Desiree Acevedo

Desiree is a Southern California native who loves the sun, the beach, and carbs. Currently a senior at Brown University, Desiree is pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. While at Brown, Desiree engaged her love for sweets and bread by working as a supervisor for three years in a pastry-filled dining unit located on central campus. Don’t worry, though. Desiree balanced her muffin-a-day with cardiovascular exercise and strength training by joining the Brown University Cheerleading Team for two years.

Jesse Beller

Jesse is a senior studying History at Brown University. Food has always been a joy for Jesse and the place where his interests in history, politics, business, chemistry, and the senses converge. Most of Jesse’s time is devoted to figuring out where and what he’s going to eat for his next meal.

Julia Christensen

Julia Christensen is a senior at Brown studying Science and Society, and she particularly enjoys investigating the ways in which gender and sexuality intertwine with food studies. Originally from Seattle (somewhat of a coffee capital), Julia is constantly on the hunt for the perfect hazelnut latté, and thus loved researching a local café for this class project. She is an avid consumer of blueberries, and is unsure how she will cope next year when she no longer lives 2 minutes from Andrews Dining Hall.

Talia Curhan

Talia Curhan is a sophomore studying Health Psychology at Brown University, with a focus on food and nutrition. She has always been extremely passionate about food, and will openly (and somewhat proudly) admit to an obsession with Food Network, food blogs on Instagram, and eating in general. When she is not eating, which is rare, Talia enjoys singing, spending time with friends, and looking up menus for her next meal. Her Providence restaurant recommendation: Los Andes.

Jacqueline Doan

Jacqueline Doan is a junior studying Economics and History at Brown University. From an early age, food has always been prevalent in her life, and she is highly interested in the different environmental and health implications surrounding the topic. Jacqueline enjoys frequenting farm-to-table restaurants, eating pasta, and Yelping brunch places in her free time. Her favorite Providence restaurant is The Grange.

Dorinda Fong

Dorinda Fong is a senior from Southern California studying Environmental Engineering at Brown University. As an Asian American, she is interested in the intersection between food, culture, and identity and how food may serve as a connection to heritage. Also having grown up and currently living with a severe food allergy, conscious awareness of food, particularly its contents and preparation, has long played a major role in her life.

Audrea Holt

Audrea Holt is a senior Political Science concentrator at Brown University with a focus on Gender Studies and American History. Audrea is originally from Atlanta, GA but has fallen in love with the vibrant food, art, and culture of New England. Her interest in food studies arose from her desire to understand how social media has influenced the food industry but has progressed into a passion to learn how various cultures and socioeconomic groups each affect the food system in their own way.

Marina Hyson

Marina Hyson is a senior History concentrator at Brown University with specific focus on the Modern United States. She has loved the opportunity to learn more about Food Studies, and is particularly interested in the ways millennials interact with food as well as the rise of food in various forms of social media. Marina enjoys exploring the Providence food scene with her friends, and would highly recommend Kitchen for an intimate brunch experience.

Waylon Jin

Waylon Jin a junior at Brown University studying Applied Mathematics-Economics. Spending his childhood across schools in Europe and Asia, he is interested in the intersection of various culinary traditions around the world. Waylon enjoys exploring all that the Providence food scene has to offer, from running a student-to-student food journal for college students to his recently acquired Elite status on Yelp.

Halle Katz

Halle Katz is a senior concentrating in American Studies at Brown University. Her academic interest within the department focuses on the intersection of human and nonhuman animal relationships—a great deal of which centers around food. Once raised in a classic, meat-heavy American-Jewish home, Halle’s relationship to food as a vegan was first met in upheaval; a grieving ‘Bubby’ could not fathom the thought of a life without her famous brisket. Rather than echoing a dialogue on dietary choices, Halle strives to engage in conversation surrounding eating animals through a contemporary lens on agency, social conditioning, and human emotional intuition. Fun fact: Bubby has come around and enjoys revisioning her classic recipes.

Cynthia Kyin

Cynthia Kyin is a senior concentrating in Health and Human biology. Aside from the general science courses, she is interested in the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality and how they affect health outcomes. She is particularly interested in food studies because of its fundamental connection to health but also because of the wide range of concepts that can be studied through food. In regards to eating, Cynthia is passionate about bagels and other carb-heavy foods. Her favorite Providence restaurant is Al Forno.

