Harvard University Dining Services’ (HUDS) Food Literacy Project Fellows learn about the food system, leadership, event design and much more. FLP Fellows plan projects and events that help educate and engage our community and connect food-related initiatives and projects across the University. FLP Fellows also share information with their House/class and act as the go-to source for food education in their house. Every undergraduate house/dining hall has at least one fellow, and two graduate schools (GSAS, SPH) also participate.
HUDS has more than 15 Food Literacy Project (FLP) Fellows – young men and women from a range of backgrounds and with an array of perspectives and interests when it comes to food.
Meet some of the Fellows:
Sabrina Chok, '20
Winthrop House Fellow
I am a senior in Winthrop House with a concentration in East Asian Studies and a secondary in Economics. Originally from New York City, I grew up fascinated by the role of food in different cultures and communities. In my own Malaysian-Chinese immigrant household, food always brought me closer to my parents and their home country. It was over laksa noodles and roti canai where I’d learn about their vibrant childhoods in Malaysia and the rich history and tradition behind some of their favorite dishes. I love the intrinsic ability of food to tell stories and to connect people from different backgrounds, and as a new FLP Fellow, I look forward to creating spaces which encourage students to develop a greater appreciation for the cultural diversity within our community.
Mei Collins, '22
Eliot House Fellow
I am a sophomore in Eliot House planning to concentrate in environmental engineering and ESPP. Since I was young, I have always loved food, from making dumplings with my grandmother in China to exploring new recipes with my sister. To me, good food serves as an important bridge to connect with my family and heritage, and generally is one of the most enjoyable parts of life! I recently began to become even more interested in the connection between our environment and the food we eat, and I hope to learn more about the food system local to Harvard as an FLP fellow. I am eager to explore more deeply issues of food and environmental justice and form a strong community while at it!
Isabella Di Pietro, '20
Mather House Fellow, Student Captain
I'm a senior in Mather House concentrating in History and Literature. I grew up in New York City, working in my father's restaurants and spending time in Italy (mostly in my grandmother's kitchen). Food, at its core, can be one of the most powerful ways to bring people together and, on the most fundamental level, to nurture each other. Growing up around delicious, wholesome food, and enjoying cooking myself, I definitely took this for granted. More recently, however, I have begun learning about the ways our farming practices and eating habits are damaging culture, the environment, and public health and thinking about solutions to these issues.
Nina Elkadi, '22
Quincy House Fellow
Hi everyone! My name is Nina and I’m a sophomore in Quincy House studying History and Literature with a secondary in education. I'm originally from a place where a lot of our food comes from: Iowa! My interest in food begins with Yelp — a rating site where I’ve documented my journey with food fairly consistently since 2015. My journey as a “Yelp Elite” was initially comical, but has made me reflect on why I like remembering meals so much. There is something special about thinking about where your food comes from, how it's prepared, and who it’s shared with. I acquired a deeper interest for how food works after working on local policy with my state senator, which, living in Iowa, brought me to a lot of troubling information on confined feeding operations (CAFOs) and water quality. I love thinking about how food can bring people together, and similarly, how good food can be sustainable. Outside of FLP you can find me hiking, biking, or eating. There's a lot of eating.
Jess Eng, '21
Adams House Fellow
I am a junior in Adams House intending to concentrate in Computer Science or Statistics with a secondary in Education Studies. Eight years ago, I started thinking more critically about food after writing about my food encounters on the internet—first on Yelp (surprise!) and then on a personal blog. These experiences inspired me to work several food service jobs before and during college and seek out opportunities to learn from and interview chefs, farmers, and experts from food publications and podcasts. As a native San Franciscan and third-generation Chinese-American, I am particularly curious about the new wave of Chinese food (among other Asian foods) in America and its cultural implications on the perception of Asians and Asian-Americans.
Richard Lin, '21
Food Recovery Fellow
I’m a junior in Adams House studying religion and physics. Food has always been a central part of my life. As a kid, my parents owned the neighborhood Chinese restaurant, so I spent a lot of my childhood running around a kitchen, watching my dad and the other chefs make food. My parents eventually moved on from the restaurant business, but my dad continues to cook daily meals for my family. As a student and a more independent person now, my dad (sadly) cannot always make me a meal. Nonetheless, food still serves as a way for me to spend time with close ones—whether I’m catching up with an old friend through a meal, or making Thanksgiving turkey with my roommates in the Adams’ kitchen.
GSAS Commons Fellow
I am a Ph.D. student of modern Chinese history by day and an aspiring pastry chef at night. I discovered my culinary passion during my exchange year in Paris, where I began an unofficial apprenticeship under the aegis of my French host family. For the past three years, I have served as resident advisor in GSAS residence hall, serving homemade cakes and treats. AS FLP fellow, I hope to promote healthy and ethical eating while using food to explore the diversity of our community. From visits to local farms and restaurants to cooking tutorials to talks by food historians, I look forward to organizing food events that enliven your palate.
Amia Ross, '22
Dunster House Fellow
I’m a sophomore in Dunster House planning to jointly concentrate in computer science and philosophy. Growing up deeply intertwined with my Jewish and half-Chinese identities, I’ve always felt that food holds so much more meaning that just simply sustenance - it really is the glue that holds my communities around me together, and through food, I learned to reconcile with my personal identity. As an FLP Fellow, I’m interested in not only exploring what food really means in the sense of global culture, nutrition, politics, history, and identity, but also fostering community through our favorite foods that have allowed me and so many others to feel at home wherever we go. I love testing out interesting restaurants with friends, writing about the many roles food plays in my life, cooking with my family, and simply eating good food!
Jessica Scazzero, '20
Leverett House Fellow
I am a senior in Leverett House concentrating in Economics with a secondary and citation in Italian Language. My passion for food started at a young age, baking traditional Southern Italian desserts in my Grandmother's kitchen. Growing up in an Italian-American community in New York, I've always been fascinated by the interplay between cultures, especially in regards to food. My personal interest in food morphed into intellectual curiosity after taking the Science and Cooking class at Harvard my sophomore year; a curiosity that's led me to study food systems around the world specifically in San Sebastian, Spain, Bologna, Italy and Beijing, China. It's through these experiences, that I've come to understand the power of food in shaping our society and experiences and I am looking forward to being part of FLP to share this with the greater Harvard community.
Samantha Schmitz, '22
Lowell House Fellow
I am a sophomore in Lowell House. Growing up in a family of foodies, I've always loved seeing the way that food can bring people together and how I'm able to put such a big smile on my family's faces just by baking or cooking for them. I'm really excited to be able to share this passion of mine while also learning more about the intricacies of the food system at Harvard!
Joseph Winters, '20
Events & Outreach Fellow
I am a senior in the Dudley Co-op. I'm studying Environmental Science and Public Policy with a secondary in Human Evolutionary Biology. I'm originally from a tiny town in Washington State, nestled in the Wenatchee Valley (known as the "apple capital of the world"). At home, I fell in love with cooking at the age of 12, and the farmer's market and natural food store quickly became two of my favorite hangouts. Here at Harvard, I've been involved with the Resource Efficiency Program, the Vegan Society, and Vegitas to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of our everyday food choices. But most importantly, I believe knowing something, anything, beyond the surface about how our food gets to us is extremely important.