“I’m proud that the curriculum centers equity, diversity, and social justice as key pieces of creating a better food system.”
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree and what made you choose the CIA’s master’s program?
I love doing my own research and writing—but I had started to come to the boundaries of what I could teach myself. I knew I needed a program that would introduce me to new mentors, resources, and collaborators so I could take my knowledge and skills to the next level. The CIA master’s program was the best fit for me because of its flexibility and affordability compared to similar programs.
How do you hope to use your master’s degree in your career moving forward?
I am working to help develop and coalesce the wild foods community in North America, because I believe it’s a key part of building a more equitable and sustainable food system. This master’s degree will help me expand my network of colleagues and increase my strategies for making an impact.
What’s unique about this Sustainable Food Systems degree that made you choose it over other programs?
I couldn’t find another program that looked at food systems with such intentional attention to intersectionality. I’m proud that the curriculum centers equity, diversity, and social justice as key pieces of creative a better food system. I also appreciate that it gives me the flexibility to direct my research towards my particular interests: foraging, food forests, Indigenous food sovereignty, and alternative economies.
How were you able to balance your personal life and job with your studies?
At times, it has been a challenge to balance it all. Thankfully, the asynchronous cadence of the curriculum makes it possible for me to read and learn in small pieces throughout the week, and then dedicate one day each week to reading and writing. It’s a lot of work, but there are lots of tools and resources to make it manageable.
What do you consider to be the strengths of the CIA master’s program?
I think the strength of the program is the holistic view of how food systems are presented and analyzed. I’m able to analyze complex food system challenges and develop sustainable solutions with thoroughness and nuance.
Follow JB on Instagram at @jbdouglas.food.