Erin Miller

Erin Miller is a junior at Brown University studying Public Health. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, she loves exploring the similarly diverse yet intimate food scene that Rhode Island has to offer. Erin has worked in Brown’s dining system since her freshman year, and she enjoys learning about food studies to influence her policy decisions as a manager. She is especially interested in how stigma, globalized media, and the influence of international aid organizations can affect eating patterns and health in lesser developed countries, which she plans to study for her thesis over the next year.

Nicholas Moreno

Nicholas Moreno is a freshman at Brown University studying molecular biology and biochemistry. Growing up in Southern California, the many available types of food have played a large role in his life, and what started as a simple enjoyment of food and its many histories has developed into a fascination with the many layers and implications of food and its production thanks to this class.

Owen Parr

Owen is a senior studying History and Political Science at Brown University. He has a particular interest in Cuban-American history and identity and has just finished his honors thesis on the Mariel Boatlift and Gay Cuban America. He fears graduation but anxiously anticipates going home to Miami and finally having access to Cuban pastries again. On his free time, he watches The Barefoot Contessa, explores the Providence food scene with his friends, and tries to bake delicious things, failing often.

Solina Powell

Solina Powell is a senior at Brown University studying International Relations with a regional focus on political economic trends in China. Born and raised in Boston, she has been fortunate to study and travel throughout her time in university, particularly to the UK, France, China, Indonesia, and Mexico, which has only broadened her love for food in exploring delicacies from around the globe. In contrasting her international food experiences with the studies gained in this class focused on food in American culture, she has been interested in better understanding the ways that food unites individuals across ethnicities, communities, borders, and more.

Charlotte Senders

Charlotte Senders is a junior at Brown University. She is an independent concentrator studying Ecology of Food, which draws from many departments across the University to provide an understanding of the biological and social structures that make up the human food system. Charlotte grew up in the food-rich Finger Lakes region of New York, and has been working in food service and farming since she was a child. She has a deep love for questions of sustainable, just, and accessible agriculture. She also loves instant ramen, which she knows is a problem.

Praveen Srinivasan

Praveen is a senior studying Biology at Brown University. Growing up in the diverse state of New Jersey, he has been exposed to many different types of cuisines. He has a passion for trying out new recipes, following food blogs, and searching for the best restaurants in Providence. Praveen has an immense love for spicy food, and his favorite Providence-area restaurant is Apsara Palace.

Miranda Villanueva

Miranda Villanueva is a sophomore studying Visual Arts at Brown University. In addition to her love for art, she has a deep love for food (and eating as well). She grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, and thus has a deep and intense appreciation for good barbecue and great Mexican food. Her favorite food is currently a breakfast taco: chorizo and egg on flour, preferably made by her mother.


Emily Contois

Emily Contois received her PhD in American Studies from Brown University and will join the faculty of the University of Tulsa this fall as Assistant Professor of Media Studies. She holds masters degrees in public health, gastronomy, and American Studies and is the author of more than twenty-five academic articles, chapters, and reviews, including “‘Lose Like a Man:’ Gender and the Constraints of Self-Making in Weight Watchers Online” in Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies“Guilt-Free and Sinfully Delicious: A Contemporary Theology of Weight Loss Dieting” in Fat Studies, and “‘He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich:’ Advertising Australia’s National Food in the United States, 1968-1988” in Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. At Brown, she previously taught Food and Gender in U.S. Popular Culture and wrote a dissertation titled, The Dudification of Diet: Food Masculinities in Twenty-First-Century America.  She also blogstweets, and writes for Nursing Clio and the Providence Journal food section.

Richard Meckel

Richard Meckel (Ph.D. American Culture, University of Michigan) is Professor of American Studies at Brown. He is a U.S. social and cultural historian, primarily of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whose research and teaching interests include the histories of immigration and ethnicity, childhood and child welfare, medicine and public health, and epidemiology and demography. He is author of Save the Babies: American Public Health Reform and the Prevention of Infant Mortality, 1850-1929 (1990; 1998), Classrooms and Clinics: Urban Schools and the Protection and Promotion of Childhealth, 1870-1930 (2013), and is co-editor of Children and Youth in Sickness and Health (2004). In addition, he is author of variety of book chapters and articles ranging in topic from early twentieth-century Italian-American literature to mid-nineteenth-century urban morbidity and mortality trends.