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.
Below are some of last year's (2019-2020) Fellows:
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!
Melissa Du, '22
Quincy House Fellow
I am a sophomore in Quincy House, concentrating in Computer Science with a secondary in English! Outside of FLP, I’m on the fencing team, involved in business clubs on campus, and love posting to my food-stagram. To me, food is a multifaceted mode of expression and communication. My mom’s homemade food keeps me grounded in Chinese culture and traditions. Additionally, I love trying foods from other cultures, as it is a way to learn about their traditions and histories. Since food is a central part of our lives biologically and socially, I think it is incredibly important for us to be more knowledgeable of food systems. For instance, we end up wasting so much food, which then contributes to carbon emissions. As an FLP Fellow, I’m looking forward to working with our house communities to cultivate stronger and more educated relationships with food, ranging from nutrition to sustainability.
Jess Eng, '21
Adams House Fellow
I am a junior in Adams House concentrating in Folklore and Mythology and Statistics. 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 and Asian food (especially boba) in America and its cultural implications on the perception of Asians and Asian-Americans.
Carson Kurad, '23
I’m a freshman in Weld Hall, and though I’m still undecided about my study plans, I think I’m leaning toward either History or Government. Coming from Austin, Texas, I care a lot about awareness of food choices and ways to make our food system as sustainable and practical as possible. On top of that, I believe that food is integral to building a meaningful sense of community. Whether it’s grabbing tacos with friends or enjoying a warm dinner with family, I believe we form some of our most meaningful interpersonal connections over food. As an FLP Fellow, I really hope to help this feeling of community grow at Harvard, and I look forward to learning about the food system and the ways in which we can make more educated food choices.
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.
Skylah Reis, ’21
Dunster House Fellow
I am a junior in Dunster House studying Integrative Biology. My childhood obsession with cooking shows led me first to working in the food service industry and then to being a farmer myself. I work as a soil farmer on a small farm that doubles as a restorative community and as an ocean farmer on a small island off of the coast of Massachusetts where I harvest oysters! I am really interested in sustainable agriculture practices (especially aquaculture) and the ways in which food plays a role in larger social justice movements. As an FLP rep I am eager to learn more about the entire food production process from pre-planting to plate and to think about how we, as Harvard students, can make more informed decisions about what we eat!
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!
Sunny Tang, '23
I'm a freshman in Grays Hall, and I'm considering a concentration in Chemistry. Growing up, I always enjoyed baking - it was fun and delicious, methodical yet creative at the same time. Later on, when I wanted to gain a more fundamental understanding of particular ingredients and methods of preparation, I became interested in learning about food from a scientific perspective. Since then, my initial (and still current!) fascination with flavor has grown to include how the food in question was previously processed, and even further, how the food was originally grown - all of which I believe can then be linked to nutrition. As an FLP fellow, I'm super excited to continue exploring this interest and to learn more about the other aspects of our food system. Outside of FLP, I'm also an oboist in the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra!
Polly Watson, '22
Cabot House Fellow
I am a sophomore in Cabot House, and am planning to concentrate in psychology. I grew up on a small farm on Cape Cod, and food has always been an important part of my life. Throughout my childhood I cooked with my Dad, and helped with a farm to school program and farmers’ market that my mom cofounded in our town. I am so excited to have the opportunity to further pursue my interest in food and nutrition and to share my knowledge with others through FLP!
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.