Food & Sustainability Studies Program Certificate
Students that obtained this certificate attended the Food & Sustainability Studies Program at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy. It is a curricular concentration that applies an interdisciplinary approach to the study of food – history, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, business, politics, science, agriculture, and sustainability – to discover how the individual, community, and society relate to food in Italy, America, and elsewhere. The program consists of three courses in food studies, an Italian language course, and an optional elective course for a total of 14-18 credits. Students at the Umbra Institute who complete all three courses in the Food Studies Program will receive this Certificate of Completion.
Below is a list of past Food & Sustainability Studies Program participants who are currently involved in food-related work.
April Israel (University of Richmond) — April graduated in May from the University of Richmond after focusing her undergraduate work and thesis on the growth of large agribusiness and its impact on nutritional value of food. April is currently working as a Research and Administrative Intern at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C.
Victoria Bonazoli (UMass-Amherst) — Tori is currently the head baker at a historic vegetarian and seafood restaurant in Northampton, MA. She is hoping to return to school to study European foodways, history, and culture.
Julia Rackow (Tufts University) — Julia recently completed the full-time Professional Culinary Arts Program at the San Francisco Cooking School. In addition to gaining employment as a TA at the cooking school in San Francisco, she is working at several of the most renowned kitchens in the city. Her ultimate goal is to work with families and individuals coping with difficult lists of food allergies as a consultant.
Stephen Doyle (Chapman University) — Stephen’s photographs taken while in Italy are featured in the book Truffle: A Global History (Reaktion Books). He also shoots video for the website ChefsInsight.
Caitlin Smith (George Washington University) — After returning from Italy, Caitlin obtained a job researching and writing a food column for the online site Foodem. She enjoys her job the most because she has the opportunity to learn more and more each week about food, culture, and sustainability.
Teagan Lehrmann (Harvard University) — Teagan oversaw business development for Bon Me, a Boston-based food truck and restaurant company in Boston, and managed the company’s first transition from food truck to brick-and-mortar restaurant. She also has presented twice at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society.
Gabriella Paiella (Northeastern University) — Gabriella has a full-time job with Edible Schoolyard NYC, and during her free time, she contributes to two blogs: My Broke Kitchen and Strange Food History.
Ashley Patino (Virginia Commonwealth University) — Ashley presented a sample menu, sample items, and a cost effective method to overhaul the baked goods section of the Lamplighter Roasting Co. She is now the Operations and Development Manager of the bakery division (and still a top barista manager).
Marisa Pooley (University of Denver) — Marisa participated in the summer winery internship with Cantine Montevibiano, then received not one, but two job offers from the winery she worked for and an Umbrian tourism company. She has now completed her B.A. in Strategic Communications at the University of Denver and is working at the Boettcher Foundation as Program Coordinator.
Bradley Jones (Wabash College) — In the past, Brad was the Program Manager for the Cheese of Choice Coalition in Boston, but recently has begun his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Washington University after completing his Master’s in Gastronomy at Boston University’s prestigious program.
David Abbott (Denison University) – David currently works in a genetics research laboratory, trying to discover new drugs to fight bacteria that are resistant to the normal arsenal of antibiotics. One day, such drugs could be useful in the food industry. He also has a passion for cooking, and has joined Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to support local farms and try new and unusual fruits and vegetables. David recently started medical school at the University of Pavia, just outside of Milan, where he hopes to become a physician who uses both food and medicine to treat patients.
Clare Carlson (Wooster College) — After participating in the Food & Sustainability Studies Program, Clare took advantage of the the Umbra Institute’s agreement with the gourmet Italian food retailer, Eataly, and obtained a position in its location in Chicago. She is now working on food ethnography as her senior year independent study at Wooster, Ohio.