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Biography

I entered college with a desire to pursue a career in law, and majored in political science. But during a Semester at Sea - a study abroad program that visits 10 countries in Asia and the Middle East - I found myself drawn to sociology. It was my sociology class that best explained the richness of cultures, the devastation of poverty, and the role of Western imperialism that I was only beginning to observe. Moreover, my sociology class pushed me to question the logic of economic and cultural globalization in perpetuating inequality and homoginization. It was also during this semester that I went camping for the first time, and discovered a deep reverence for the natural world.

During graduate school at UC Davis, I lived in an on-campus student cooperative where we made decision by consensus, managed extensive organic gardens, and worked to become leaders and educators on campus sustainability. It was here that I became interested in the relationship between food and agriculture, environmental sustainability, and issues of identity. I have also continued to travel extensively, particularly to Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

The themes of food, environment and inequality continue to permeate both my intellectual and social life. In 2005, I moved to Oakland to pursue dissertation research on how efforts to promote the consumption of local and organic food manage issues of race and class identity. I am also involved in a collaborative project on environmental justice issues in the Central Valley. In my personal life, I've become an avid fan of the outdoors, and spend much of my free time wandering the East Bay hills and exploring California's spectacular landscapes.