I completed my M.A. under the mentorship of Dr. Markowitz .
I’m writing my thesis on refugee agriculture in Louisville, KY. During the growing season of 2015, I plan to conduct ethnographic fieldwork that will consist of semi-structured interviews, participant-observation, and participatory mapping activities with active members of the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP), a Catholic Charities resettlement service that coordinates refugees’ access to community garden plots, technical training, and local markets for the sale of their fresh produce. I aim for my thesis project to shed light on how resettled refugees become self-sufficient and integrated into their communities. My current research interests stem from my undergraduate coursework as a socio-cultural anthropology major and a Latin American Studies minor at UofL.
For my LAS internship, I worked with RAPP and a permaculture-inspired cooperative farm called La Minga. I also had the opportunity to study anthropology and Spanish in Costa Rica and Panama for five weeks during the summer of 2012. After graduating in May 2013, I gave a paper presentation at the 2013 AAA meeting in Chicago as part of a panel that focused on various ethnographic methods for overcoming disjuncture experienced while conducting fieldwork on foodways. I based my presentation on my experiences in Costa Rica. I titled the paper as “Commodified Coffee: Habitual Consumption and Consumer Consciousness” and argued that the historical tendency of coffee consumers to regard only the points of sale and consumption rather the complexities of the whole commodity chain has vast implications for the exploitation and dehumanization of coffee producers: consumers who want cheap coffee perpetuate a political-economic arrangement that demands for the constant supply of cheap labor-power, thereby contributing to systemic poverty and institutionalized racism in coffee producing areas of the world. During the Fall 2014 semester, I presented a revised version of my coffee project at the Graduate Student Council’s Research Symposium.
I am a Co-President of the Amnesty International Student Group (AISG) at UofL, an RSO currently recruiting new members free of charge. We organize to defend human rights via nonviolent direct action. We identify, discuss, and plan responses to various local, national, and global problems. Our group emphasizes the notion of socio-cultural theory in action. From 2013-2014, I was a student member of both the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN). I also served as a graduate teaching assistant for the anthropology department.
In December 2017 I had the honor of traveling to Rome for two trainings that involved nearly twenty youth from around the world. As a member of Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville (SAL), I represented the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), a coalition of grassroots and grassroots-support organizations dedicated to realizing the human right to food sovereignty by ending poverty, rebuilding local economies, and asserting democratic control over food systems.
I have been playing a drum set (both acoustic and electric) for over ten years. I’ve been a lifelong vegetarian. My roommates and I do not dispose of any trash for city landfills (we take bags of recyclables and buckets of compost to Garden Commons on campus).