Jennifer Gaddis (2012)
Fellowship Year: 2012
Academic Background: Yale University - Ph.D - (Environmental Studies)
Currently Working On: School Food, Curriculum Development, New Economics
Jennifer is a PhD candidate at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she works at the intersection of food studies and environmental sociology. Her ethnographic and historical research on the evolution of food, labor, and technology within the National School Lunch Program provides a holistic window into the complexity of food systems, how they’re formed and how they change over time. Her analysis explores top down and bottom up strategies for moving towards a lunch tray that is healthy for people, the environment, and local economies. She hopes to turn her dissertation into a general audience book aimed at sparking collective activism around the issue of school meals. Jennifer earned a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering with minors in Environmental Studies and International Engineering from the University of Illinois. At Illinois, Jennifer researched thin film solar cells, contributed to the design of undergraduate and graduate level sustainability-themed courses, and served as a key organizer for campus sustainability initiatives. Through her position at Yale’s Graduate Teaching Center, Jennifer has remained a strong advocate for problem-based inquiry and experiential environmental education. Her volunteer work with Cooking Matters and the Yale Sustainable Food Project provides experiential food and farming education to New Haven families. She also mentors young food and agriculture scholars in Yale’s Food, Culture, and Environment working group, which she co-founded and currently leads. Throughout her career, Jennifer hopes to remain deeply engaged in solving environmental problems through innovative teaching, research, and activism in her local community.
Expertise: Sustainable Ag / Food Policy, Environmental Education, Environmental & Public Health