I focused on teaching the students about policy development, and later on looked at different food policies as case studies with the students.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I enjoyed working with the students and giving them empowering tools in the classroom to use within their own lives.

Talk about a challenging or new experience you faced during your internship, how you managed it, and what you learned as a result.
Many of the youth felt disempowered in the class room as a result of years of disappointments from the school system. It was very difficult to build trust with the students at first, I learned to get to know the students and meet them where they were. I wanted the students to feel like they had a voice in the class and that they were not being policed, so I had to tweak many of our classroom policies to make them work better for the students.

How did this internship prepare you to work in the broad field of Food Studies?
I gained many skills as a teacher: curricula development, management skills, communication skills, research etc. I believe that all of these skills are necessary in the broad field of food studies.

What’s next for you?
I am currently the Program Coordinator at Food for Free, a non-profit in Cambridge, MA. The goal is to do more work with youth empowerment and food systems.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I had a great experience with the Food Studies program. It taught me about systems thinking and how to critique that status quo. I hope to take what I have learned in this program to do real work to ameliorate some of the issues within the food system domestically and abroad.

Marina Africa, 18′, Food Studies Major

Portrait of Marina Africa standing by the water

An Interview with Marina Africa

Where did you complete your internship? What was your title (if you had one)? Briefly, what did your internship entail?
I completed my internship at the Syracuse City School District under RD, CDN Assistant Lunch Director Carrie Kane. I surveyed students from low-income families to assess hunger levels and meal popularity in the 5th largest school district in NYS. I also educated students on nutritious food choices through a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Toolkit.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I most enjoyed working with the kids during my internship and also working with dietetic interns as well as Carrie, my direct supervisor.

How did this internship prepare you to work in the broad field of Food Studies?
This internship prepared me to work in a community focusing on nutrition education with low-income families and schoolchildren.

What’s next for you?
I am currently looking for nutrition education positions to gain experience as I plan to relocate to Boston in the future.

Zainab Pixler, 18′, Food Studies Minor, Supply Chain Management Major

Avery Zainab Pixler stands next to her research poster

An Interview with Zainab Pixler

Where did you complete your internship? What was your title (if you had one)? Briefly, what did your internship entail?
My internship was in the Office of Energy Systems and Sustainability Management. I was the Real Food Challenge Intern. My internship entailed researching the feasibility of bringing real food – as described by the RFC standards – to Syracuse University.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I enjoyed learning about all aspects of sustainability and educating others on a sustainable food system.

Talk about a challenging or new experience you faced during your internship, how you managed it, and what you learned as a result.
The biggest challenge was communicating the importance of a sustainable food system to others who had not had any exposure to it. I felt the best way to educate and inform them was to explain their role and importance in the system and to communicate the mutual benefits of the project.

How did this internship prepare you to work in the broad field of Food Studies?
This internship offered a deeper exposure into the supply chain of a sustainable food system. It gave me experience dealing with the many challenges that the industrial food system faces and helped me learn way to navigate around them.

What’s next for you?
After graduating I was able to travel while completing job applications in my area of choice: Cleveland, Ohio. As an Account Coordinator at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, I am responsible for connecting food donors with food agencies across six counties in Northeast Ohio. This involves sourcing the right products, overseeing deliveries, and educating the food agencies on proper handling and distribution of the products.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Talk to your farmer! Eat local and organic when you can and always ask questions about where your food came from.

Avery Antrum, 18′, Food Studies Major

Avery Antrum stands next to her research poster

An Interview with Avery Antrum

Where did you complete your internship? What was your title (if you had one)? Briefly, what did your internship entail?
I completed my internship at Goldstein Food Court as a Food Waste Analyst Intern. As an intern here, I developed a case study about daily food waste in university dining halls using Goldstein as case study. In addition to this, I also assisted in the redevelopment of the dining hall wide composting initiative that my supervisor wants to implement in future years at the university.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I really liked being able to work independently in a typically busy setting and do hands on work with tracking the exact amounts of waste produced in the kitchen each day. It was also interesting to learn about Goldstein’s enthusiasm about getting more involved with the SU’s sustainability programs.

Talk about a challenging or new experience you faced during your internship, how you managed it, and what you learned as a result.
The most challenging aspect of my internship was realizing how much the average student doesn’t actually care about food waste. With this being an issue I’m very passionate about, it was definitely disappointing to see little to no change in student behavior but it taught me that some subjects like waste, are topics that people need to be eased into in order to fully get their attention and keep them involved.

How did this internship prepare you to work in the broad field of Food Studies?
Goldstein prepared me for work in the broad field of food studies through its exposure to various aspects of the food system in one setting. I had the opportunity to do everything from placing produce orders based on customer consumption and demand, to examining food production and food waste. This internship kind of worked as a basic introduction parts of the food studies field.

What’s next for you?
I hope to be able to work directly with waste reduction, sustainability projects, or community outreach and nutrition education.

Madison Chapin, 18′, Food Studies Major

A portrait of Madison Chapin standing by the sea

An Interview with Madison Chapin

Where did you complete your internship? What was your title (if you had one)? Briefly, what did your internship entail?
I interned with the Food & Nutrition Services of the Syracuse City School District. My title was Marketing & Nutrition Intern. My internship entailed acquiring adequate and healthy food for students who rely on the district-wide Free Lunch Program and, ultimately, combating the negative stigma surrounding “school lunch”. To do so, we partnered with local food producers and took a hands-on approach to revamping the lunch program.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
Through this experience, my favorite part was getting to go into the schools to talk to the students. Sometimes it can be hard to invest fully in a project without forming relationships with the beneficiaries. By sitting down with students, I was able to gain insight into how they view school lunch, as well as form relationships with them. Many of the students rely on the free school lunch as their main form of nutrition for the entire day and talking to them in person made this reality become much more of a personal priority to address.

Talk about a challenging or new experience you faced during your internship, how you managed it, and what you learned as a result.
As someone who has always had access to nutritious food, I found myself shocked at the hunger plaguing students across all 33 schools district-wide. My work with the SCSD exposed me to a completely new community; one that views food as a means of survival, not as something that tastes good or is nutritious. Coming to this internship with my own privilege surrounding food access, I sometimes found it hard when talking to the students because I did not want them to see me as an outsider.

What’s next for you?
I am relocating to NYC to become a Sales Specialist for BentoBox, a tech company that designs web experiences for many food industry clients.

Professors Jung, Weissman honored for excellence in graduate teaching

Portraits of Eunjoo Jung and EvanWeissmanIn recognition of dedication to graduate students and commitment to excellence in graduate teaching and mentoring, Falk College faculty members Eunjoo Jung, associate professor of human development and family science, and Evan Weissman, assistant professor, food studies, received 2018 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Awards. The honors were presented by the Graduate School at Syracuse University at a ceremony on April 26.

“We are grateful for their commitment to graduate students and proud of the excellence in mentorship and teaching Eunjoo and Evan bring to their academic programs as well as Falk College,” says Diane Lyden Murphy, Falk College Dean.