Helya Azadmanesh-Samimi

Born in Tehran and raised in Los Angeles, Helya is a first-year at Brown University, considering a concentration in Psychology. Notorious among her friends for some outrageous Ratty hacks and combinations, her most classic being a to-go cup full of cucumbers slices, it is safe to say that her dietary habits stray from the norm. But who wants to conform anyway.

Rebecca BlandÓn

Rebecca is concentrating in Neuroscience although her interest is primarily in music and journalism. As a woman of color and a native New Yorker, she grew aware of her love for food and the incredible diversity of dishes her city had to offer throughout the years. Originally from the Bronx, Rebecca went to school in Manhattan and also visited Queens on the regular to see her sister – and with each trip she made to the various neighborhoods of New York City, she learned to appreciate each community through the distinct types of food served by its restaurants. Knowing that food, in effect, reflected each community’s values and cultures, she was excited to learn more about how one’s identity – specifically one’s gender – shapes today’s general practice of cooking, the act of eating and the stereotypes associated with one’s appetite.

Anna Burgess

From El Paso, Texas, Anna is currently a first-year at Brown University concentrating in Visual Arts and Environmental Studies. After leaving home for the first time to attend college, she has experienced an extensive amount of new foods different from the common Mexican food she so often had at home. She sees food as an art form and has a great admiration for beautifully plated foods seen in magazines or cookbooks.

Jenna Chapman

Born and raised in southern California, Jenna E. Chapman is a First-Year Health and Human Biology concentrator at Brown University.

Julia Christensen

Born and raised in beautiful Seattle, Washington, Julia Christensen is a sophomore at Brown University. She recently transferred to Brown from Macalester College, and spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh, in which she ate her way through Europe. She is studying Gender Studies and Biology within Brown’s interdisciplinary concentration Science and Society. In her free time, Julia enjoys singing a cappella, consuming Cheerios and other exciting foods, pretending she knows how to take excellent Insta-worthy food photos, and learning about the many fascinating ways gender is manifested in food studies.

Bella Du Mond

Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, Bella is in her third year at Brown University. She is an Environmental Studies concentrator with a focus in food sustainability, interested in the intersection between local food, nutrition, and food access. She eats red peppers like apples, and prefers a diet of equal parts vegetable and chocolate. Her mother is a chef, and Bella grew up as her poison control tester, protecting clients one pan au chocolat at a time. Bella recently began cooking on her own, and she continues to blog about her experiences independently and for Brown Market Shares Program.

Kelsey Fenn

Kelsey was born and raised in Northern California (a true West Coaster) and traveled many a mile to study Environmental Science at Brown University. One day Kelsey will produce groundbreaking research that will close the metabolic rift and put our country one step closer to sustainable agriculture. For now, she is on the leadership team of the Food Recovery Network @ Brown which strives to reduce food waste at the University and feed the hungry and homeless in the Providence community.

Alexandra Kaye

Growing up in Palm Beach, Florida, one of Alexandra’s favorite pastimes has always been giving friends and visitors tasting tours of the unusual, tropical fruits and vegetables she grows in her garden. On a less nutritious note, she loves sharing the products of her passion for baking with anyone in the mood for a treat. Now a junior at Brown University concentrating in Science and Society, Alexandra studies how food relates to health from scientific, agricultural, and socio psychological perspectives. In addition to making her own diet more adventurous, this course opened her eyes to how gender can influence what we eat, and she hopes to use this knowledge to help people develop healthier and more thoughtful eating habits.

Nicole King

Born in New York City, Nicole is a first year at Brown University. She is currently studying Urban Studies with a possible focus on public policy and urban planning. With an interest in intersectional food justice, Nicole enjoys food and learning about nutrition.

Maclaine Lehan

Born and raised in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Maclaine is currently a sophomore at Brown University studying Political Science with a focus on international politics. Maclaine has previously written for Spoon University and loves all forms of eating, cooking and exploring social media for new recipe ideas. She is also a member of the Brown Women’s Soccer team. Within food studies, Maclaine is particularly interested in the representation of food through advertising and social media as well as contemporary movements within the food industry.

