About Us — Instructor, Teaching Assistant, and Student Teams

Jill Wrigley, the course instructor, teaches as an adjunct and advises students in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at UMBC. She came to food system advocacy through a career in labor and employment law out of a concern for the well-being of children and youth in her community in Baltimore City.  As a Baltimore Open Society Institute Community Fellow, she developed support for K12 food literacy, garden and cooking programs through Great Kids Farm and the Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School.

Jill at Great Kids Farm

Andres Camacho- Spent most of his early years in college working for tech companies and eventually launching his own mobile app company. However, Andres discovered that he loves greens even more than he loves money. With a degree in Entrepreneurship and Digital Communication he wants to apply his skills towards creating businesses the reimagine how we feed ourselves and in turn our relationship with natural ecosystems. Andres leads the True Greens project at UMBC.

Erik Schwarzenberg: College student seeking to merge the disciplines of health and wellness, nutrition for illness and Pre-Physician Assistant in a rapidly expanding, multicultural United States. Experience in the food system through jobs in the restaurant industry; looking to expand my understanding of the local system.

Dominic Costa-  Lead student for the Food Forest garden on campus. A senior at UMBC, finishing with a degree in Environmental Studies in the fall of 2015. Has experience in outdoor education and has spent a significant amount of time working on farms. Interested in mushroom cultivation for food and remediation projects. Currently managing a Shitake mushroom farm and expanding business to incorporate Oyster mushrooms as well. After graduation he plans to move to Ithaca, New York where he will continue to work with mushroom cultivation and start a farm of his own.

Rosa Rada: Lead student for the UMBC New Roots Garden project. She began her food journey when she became interested in nutrition as a cross country runner in high school. Since, she has served as an AmeriCorps for the IRC’s nutrition and gardening program, worked on an organic farm in Arizona, and continues to serve as the UMBC garden’s Community and Education Director where she is developing youth food justice programs. She is pursing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in food policy. She plans to devote her life to improving the food system and ensuring food justice.

Christopher Comeau: Student currently of junior standing, pursuing an Interdisciplinary Studies degree focused on Human Rights. Food system justice is a particular interest of mine, as it intersects with other issues including: climate change, democratic control of vital systems, etc.  I am particularly interested in how to promote radical systemic change through creating alternative institutions under popular control. I’m primarily working with the Village Farmers Market this semester.

Nicole Fiore: A transfer student and Interdisciplinary Studies Major, Nicole worked for Living Classrooms Foundation in the Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students program as an after-school teacher before leaving to return to school. She has been involved with various social justice projects in Baltimore City and abroad such as performing with the Guardian dance company whose mission is to restore the ethnic identity of urban youth in Sandtown,  and working as a teacher’s assistant in Honduras. She hopes to facilitate many more projects that make Charm City even more charming.

Someone recently asked Thomas Eliason in an informal interview what he had to offer to the Just Food cause—an org dedicated to bringing better, healthier, more sustainable food to the UMBC campus—to which he answered: I have a well-rounded skill set, but most important is my vested interest in this opportunity, in this campus, in this world, which is my health and my responsibility.

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Lydia Russell: Student, performing and visual artist with an interest in finding the places where art can exist within the food system, creating just and sustainable systems, and generally getting her hands dirty. Deeply in love with Baltimore city and hoping to undertake projects in places where food justice is seldom talked about put into practice.

Joshua Franklin: A graphic design student at UMBC intending to pursue graduate studies in Landscape Architecture. Interested in connecting his creativity with the natural world to be a solid player in creating a more beautiful, sustainable world.

Stefanie Choh-  A HAPP student. focusing on promoting both physical and dietary health in many environments.I am  Interested in solving global problems such as food insecurities, diseases and lack of physical health. I plan on traveling around the world and hopefully, my work someday can help our future generation.

Chad Grant- A graduating senior at UMBC, pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Integrated Marketing Communications. Dedicated to applying his marketing perspective to societal issues, Chad is working primarily with the Hungry Harvest initiative to extend nutritious foods to the insecure, while simultaneously reducing food waste. Chad also has 7 years of experience as a volunteer for the Manna Food Center.

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Amina Touma- A transfer student double majoring in Biology and Global Studies, who strongly believes that medicine should be for the care of the people. She moved to America, from Iraq, when she was 3 years old and has seen the hardships refugees face when emigrating to a new land. She is working with the New Roots Garden in the hopes of easing the transition for refugees.

Priyanka Prasad– An Interdisciplinary Studies major concentrating in the Neuroscience of Aging. She is particularly interested in how individuals, particularly older members of our population, can better approach and deal with health problems, such as nutrition. Through her work with the Village Farmers Market, she hopes to encourage sensible changes that have lasting positive effects on the well-beings of members in the Southwest Baltimore area.

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