Student Staff

BFI supports student fellows across disciplines to research pressing policy issues and undertake community engagement projects. BFI also convenes the UC Global Food Initiative Student Fellows. Any open student positions are posted on our Jobs and Resources page.

Melissa Cervantes, Development Assistant

Undergraduate Student, Society & Environment and Conservation and Resource Studies. Melissa (she/her) is a fourth-year undergraduate student from Napa, California. Growing up near an agricultural preserve, she noticed the socioeconomic problems that come with working in the agricultural or food industry. Many of her family members are farmworkers, which has influenced her passion for environmental justice, specifically the nexus between environmental education and media. Before joining BFI, Melissa was co-lead of the Latinxs & the Environment (LEI) seminar and engaged in independent research projects. She is excited to be part of a talented team who share similar interests and goals.

Headshot of Katie Fallon

Katie Fallon, Graduate Student Researcher

Master’s Student, City Planning. Katie (she/her) is a second year student from Seattle, Washington. As a planner, Katie is interested in creating more environmentally just, resilient, and equitable cities. She cultivated a love of food systems and urban farming as a child working in the garden with her grandpa. As a graduate student researcher at BFI, Katie is excited to explore the intersection between environmental and food justice and gain a deeper understanding of how policy can impact food security. In her free time, you can find Katie outside, whether that is playing ultimate frisbee, backpacking, or just walking around her neighborhood.

Moncerrat Hernandez, Undergraduate Agricultural Labor Research Fellowship

Undergraduate Student, Environmental Sciences. Moncerrat (she/her) is a first year undergraduate student from Oxnard, California. Growing up in an agricultural city, she engaged with matters impacting farmworkers’ health. Her interests include environmental justice, technology, and medicine. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and gardening. She looks forward to being a part of a collective effort and connecting with community members.


Isabel Martin, Global Food Initiative Food Systems Career Fellow

Undergraduate Student, Environmental Science. Isabel (she/her) is a third-year undergraduate student from Napa, California. Before joining BFI, she interned for Parks California learning how to make parks more accessible to communities. On campus, she is an active member of the environmental community through the UC Green New Deal and the Students of Color Environmental Collective. Her interest in food systems comes from a childhood spent surrounded by both agriculture and nature, and as a result, she is passionate about empowering people through nature. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, sewing, and caring for houseplants.

Photo of Jesús Nazario.

Jesús Nazario, Graduate Student Fellow

PhD Student, Ethnic Studies. Jesús (he/they) is a PhD student in Ethnic Studies, where his research focuses on the intersection of food and Indigenous sovereignty, as well as the incorporation of memory and archival methods. He is passionate about photography, laughing, research dissemination, and forming foundations of a more food-equitable society. As a recent Master’s of Arts graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, where he focused on maize adoptions by Nahua farmers, he is interested in connecting with Indigenous activists, food scholars, and communities of color to increase access and understanding to heritage and local foods. Outside of BFI, he is involved in community gardening and housing justice projects.

Sarah Siegel, Communications Assistant

Undergraduate Student, Geography, Geospatial Information Science and Technology. Sarah (she/they) is a fourth-year undergraduate student from Turlock, California. Before coming to BFI, she edited for the Daily Californian and established the paper’s environmental blog. Her interest in food systems grew from a semester spent planting, harvesting, and composting at the UC Gill Tract Community Farm. She believes in strengthening community through storytelling.

Ashley Yue

Ashley Yue, Urban Ag and Finance Assistant

Undergraduate, Society and Environment, Food Systems. Ashley (she/her) is in her final year as a fourth year transfer. In her free time she loves to pleasure read, be in company with friends, and nurture the community surrounding her. She is excited to be working with individuals who have the same genuine interests and growing alongside them.