Food Scholarship Justice Team
Kristin Reynolds is a critical food systems geographer based in New York City. Her scholarship and activism focus on creating socially just food systems in urban and rural spaces, using action research frameworks. She recently published her first book (written with colleague Nevin Cohen) Beyond the Kale: Urban Agriculture and Social Justice Activism in New York City, (2016; University of Georgia Press; More information about the project is found on the project blog here) and she is currently developing new research on commercial urban agriculture and rooftop farming. She teaches about urban food systems, social justice, urban agriculture, and environmental policy as a lecturer at The New School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Kristin has worked with a number of community-based nonprofit organizations and small-scale commercial farmer through her research and teaching These include Brooklyn Grange rooftop farms in Queens and Manhattan; La Finca del Sur in the South Bronx; EcoStation:NY, BK Farmyards, and Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Brooklyn; Harlem Grown in Manhattan; and Soul Fire Farm in upstate New York, where she has served on the founding Board of Directors of Soul Fire Farm Institute since 2015. She has also consulted on curriculum design at several institutions including for a first-of-its-kind associate in science degree program in Food Studies at Hostos Community College (a part of the City University of New York and located in the South Bronx); the not-for-profit urban agriculture training program Farm School NYC; and the interdisciplinary undergraduate Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major at University of California, Davis.
She leads participatory evaluation processes for urban food and environmental projects in California and New York. Clients and partners include the environmental nonprofit Groundwork Hudson Valley; Soul Fire Farm; and the social services nonprofit Alameda Point Collaborative in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She holds a Ph.D. in Geography and M.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis, and bachelor’s degrees in International Soil and Crop Sciences and French Language and Literature from Colorado State University. She has lived and worked on numerous farms in the United States and Europe, and sees this as an important part of her personal and professional background.
Claudia Urdanivia, M.A., evaluation assistance
Claudia was born in Peru and raised in Passaic County, New Jersey. She graduated from Hunter College, CUNY with a Master’s in Anthropology and obtained a Graduate Certificate from Montclair State University in Community Development. Her M.A. thesis focused on the local impacts of the global market expansion of quinoa on Andean farmers in Peru. She was recently a program manager at City Green in Clifton, NJ where she centered on providing comprehensive technical, educational and grant support for community-based groups in Northern New Jersey to create and strengthen community gardens from the ground up. She also facilitates workshops on cultivating community garden leadership and food justice for youth. As a core member of a grassroots collective based in Passaic, NJ, Claudia has coordinated and organized events centered on social engagement and grassroots empowerment. She believes that participatory research is an essential tool for creating transformative social change. Her research interests include critical agrarian studies, agrobiodiversity, food studies, urban agriculture and participatory action research.
Mike Harrington, B.S., evaluation and project assistance
Mike Harrington is currently pursuing his M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. He is originally from Chicago and has been involved in the sustainability field in a number of ways over the years. He has worked at a leading environmental non-profit, focusing on organizing around creating equity in the energy efficiency market; has served as the chair of another environmental non-profit, the Delta Institute; and has helped manage an organic food bank garden for people with compromised immune systems. He also served on the associate board of the Green City Market, Chicago’s largest farmer’s market. Mike participated in an AmeriCorps program, Public Allies, for two years, gaining valuable experience and training in community development. He has very strong interests in how environmental policies interact with community and economic development, both domestically and internationally. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in Psychology, with a specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Past team members
Michelle Olivero, M.S., lead graduate research assistant (spring/summer 2016)
Michaela Doughty, graduate research assistant (spring 2016)
Katherine Nehring, lead graduate research assistant (2013-2015)
Pauline Zaldonis, graduate research assistant (2013-2014)
Summer Xiu Gong, intern (2013-2014)
Steven McCutcheon-Rubio, graduate research assistant and volunteer (2013-2014)