On THE CAPSTONE you'll meet passionate individuals from across the country working on changing our food system in a vareity of ways. They select their capstone project as part of their requirement for the Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems at Prescott College.
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.
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!.
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.
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.
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.
Hava Villaverde, JD, MBA is Faculty Director of Prescott College's MBA in Sustainability Leadership and a practicing attorney specializing in corporate and transactional law, real estate development, and environmental law. She spent many years working in the retail grocery industry and puzzling through issues related to food waste.
Her various roles have combined the corporate legal industry knowledge she has built over the years with business acumen that allows her to confidently develop programming, advise students, and teach courses focused on sustainable business principles. Hava loves to connect people and develop networks for those that want to learn more about making the world a better place.
A soil scientist, Dr. Wendy Sue Harper teaches agricultural science courses that focus on sustainability, ecological management, and systems thinking. Dr. Harper served as a Scholar in Residence in the Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems program at Green Mountain College. She inspects crop farms and processors for organic certification with the Vermont Organic Farmers. She teaches about soils, composting and ecologically based agricultural practices for healthy soils and crops. Previously she worked for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) developing educational programs for vegetable and berry farmers. Dr. Harper taught and advised students and developed ecologically based curriculum at the University of Vermont for 18 years in the area of soil science and ecological agriculture.
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.
Andi Sciacca mentors start-ups in the food, tech, and education space. After serving as dean of instructional and faculty development at The Culinary Institute of America, she launched her own start-up focused on increased access to education. She developed the curriculum for the CIA’s graduate program, The Food Business School, and worked as a coach for Seth Godin’s Business of Food Workshop. Andi served as a Course Catalyst and Corps Member for +Acumen––and completed her certificate in social sector leadership with Berkeley-Haas. Andi is a Certified Lean Launch Educator, who most enjoys helping small-scale organizations and start-ups (particularly those in the food space) test their concepts, practice their pitches, and bring their ideas to life. Andi was on he leadership team of the Milwaukee Public School’s Pro-Start Chef Mentoring program––and serves as an advisory board member of The Commons and Co:Lab, both of which function as idea incubators and project accelerators. She is also the lead faculty member for the CIA’s Capstone Course in Food Business for the foodservice and CPG track, and leads development for all of the FBS open-enrollment online courses. In addition, she is the President of the Board of Directors for Cultivate MKE, a nonprofit dedicated to providing essential food-systems education, training, and career placement to underserved populations in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas.
Chris Ridgway has always had a passion for sound and audio recording and production. After completing training at the International School of Audio Engineering in Brisbane, Australia, Chris began his career working as a Sound Recordist and Video Post Production Sound editor with The Audio Visual Unit of the Queensland Dept. of Health, producing training and educational programs. Later Chris left to pursue a freelance career producing training videos and programs for other government departments and private firms. As a musician, Chris transitioned to music production and recording, producing commercially released music albums, and collaborating informally with the Australian Broadcasting Commission's various radio programs to provide audio and music support for including national outside broadcasts and comedy musical segments. Later in 2003, Chris moved to the U.S., and with a change to home country came a change in career. Now providing Export Shipping Logistics for a Biotech firm in Athens Ohio, Chris continues his audio production work on a part-time basis working with clients to produce music albums, poetry, soundscapes, interviews, and voice-overs.
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