Katherine McDonald, Ph.D., was in a brainstorming session with other editors from the innovative journal Autism in Adulthood and jokingly says that “I made the mistake of having a good idea for a special issue.” The result: McDonald, a professor…
Scholar Spotlight: Anna Delapaz ’17
Once she took her first food studies course at SU, Anna Delapaz discovered how much there is to know about food. So when Falk College announced its newest undergraduate major in food studies, it was no surprise that Delapaz signed on as the first official major in the program. A double major in nutrition, her career plans are focused on becoming a registered dietitian. She hopes to delve further into her interests in community gardens and improving food access. “I think having a background in both nutrition and food studies is a great way to fully grasp the complexity of food,” says Delapaz, who hails from Dallas.
How did you get interested in nutrition and food studies?
In high school I read Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” This was my first time really thinking about our food system. My senior year, I decided to pursue a degree in nutrition. After delving into classes at SU dealing with how nutrition affects the body, I found myself interested in the social, economic and political aspects of food as well. I enrolled in a food studies course and thought it would be perfect to do a double major and learn more about both aspects of food.
What is your advice to other students thinking about a major in food studies?
Try it out! FST 102, “Contemporary Food Issues,” is a great introductory class. Talk to the professors. Everyone in the department is so eager to share their passion. There is such a range in classes, from understanding sustainable agriculture to learning about workers’ rights. I’ve never taken a food studies course that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. Each class has something new and unique to offer
How have you carried on your interest in food outside the classroom?
This semester, I am the first intern for My Lucky Tummy, a community organization that works to promote awareness of the refugee population in Syracuse through sharing different ethnic dishes at pop-up food courts. Through the organization, I have worked side-by-side with people from all over the world. It was really amazing to see food’s ability to bring people together and share a passion and love for food through My Lucky Tummy. This has been a great way for me to connect to the Syracuse community and appreciate the diversity it has to offer.
Also, this summer I spent 65 days traveling across the U.S. on a National Parks Tour. I drove with my boyfriend from Syracuse to Seattle. It was such a unique and eye-opening experience in a lot of ways. In many states we saw a strong lack of fresh produce. Only once we got into more major cities were we able to buy things like apples and avocados.
What else are you involved in at the University?
I am heavily involved in the Syracuse University Outing Club. The club does pretty much any outdoor activity you can imagine, including backpacking, whitewater rafting, climbing, caving, etc. I joined the club my sophomore year and never left! SUOC has provided me a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty of New York outside of the Syracuse campus.
What would you like to do with your nutrition and food studies major after your graduate?
As with most college students, I am not sure what I want to do with my major yet. There are a lot of options that interest me, such as becoming a registered dietitian or pursing a masters in Food Studies. I have a strong interest in sustainable agriculture and improving food availability.