Students

Food Studies Graduate Student Spotlights

Meet Sari Judith Kamin, MA candidate in Food Studies

Why did you choose NYU?
I chose NYU because it is the most comprehensive food studies program that exists. It was important for me to get my masters degree as opposed to a certificate because I knew I wanted to be a food professional. I'd already been living in New York, and it made sense to me to stay here for my education because New York is the food capital of the world.
 
What appealed to you about the Food Studies program at NYU?
The classes in the Food Studies program instantly appealed to me because of the variety offered and the specificity of the topics. It was clear to me that the program wasn't going to be a broad overview of food studies, but instead an in-depth and scrutinizing look at the various issues that are encompassed under the umbrella of the term food studies. It is possible for everybody in the program to do a deeply focused study in their area of interest by self-curating a curriculum that makes sense for the individual.
 
 
What kind of community activism do you participate in?
Before I started grad school, I interned full time at Just Food, an amazing nonprofit organization that allowed me the opportunity to volunteer in food pantries and educate clients about produce options. Now, through work, I participate in a number of different activities, including farmers markets, seminars, food events, farm visits, etc. RecentlyI was lucky enough to be in Costa Rica visiting fair trade banana and pineapple farms that sell to Whole Foods and sustainable farms that have figured out how to convert their animal waste into methane gas for heating purposes.

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Meet Eddie Shumard, MA candidate in Food Studies


What appealed to you about the Food Studies program at NYU?

As one of the first academic institutions to focus on food scholarship, NYU has cultivated a graduate program made up of some of the most influential voices in the food movement.  I was also drawn to the fact it is located in one of the most dynamic and food focused cities in the world, offering an unparalleled experience to observe theory and practice on all scales and in multiple contexts.  NYU also provided an opportunity to network with the most exciting food professionals and progressive food movement thinkers through the Food Studies program.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I want to continue to do what I am doing now, working with Good Eggs in Brooklyn, disrupting the status quo of food distribution while supporting local food makers and farmers, and continuing to produce content for HeritageRadioNetwork.org. I really enjoy having the opportunity to change the food system through social entrepreneurship, and having a media platform to talk about the things I am most passionate about.

What kind of community activism do you participate in?
As events co-chair on the Wagner Food Policy Alliance, I work with the other board members to engage the NYU student body and our NYC community in events and panel discussions that explore the complex policy issues in food systems. I support  Restaurant Opportunities Centers United as they advocate for an increased minimum wage and the right to collective bargaining for restaurant workers, and coming from Florida, I also stand in solidarity with the farmworkers represented by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

What is your favorite neighborhood in NYC for food?
I just moved to Prospect Heights, and I have been really enjoying rediscovering the West Indian and Caribbean cuisine.  To pick one neighborhood is so hard, because there are so many and each of them have such a unique and special food community.  One of my favorite things about living in New York City is exploring different neighborhoods, whether it be a few blocks away or in another Borough.  You can just hop on the train or simply walk down the block, either way, taking the time to slow down and connect with people and the food they enjoy with their friends and family, can be a really special experience that is a nice balance to the crazy hustle and bustle of city living.  

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Meet Erika Wright, MA candidate in Food Studies

What appealed to you about the Food Studies program at NYU?The Food Studies program is divided into two concentrations: culture and systems. I chose the systems-based track because it focuses on agriculture, political and global food concerns. I knew that this concentration and the university's resources and network would allow me to combine my passion for political science and my love of food into the skills needed to make a sustainable difference in food access and global food security.  


What are your plans for after graduation?


After graduation I would like to go on and work for the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) or the WFP (United Nations World Food Programme) as a field agent in food security, specifically working in developing nations. Eventually I’d like to pursue my PhD in International Relations.