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An introduction to this year’s WFPA Board

August 21, 2012
by

Hello All!

We hope everyone had a wonderful summer and is looking forward to the upcoming year. The WFPA is in full swing and we are looking forward to connecting with students and peers from all around New York City. Food policy continues to be a hot topic, and we hope to facilitate some great events, speakers, meet and greets, and of course good food throughout the school year. Stay tuned here on the blog, as well as on our listserve and facebook page for updates.

We hope to see you very soon!

MEET THE 2012/2013 WFPA LEADERS:

ALISA AHMADIAN, Chair

Wagner, 2nd year

Public + Nonprofit Management Program, International Specialization

Why you joined the WFPA board: After exploring the ins and outs of some of Wagner’s student organizations as a new first year, I joined WFPA as a first year board member to hone in on an issue area that stood out to me after years of working in the environmental protection sector: food policy. Personally, I think sustainability and food security are innately tied–after working on a two-year waste analysis and reduction study at UCLA, I knew I wanted to get involved in creating a better international food system.

Class you are most looking forward to this year: I am excited to take my first Urban Planning class this fall, Decentralized Development Planning, where I can dig into the logistics of challenging infrastructural problems specific to rural development. As much as all my Policy classes captivated me last year, spatial configuration and design are calling to me!

Dream Job or Current Job: Career-wise, I hope to promote smart strategies for agricultural production in water-scarce or flood-prone areas like the Middle East, Africa or Southeast Asia. Courses at Wagner initiated an unexpected love for stats and data analysis-I see myself using these tools to test out cutting-edge programs, analyze data and then implement new technology that improves sustainability and yields!

Favorite ingredient: All of my cooking is vegetarian, and most of it is ethnic. However, nearly everything I make includes Sriracha to kick it up. I’m also obsessed with coconut in both savory and sweet dishes.

LAUREN THRELKELD BUSH, Events Chair

NYU Wagner, 2nd Year

PNP-Policy Specialization

Why you joined the WFPA board: As a part-time student I don’t always have the chance to fully engage with other students outside of class concerning the myriad of debates around food that are so important to me.  Participating on the WFPA board as the Events Chair will enable me to stay knowledgeable of the amazing work my peers are doing, as well as involve others who want to learn and do, but don’t know where to start.  I have an extensive background in event planning and hope to create seamless events that will reach a wide audience at both Wagner and within the larger NYU community.

Class you are most looking forward to this year: I am most looking forward to Current Debates in U.S. National Food Politics and Policy this fall.  I am thrilled that Professor Rogan Kersh will be returning to lead us through an in-depth discussion on a topic that seems to have (finally!) captured the nation’s attention.

Dream Job or Current Job: After interning in Senator Gillibrand’s office and making my way through so many representative’s offices in Washington, D.C. as a food safety advocate, my dream job after graduating is to work for an elected official.  I hope to use these experiences as a foundation for launching my own campaign some day.

Favorite ingredient: Until I was a college student with my own kitchen where I could experiment behind closed doors, I was a menace in the kitchen.  To put it mildly, I set microwaves on fire.  Since then, cooking has become an outlet after a long, tiring day.  I cook almost every night and no recipe is too big or too long to master.  My single favorite ingredient to cook with is scallions—or as they are known where I’m from, green onions.

NOAH ISAACS, Community Outreach Chair

Wagner School of Public Affairs

Health Policy and Management

Why you joined the WFPA board: While my focus at Wagner is health policy, my primary interest is where health and food policy intersect. I joined the WFPA Board to expand the footprint of food policy within the student population at NYU. The scope of what’s going on right now in at the local, state, federal and global level regarding food policy is enormous, but a lot is happening in New York and I believe Wagner should be at the vanguard of it all, pushing the conversation forward.

Class you are most looking forward to this year: I’m looking forward to Policy Formation this fall. While my goal at Wagner is to expand my quantitative skill set, academically, I love getting into the analytical side of how policy decisions are made.

Dream Job or Current Job: My dream job is to do strategic planning for large companies around health that incentivizes eating well and living healthily so that we can reduce the healthcare costs in this country while also enhancing the quality of our diets.

Favorite ingredient: When I’m cooking, I throw sautéed shallots into any and everything.

RACHEL HANNON, Communications Chair

Steinhardt

Food Studies

Why you joined the WFPA board: Last year I attended some wonderful WFPA events (Whole Foods talk, Jimmy’s 43 meet-ups, film screenings, cooking demos) and was very impressed with the group and the people in it. As a Food Studies student, WFPA is a great bridge between policy and the food system, and I hope that this year the group will continue to connect students to the people and policies that feed us.

Class you are most looking forward to this year: I am really looking forward to Food Policy with Marion Nestle. I spent the summer studying international food policy in Africa and am excited to switch gears and focus on domestic policy and the Farm Bill.

Dream Job or Current Job: Currently I am working for Clark Wolf, a restaurant consultant in NYC/SF Bay Area. It has been an amazing experience to learn about the New York food and beverage scene, food policy and basically all things food & business. It is a perfect fit to help me achieve my dream job of one day opening my own specialty foods store with a social enterprise/educational component to it.

Favorite ingredient: Tahini and avocados. I love them mashed together with some good sea salt and a squeeze of lemon spread on toast, and I often use them is sauces and dressings.

MONIQUE LYNNETTE MAREZ, Treasurer

Steinhardt

Food Studies

Hey All Here’s the Skinny on Your’s Truly, WFPA Treasurer 2012-13! Watch out now.

My Name is Monique Lynnette Marez.  I am working on a master’s degree in Food Studies at Steinhardt.

Why you joined the WFPA board: I joined the WFPA board because I wanted the opportunity to share with other NYU students just how important our food system is!  I hope WFPA will help us all realize that our food system needs some work.  Our events will create a network for us to do just that!

Class you are most looking forward to this year: I am most looking forward to my international regulation class.  I’m curious why the EU has GMO labeling while the US does not; an interesting comparison for a food nerd like me.

Dream Job or Current Job: Currently I work at the James Beard Foundation, more on that later!

Favorite ingredient: My favorite ingredient of all time: GARLIC…need I say more.

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