About Us

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. 

The Faculty

Robin Currey

Robin Currey, Ph.D. is Associate Dean for Academic Innovation and Director & Faculty, Sustainable Food Systems at Prescott College teaching courses related to Food Systems Sustainability. Dr. Currey is an ethnoecologist specializing in biodiversity in small-scale agricultural systems, or home gardens. Dr. Currey served as faculty and as the 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 an ethnoecologist, the former Director of Mercy Corps in Kyrgyzstan, an international development and humanitarian organization, and the current non-executive Director for a Mercy Corps-founded bank. 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. 

Robin’s work focuses on food systems at the nexus of nutrition, agroecology, micro-entrepreneurship and rural finance for small-holder farmers. She holds a M.Sc. in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Florida International University with a focus on the ethnoecology of agroecosystems.

Barbara Gemmill-Herren

Barbara Gemmill-Herren, Ph.D. is Associate Faculty at Prescott College, teaching courses on Food Systems Biodiversity: Ecosystem Services and Agriculture and Food Advanced Policy. True Cost Accounting for Food Balancing the Scale, Dr. Gemmill-Herren’s co-edited book was just released.  She is also a senior associate to the World Agroforestry Centre, supporting the United Nations’ work on agroecology and true-cost accounting in agriculture. She was Delivery Manager, Major Area of Work on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and coordinated the United Nation's International Pollinator Initiative from 2010-2015.

Wendy Sue Harper

Wendy Sue Harper, Ph.D. is currently an associate faculty member at Prescott College in the Food Systems Sustainability Master of Science program. A soil scientist, she 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. She holds a M.S. in Forest Resources from Penn State and a Ph.D. from the University of Vermont in Plant and Soil Sciences.

Sharon Palmer

Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN is a registered dietitian who is passionate about plant-based, sustainable eating. She is the author of The Plant-Powered Diet series, with a new book, California Vegan, which can now be pre-ordered on Amazon. She has written more than 1000 articles in a variety of publications, speaks across the world on nutrition, and is a frequent expert in the media. She still has time to blog everyday at SharonPalmer.comSharon makes her home in Ojai, CA.

Eleanor Tison

Eleanor Tison, MA is the Co-Director of the Core Curriculum at Prescott College, Arizona, and teaches courses in Food Justice, Agroecology and Food Preservation. Eleanor has expertise in ethnoecology, seed conservation and food systems education.

Lisa Trocchia

Lisa Trocchia, Ph.D. 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.

Hava Villaverde

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.

Podcast Editor and Soundtrack Producer

Chris Ridgway

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.