Food Studies Doctoral Student Biographies

Scott Alves Barton

Scott Alves Barton is a doctoral candidate in Food Studies program. He holds a B.F.A. in Metalwork and Jewelry from Washington University. Scott has worked for more than twenty-five years as an Executive Chef, restaurant and product development consultant, and, culinary school teacher. Ebony Magazine named Scott one of the top twenty-five African-African American Chefs. Scott has been a fellow of Instituto Sacatar in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil and the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas in Tepoztlán, Mexico. His research focuses on the intersection of secular and sacred foodways of Northeastern Brazil as a marker of cultural and ethnic identity. Scott has been awarded various grants to support his research: 

Diana Caley

Diana Caley is a Ph.D. candidate in the Food Studies program. Diana graduated magna cum laude from George Washington University with a B.A. in International Development and minor in Economics. Diana served in the Peace Corps in Morocco, and has worked and conducted research on food security and economic development in Egypt, Iraq, Peru, Uganda, Tanzania, and Yemen. Her dissertation research explores the nature and measurement of urban food and nutrition security among slum dwellers in Kampala, Uganda.

Diana has won the following grants to support her graduate research:

Shayne Leslie Figueroa

Shayne Leslie Figueroa is a doctoral fellow in the Food Studies program. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., she received a BA in American Studies from LafayetteCollegeand earned a MA in Humanities and Social Thought at New York University's Draper Program. Shayne's current research focuses on food and families during the postwar period inAmerica. Her dissertation work will be a social history of the National School Lunch Program (1946-1966.) In addition to her PhD work, Shayne is currently the administrator for theTaubCenter for Israel Studies at NYU.

Sara Franklin

Sara B. Franklin is a doctoral fellow in the Food Studies program. Originally from suburban New York, Sara completed her BA in history and community health atTuftsUniversity. After a stint studying health promotion in Kwa-Zulu/Natal, South Africa during her junior year, Sara became deeply interested in the intersections of food, environment, agriculture, health and history. Ever since, she has worked to integrate those fields as a farmer, activist, freelance writer, baker, and educator throughout theU.S.and inBrazil. In December of 2011, she earned a certificate in non-fiction writing and multi-media from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and she is currently at work on her first cookbook together with a Rio de Janeiro based chef, activist and restaurateur. Her primary focus is on personal and community oral histories about food and identity, and presenting them through print, audio and multi-media outlets.

Nancy Gagliardi

Nancy Gagliardi is a doctoral student in the Food Studies program. Since relocating to New York City, she has spent her professional career in media, primarily in magazine, book and e-book publishing. Her area of focus in the Food Studies program is culture, gender and media. She recently presented a paper entitled, "A Cupcake History: How a Food Gets Consumerized and Gendered" at the 2014 ASFS conference in Vermont.  She also was awarded a 2014 Julia Child Fellowship at, where she currently is developing, producing and hosting a variety of news and culture programs. She earned a Masters of Arts from NYU in Women's Studies/Criticism, and received an undergraduate from Fordham University's journalism program in New York.

Juan Carlos Sánchez Herrera

Juan C.S. Herrera is a doctoral fellow in the Food Studies program. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Juan earned his BA in Economics and History and MA in Social Anthropology from Universidad de los Andes. His academic and professional experience are in different fields such as Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Quantitative Researcher, Credit Risk Analyst and Freelance writer on various projects that allow him to offer a multidisciplinary approach to his research interests. 

Juan's research project examines how food consumption and its cultural dimensions changed in Bogotá since it started dismounting its trade barriers in 1991. His approximation will draw upon Social Network Analysis, History, Anthropology, Distinction and Economic History. Juan’s MA Thesis Del Catafalco al Ataúd y a la urna: Cambios significativos en las prácticas funerarias. Bogotá 1910 - 2007 was nationally published by Universidad de los Andes. 

Hi'ilei Julia Hobart

Hiʻilei Julia Hobart is a doctoral candidate in the Food Studies program. She holds a BA from Colby College in English and Creative Writing, an MA from the Bard Graduate Center in the History of Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, and an MLS from the Pratt Institute with a focus on Rare Books and Archives Management. She has worked in special collections in the Rare Books Division of New York Public Library, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the New-York Historical Society as a manuscript cataloger. Her dissertation, tentatively titled Tropical Necessities: Ice, Territory, and Taste in Colonial Hawaiʻi, is a history of the importation, distribution, and consumption of frozen water in the 19th and early 20th century. She is a 2015-16 Fellow at the Humanities Initiative at NYU.

