FST 402 recognized with 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Service
In recognition of teaching excellence, Evan Weissman, Ph.D., assistant professor of food studies, was honored with the 2015 Teaching Recognition Award as part of the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship Program.
Professor Weissman joined Falk College’s Department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition in 2012 and was instrumental in working as part of the collaborative team that successfully launched a bachelor of science in food studies in 2014 as well as a minor in it the previous year. He took the lead on developing five core courses in the food studies program, several of which he teaches, including FST 102: Food Fights: Contemporary Food Issues and FST 304—Farm to Fork, which engages current debates on alternative food systems, the various efforts of consumers, producers, and other food system actors to build networks that embody alternatives to the conventional food system. In this course, students participate in a community supported agriculture program as consumers.
Of Professor Weissman’s teaching, one current student noted he consistently pushes students to think critically. “He has a passion for encouraging students to become engaged members of their community. He has the ability to make you think critically, engages the mind and pushes you to dig deeper and educate yourself on food studies issues to improve the future.”
Later in April, the students in Weissman’s course, FST 402: Feeding the City, will receive a 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship. This award is given annually to Syracuse University students and groups whose work in partnership with organizations and citizens in the community exemplifies meaningful and sustained engagement.
Dr. Weissman’s teaching serves as a foundation for student engagement beyond the classroom. Earlier this year, his students participated in a dinner hosted by My Lucky Tummy, a pop-up food court celebrating the refugee and New American community in Syracuse. With Weissman’s leadership and mentorship, Falk College students worked side-by-side with chefs from Eritrea, Japan, South Sudan, Iraq and Bhutan, learning about different cultural foodways and developing cultural competencies. According to professor of food studies, Rick Welsh, chair of the Department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition, “students deep interest in this particular learning opportunity, and the many hours they volunteered for no pay or credit of any sort, exemplifies the commitment to learning Evan fosters in his students.”
Weissman completed his Ph.D. in geography at Syracuse University. His dissertation, “Cultivating the City: Urban Agriculture and Agrarian Questions in Brooklyn, NY,” explored the tensions between the stated goals and outcomes of urban cultivation. He is a founding member and currently serves on the board of Syracuse Grows, a food justice network promoting urban agriculture and community gardening (see www.syracusegrows.org). His professional affiliations include the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society, the American Community Gardening Association, and the Association of American Geographers.