Alumni Participation Challenge

Howe ’13

Environmental Studies major and government minor from Easthampton, Mass.

The recipient of a national Watson Fellowship, Lauren will spend next year pursuing her project “The Future of Food: Modern Technology and Traditional Agriculture.” Her research will take her to farms in Tanzania, India, Bolivia and Iceland where she’ll explore the intricacies of food systems and how technology is impacting local communities. On campus, Lauren co-founded and co-leads Slow Food Hamilton, an organization that raises awareness about “good, clean and fair” food. She also represented the U.S. as a delegate to the 2012 International Slow Food Congress in Italy.

"I believe that Slow Food can serve as a vehicle for larger societal change. Plus it’s the ideal combination of all my interests and passions: social justice, the natural environment, sustainability and food. Professor Sciacca taught me in the Food for Thought Seminar and served as an academic advisor for my Real Food Challenge independent study and my senior thesis, for which I interviewed refugees and immigrants in Utica to learn more about their food culture. Professor Sciacca’s passion for gastronomy and culinary history has taught me the importance of combining food activism with culture and celebration"

— Lauren Howe ´13

"One of my strategies in the classroom is building a dynamic sense of camaraderie — and in the Food Seminar this happens quite naturally. During our Friday afternoon ‘laboratory’ sessions, whether harvesting in the 1812 Garden or cooking in a campus kitchen, the students quickly become aware that they are engaged in a collective enterprise... and the enthusiasm that is generated carries over to the classroom, where discussions flow like the boisterous interactions around a large dining table at a holiday feast."

— Frank Sciacca
Associate professor of German and
Russian Languages and Literatures;
1812 Garden founder and
Community Farm advisor

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