Kelila Jaffe

Kelila Jaffe is a doctoral candidate in the Food Studies Program. She received a BA with distinction in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, before attending the University of Auckland, where she earned an MA (honours, second class, first division) in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology. Kelila's research interests include past foodways, domestication, and zooarchaeology. She has conducted fieldwork in Fiji, New Zealand, and Hawaii, and has worked with numerous museum collections. Her dissertation examines human-animal interactions in dietary transitions through the archaeological record. Originally from Sonoma, CA, Kelila is also a professional chef. Kelila has won several grants and awards to support her research including the Dean's Grant for Graduate Student Research and the International Council for Archaeozoology Travel Award.

Anne E. McBride

Anne E. McBride is the culinary program and editorial director for strategic initiatives at The Culinary Institute of America and the director of the Experimental Cuisine Collective. She is the co-author of three cookbooks with famed pastry chef François Payard, and of Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food and Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home. She regularly writes on topics related to professional and experimental cooking, including contributions to Food Arts, Gastronomica, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, and Food Cultures of the World. McBride is working on her PhD in food studies at NYU and sits on the board of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee, and The Culinary Trust.

Steven McCutcheon Rubio

Steven McCutcheon Rubio is a first year doctoral student in Food Studies, where his work will focus on the comparative political economy of agri-food systems in Latin America. His areas of interest include the financialization of food, the political significance of new food movements, and informal food economies. Steven has an MA in Food Systems from NYU and received his AB in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. Prior to beginning doctoral work, Steven was an editor and policy associate at Americas Society/Council of the America, where he helped oversee the Immigration and Integration Initiative and was a member of the editorial team for Americas Quarterly. Previously he worked as a lecturer in food politics in Singapore and as a food writer in Mexico City.

Katherine Magruder

Katherine Magruder is a doctoral fellow in the Food Studies program.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins, where she studied oboe at the Peabody Institute.  While at Johns Hopkins, Katherine forged an academic program to follow her interests in cultural anthropology, music, and food history.  Anthropologist Dr. Sidney Mintz and musicologist Dr. Susan Weiss became Katherine’s mentors.  She received a research internship with the Culinary Historians of New York and a grant from the provost at Johns Hopkins to conduct a study on how people in the Americas responded to categorically “Italian” food and music in the nineteenth century.  She read anthropology at Oxford University during her senior year, where she was a member of St. Catherine’s College.  Katherine is interested in history of aesthetics, cultural exchange, and the concept of taste.

Jaclyn Rohel

Jaclyn Rohel is a doctoral candidate in Food Studies at New York University. Her research on food and cities examines the globalization of comestibles and public cultures of consumption, critically engaging issues related to migration and diasporic life, transnational media cultures, health politics and urban governance. She is currently writing her dissertation on global South Asia and the cultural politics of betel quid, entitled The Politics of Oralities: Paan and Publics in the Global City. She has held a number of research grants, including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship, a Steinhardt Dean's Grant for Student Research, and a Provost's Graduate Fellowship at NYU's Global Research Institute in London. Jaclyn holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, and a master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Alberta.

Stephanie Rogus

Stephanie Rogus is a doctoral candidate in the Food Studies program. She received her BS in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin, graduating from the Coordinated Program in Dietetics where she completed training to become a Registered Dietitian. Stephanie earned her MA in Food Studies at New York University and has worked on health promotion projects and policy evaluation at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYU School of Medicine, and the Economic Research Service of the USDA. Her research interests include consumer behavior, food choice, and diet, particularly among disadvantaged populations. Her dissertation will explore the influence of time use on food choice by examining the relationship between time spent in food related activities, like shopping, cooking and eating, and diet quality. She has received several awards supporting her research:

  • Commission of Dietetic Registration Doctoral Scholarship (2014/$10,000)
  • Frances E. Fischer Memorial Scholarship (2013)
  • Steinhardt Challenge Grant (2012)

Daniel Bowman Simon

Daniel Bowman Simon is a doctoral fellow in the Food Studies program.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from New York University, a Master of Business Administration from University of the Pacific, and a Master of Urban Planning from New York University. In 2011, Daniel founded SNAP Gardens to raise awareness that SNAP benefits could be used to buy seeds and plants. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Daniel founded TheWhoFarm, a travelling, bus-based initiative that visited schools and farmers markets across America to collect petition signatures respectfully requesting that the new White House residents start a vegetable garden.  The campaign was ultimately successful when First Lady Michelle Obama planted the White House Kitchen Garden.  Prior to TheWhoFarm, Daniel spearheaded marketing and policy efforts at The Gaia Institute.  He was a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, focused on Business Advising for Youth Development, and taught English in Japan’s JET Programme.   He has consulted for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and for the Generation Food film project.  Daniel’s current research interest is the history of the United States government’s role in feeding hungry people, in the context of overall agricultural policy.  He has co-instructed courses on Food Policy and Food Advocacy with his advisor Dr. Marion Nestle.