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* Indicates faculty person who can serve as an FCSJ Minor Professor and sign programs of study.


Lauren Gwin, PhD, Research Associate and Faculty

Lauren Gwin is the Associate Director of the Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems, Extension Food Systems Specialist, and an Assistant Professor at OSU. Her extension and research focus on policy and regulations, small-scale processing, and distribution and marketing within local and regional food systems. She also leads the national Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network.

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Melissa Cheyney, PhD, Assoc. Professor of Biocultural Medical Anthropology

Sarah Cunningham,* PhD, Instructor, Food in Culture and Social Justice Coordinator

Growing up as I did in the Midwest, a generation off the farm, the role of food in our society has always loomed large in my mind.  From my teenage years as a vegan to my adult years participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), I have tried to affect positive change to our food system through my own consumer choices.  A similar goal guides my teaching about food.  Food is so important in our lives, much more so than students sometimes realize.  It’s symbolic, social, political, and hugely consequential for the environment.  My research interests include the experiences of and responses to food insecurity among underserved populations and how youth involvement might improve both the food system and the future of rural communities.

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Joan Gross,* PhD, Professor of Linguistic & Cultural Anthropology.

Learn about Dr. Gross's work in Ecuador with the Binational Learning Community.

I am fascinated by the ways in which food intersects with so many aspects of human life, from the biological to the symbolic. In the process, it becomes intrinsic to one’s identity. I began focusing my research on food upon discovering that the agriculturally rich state of Oregon had the highest hunger rates in the nation. This speaks to how the global industrial food system has broken the connection between people and what nourishes them. Earlier research trips that involved learning to procure, cook and eat food in Belgium, France and Morocco exposed me to different levels of importance given to the quality of food and ways of preparing it. My interest is drawn to positive deviants within the system (back to the landers, freegans, the global peasantry in Vía Campesina and more mainstream food activists in Slow Food and related organizations) who attempt to re-orient the present system into one that is more ecologically sound and socially just. I have two ongoing research projects. One compares food activism under two very different policy regimes in Oregon and Ecuador and the other examines family nutritional practices among farmers in Northern Ecuador in the midst of nutritional transition. I think that there is a lot to be learned through the ethnographic investigation of food production, distribution and consumption and I look forward to working with students who share these interests.

Food-related publications with live links:

David McMurray
,* Phd, Professor of Cultural Anthropology

I developed a class on Agri-food Movements (ANTH567), which is a graduate seminar, part of the Food in Culture and Social Justice Certificate program. It takes as its starting point the position that our agri-food system should be judged in terms of how well or poorly it supports social justice and environmental sustainability. The course thus takes a critical stance towards the current varieties of global agri-food systems by concentrating on the forms of food activism that have developed to provide alternatives to the problems of environmental degradation, worker safety, animal welfare, and consumer health problems associated with industrial agriculture around the globe.

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Lisa Price,* PhD, Professor of Cultural Anthropology

Nancy Rosenberger,* PhD, Professor of Cultural Anthropology

My present food-related research has various arms. First I study organic farmers in Japan. I am particularly considering alternative food systems in Japan through the farmers' strategies of uncertainty and a certain manner of resistance that they use in relation to radiation and market shifts.  Second, along with graduate students, I am conducting a study of oral histories of Gleaners in Linn and Benton County. These people volunteer to glean food from supermarkets to food bank to field.  Third, my research in Tajikistan of poor women who run small-scale businesses that are often food-related is another aspect of the food system. They draw heavily on their household skills and their family labor. I have also written a book about political and personal rights to food in Uzbekistan.


Mary Cluskey, PhD, RD, Associate Professor, Nutrition

Research involves the investigation of consumer issues relative foods and food choices; explore and determine what influences of nutrition knowledge and awareness; perceptions of definitions for healthy foods and eating;  sensory acceptability of foods in driving healthy food choices.  Research areas also seek to examine how immediate environment impacts food choices and eating behaviors with specific attention to peers, parents and family; adolescent and young adult eating behaviors.

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Russ Karow, PhD, Department Head


Norma Cárdenas, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Latino/a-Chicano/a Studies


Laurence Becker, PhD, Associate Professor


Anita Guerrini,*  PhD, Horning Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History

My research interests related to food include the role of the kitchen as an experimental site in early modern science, the early history of vegetarianism, and the relationship between diet and health in early modern Europe.  I am also an avid cook, baker, and eater!

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Garry Stephenson,  PhD, Associate Professor


Patti Watkins, PhD, Associate Professor


Mark Edwards, PhD, Associate Professor

I focus much of my attention on patterns of food insecurity in the United States, and to state-sponsored and nonprofit private responses improving food security for households and communities.  I have recently supervised or been directly involved in research focused on: SNAP use before and after the Great Recession, SNAP recipients as a representation of Oregon’s working poor, changing patterns of household food insecurity, and collaborations between participants in the anti-hunger movement.

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Sarah Jameson, Senior Instructor/Assistant Director of Writing