Adeline Lerner

Addie currently lives in Milwaukee but is originally from Houston. As a sophomore at Brown, she concentrates in Engineering and Economics but has a strong passion for food. While not at school, Addie works for her brother’s food truck called Marco Pollo, which sells international fried chicken dishes. As a big consumer of food, she will definitely stay on meal plan all four years of college.

America Lopez

America was born in raised in a small town in South Texas. She is currently a sophomore at Brown University studying Health and Human Biology with a focus on women and children’s health. While at Brown, America has worked for Brown Dining Services as a supervisor and now student manager at the Blue Room café, located on central campus.

Katherine Luchette

Katie is a Midwesterner at heart, born in Cincinnati and raised in a suburb of Chicago. As a member of the class of 2018, she is currently pursuing an AB in biology and tentatively considering herself a pre-med student. Being off-meal plan during her sophomore year has allowed her to passionately, though somewhat unskillfully, cook for and with her friends. Between Cincinnati chili and Chicago deep dish, Ka has an unrequited love for meat and cheese that her father has not always considered ladylike, giving her plenty to explore in the intersection of food and gender.

Sonia Mittal

Sonia is currently a sophomore concentrating in Economics and Psychology at Brown University. She was born in Philadelphia and raised in New York City where she grew up in a household that connected with each other through their love for food. She has always had an extreme passion for learning about different cuisines, and this class helped her understand the relationship between food and gender in a way that she never thought about previously.

Kevin Morales

Kevin is a sophomore concentrating in Ethnic Studies with a focus in gender and sexuality. Born in California, he is the child of two immigrant parents from Mexico and Guatemala.

Emely Vargas

Emely was born and raised in New York City, but consistently stays in touch with her Dominican roots through language, food, and dance. Largely as a result of her background, she is currently concentrating in Urban Studies as a sophomore at Brown University. Her exposure to countless cultures and their foods in the City, as well as her mother’s passion for traditional Dominican cuisine, has continuously inspired her interest in food studies.

Kudrat Wadhwa

Kudrat is a freshman currently studying Cultural Anthropology at Brown. She was born and raised in India and spent 7 years at boarding school in the beautiful hills and valleys in North India. After that, she spent 2 years studying at the United World College in Hong Kong where she first discovered her love for food. She loves to cook, explore new restaurants and is constantly thinking of new recipes to try!

Zoë Wohlgenant

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Zoe Wohlgenant is a sophomore at Brown University. She is currently studying Health and Human Biology. Although Zoe has always had an interest in food sustainability, this class nourished her fascination with the relationship between food culture, cooking, and gender in America.

Amanda Yan

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Amanda first developed an interest in food studies while preparing for the 2014 NYC Regional Science Olympiad food chemistry event, for which she studied the physical properties and chemical compositions of foods. As an Economics and Environmental Studies concentrator, she is continuing her exploration of the field, but through a social lens; her primary interests include the role of food in popular culture, its effects on human and environmental health, and the legislation maintaining the nation’s current agricultural system. Amanda is currently a first-year student.

Michelle Zabat

Michelle is a Michigander at heart, but is currently a sophomore at Brown University. She is studying Health and Human Biology with a focus on the social context of health and disease and food studies. As a lifelong athlete, proud Filipina, and biological sciences geek, Michelle is passionate about food from multiple perspectives. At Brown, she enjoys the adventure of living life off of meal plan and is involved with multiple eating disorder awareness and recovery efforts.


Emily Contois

Born in Australia and raised in the Big Sky Country of Montana, Emily is currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at Brown University. She holds masters degrees in public health, gastronomy, and American Studies. Her work has been published in CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food CulturesFat Studies, the Graduate Journal of Food StudiesInside Higher Ed, and The Inquisitive Eater, among others. In addition to teaching — and writing her dissertation (titled, The Dudification of Diet: Food Masculinities in Twenty-First-Century America) — she blogstweets, and writes for Zester Daily, which was a 2016 IACP Award finalist in the Culinary Website category.