Season 1

Prescott College The Capstone

Episode 1: Serving Those Who Served

After 25 years in the culinary industry, Mike Dewes, Culinary Director of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, VT, has created a Veteran-focused Culinary Sustainability Program and discusses the impact of veteran-focused food systems education focused on sustainability.  

Mike Dewes has 25-years of experience working in the culinary industry and currently works as Culinary Director for the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont. Over the course of his career as a chef, culinary educator, and program director he came to realize that the world of food extends far beyond the kitchen or dining table, and that culinarians can play a vital role in improving the sustainability of the food system overall. Mike aspires to create an educational space where culinary arts and food systems sustainability intersect. When not cooking for students, friends, or family, he enjoys hiking and cycling in the Green Mountains of Vermont. This episode also features special guest and mentor, Andi Sciacca.

Episode 2: Let's Talk Dairy
Molly Fenske shares her experiences in creating a guidebook to opening dialogue opportunities between consultants and dairy farmers that addresses operational challenges and strategies that will enable them to implement sustainable solutions that are visible to consumers.

Molly Fenske is a Senior Associate with K·Coe Isom providing animal agriculture with sustainable solutions by working with agribusinesses to identify opportunities for improvement and protect their farming and ranching activities. She has a passion for helping farmers do what they do best and finding ways to enhance their productivity. Molly specializes in on-farm analyses, conducting bilingual (Spanish/English) employee trainings around animal welfare, managing client challenges and delivering new solutions. She consults with agribusinesses on K·Coe Isom’s Cultivate e-learning program, an online educational training, testing, and tracking program, designed specifically to help producers protect their operations and build farm culture. When not on the farm collaborating with producers, Molly loves traveling, hiking and summertime bicycling to breweries.

Episode 3: Dig Into School Gardens
The challenges experienced in managing a school hydroponic tower garden led Brooke Franklin to her choice of Capstone topic, in which she tackles a comprehensive review of existing research on school garden programs. She shares what she’s learned about the barriers to success as well as the models that work.   

Even before entering graduate school, Brooke Franklin loved to cook. She and her husband bought their dream property on three acres and began planting fruit trees, gardening, and raising chickens. Through this hands-on experience she became increasingly aware of problematic issues in the food system in the United States and was inspired to pursue her passion to help create a more sustainable food system in college. Brooke aspires to gain a career where she can educate others on sustainable practices and animal welfare. She’s still active gardening and cooking, but also enjoys being with her family, reading, running, and playing violin.

Episode 4: Mapping Denver's Food Security Network
Equal access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a challenge, and many communities are working to engage with initiatives aimed at reducing food insecurity.. Hannah Keitel, explores system-based thinking through an in-depth review of network mapping tools strengthened through collaboration.   

Hannah Keitel lives in Denver, CO and currently works as the Programs & Outreach Manager for Slow Food Denver where she manages programming, fundraising, communications, and events for the organization. She will be stepping into the role as Director and is excited to continue strengthening Slow Food Denver’s work for a more just and sustainable food system. Hannah strives to change the way people understand and connect to their food. Through her work, she seeks to empower youth to become active participants in the food system, leading programs that engage kids in hands-on learning to connect with the land and their food. She actively supports school gardens, works to strengthen relationships between food producers and food consumers, promotes biodiversity conservation, and strives to bring food traditions back to the forefront of cultural cuisine. Outside of work, Hannah loves cooking, hiking and spending time with friends and family.

Episode 5: Food Entrepreunership
Cassie Greenberg brings her own business experience forward in her Capstone, a working template for business consultants interested in helping small local farms and food businesses become successful. Plug into her step-by-step guide that helps food entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of growing a values-based business.    

Cassie Greenberg has spent the last ten years in the arts and culture world working in fundraising and nonprofit management. She was honored to work for several organizations in the New Jersey and Philadelphia regions, where she had the chance to participate in and witness the power of art with some of the countries most renowned artists. While this has been thrilling, Cassie has also always had a deep appreciation for our food system and the role it plays in our lives. It was after her two daughters were born that her interest in food systems issues became heightened and she decided to combine graduate level studies in the field with the skill set she developed in the nonprofit world to, as she puts it, support businesses interested in changing the world—one plant and one plate at a time!.


Episode 6: Growing Nutrition in Hospitals
Sherri Pinero discusses her innovative Capstone project, a guide to creating a hospital-based edible educational garden, framed around nutrition and culinary programs. A model now being embraced by Kaiser Permanente, Sherri's guide provides a socially responsible health education model that supports environmental nutrition dietary recommendations.   

Sherri Pinero is a certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian. With over 20 years of dietetics experience, Sherri has worked in clinical nutrition, community outreach, in sales and marketing, and is an entrepreneur. For the past 9 years, Sherri has worked at Kaiser Permanente in Health Education/Preventative Medicine, where she facilitates classes on diabetes, lifestyle weight management, and heart health plant-based nutrition interventions via in the classroom and through cooking programs. As part of her role at Kaiser, she works with children with diabetes and their families in the Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic. Early on at Kaiser, she was asked to take on the role as the Riverside Regional Diabetes Committee Chair to assist in the development of a lifestyle-based weight management program that is offered to members (patients) throughout Southern California Kaiser Permanente’s. 

As an entrepreneur, Sherri was a professional food service consultant for over 10 years, helping restaurants and food manufacturers launch new food products and recipes, source ingredients, provide recipe analyses and customized meals for large-scale businesses such as dLife, and help meet her client’s goals while strengthening their brand.Input your text in this area

On The Show 

Dr. Lisa Trocchia

Dr. Lisa Trocchia is an Associate Faculty member in the graduate program in Sustainable Food Systems at Prescott College. She is also a network facilitator and consultant offering expertise in self-organizing, horizontal leadership, network organizational design, and visual storytelling. Lisa holds an interdisciplinary PhD in the Social Ecology of Food. She explores food-based social ecosystems from multiple perspectives, including Communication Studies, Sociology, Political Theory, and the study of networks and complex adaptive systems. Dr. Trocchia is a sensory ethnographer. She researches and writes about the performance of cultural foodways, food and the transmission of affect, and she examines the social ecologies of community-based food systems as sites of participatory and transformative change.

Dr. Robin Currey Prescott College

Dr. Robin Currey
Faculty Director, MS in Sustainable Food Systems

Dr. Robin Currey is an ethnoecologist specializing in agrobiodiversity conservation in small-scale agricultural systems, or home gardens. Before coming to Prescott College, Dr. Currey served as faculty and Director of the Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS) program at Green Mountain College. In addition to her experience at GMC, Dr. Currey is the former Director of Mercy Corps in Kyrgyzstan, international development and humanitarian organization, and the current non executive Director for Community Development Financial Institution in Kyrgyzstan. Her work with Mercy Corps in Kyrgyzstan grew from her efforts to understand and influence the sustainability and resilience of small-holder agro-pastoral systems to address inequalities in the food system.


Whether you want to talk to us about a topic in Sustainable Food Systems, learn more about our Master's program, or, would like to interview us, we're available to discuss topics related to biodiversity, food justice, sustainable farming pracitces, soil science and more.