Photo of students at a networking career panel.

2020–21 Food Systems Career Panel Series

Interested in a career in transforming food systems? Join the Berkeley Food Institute for a series of three career panel webinars that highlight different food and agriculture sectors. Speakers will share stories of how they built their job paths and offer insights into current trends in the field. 

Each session has a separate registration link and can be attended individually. Or inspire your career by attending all three! Presented with the Berkeley Food Institute Student Councils.

Scroll down to see speaker bios.

Session 1 – Food Businesses: The Protein Session

View Session 1 here.

Speakers

Session 2 – Food Justice Nonprofits from a Regional Lens

View Session 2 here.

Speakers

Session 3 – Celebrating Berkeley Food Institute Alumni!

February 2, 2021, 6–7 PT
Register here.

Speakers

Opening remarks by BFI friend John Casazza BSc ’77, Consultant in Sustainable Agriculture Development and Food Systems, Agriculture Production, and Food Systems Analysis

Rosalie Z. Fanshel,  rzfanshel@berkeley.edu,  510-610-8571

Simultaneous captioning will be provided via an Otter link that will be shared throughout the webinar in the chat function. If you require any other accommodation for effective communication in order to fully participate in this virtual event, please contact Rosalie Z. Fanshel with as much advance notice as possible, and at least 7–10 days in advance.

Session 1 Speaker Bios

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Prachi Jha

Prachi Jha is a recent Cal alum with a passion for sustainable food. While studying Molecular Environmental Biology at Cal, she helped lead the university’s Food Science and Technology club and was fortunate enough to serve as an Undergraduate Fellow at the Berkeley Food Institute. During the day she works as a Research Assistant at The Better Meat Company in Sacramento, helping drive forward their mission of integrating plant-based proteins into conventional meat products. By night, she practices her new pandemic hobby of crocheting. Outside of work and crocheting, Prachi loves reading about new food technologies and exploring the forests around Sacramento.

Alan Lovewell headshot

Alan Lovewell

Alan Lovewell was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard, a small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Growing up on the water, he has devoted himself to serving coastal communities domestically and internationally. Alan holds a BA from UC Santa Cruz, and a MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Alan’s personal and professional interest is at the intersection of marine resource management and sustainable food systems. He is founder and CEO of Real Good Fish, a community-supported fishery in Moss Landing, California that connects local fishermen with local consumers with weekly deliveries of high-quality, local, sustainable seafood. He and his wife founded the award-winning program, Bay2Tray, which brings local seafood to public school children through their school lunch program, and brings local fishermen into their classroom to engage in experience-based learning around ocean health.

Monica Martinez headshot

Monica Martinez

Monica Martinez is an entrepreneur, industrial designer, and educator whose creative work explores ideas about food production, storage, and economics. Her work includes Don Bugito, an edible insect entrepreneurial food project and farm, food installations, architectural designs, dinners, and food offerings. Her work has been reviewed by Nova PBS, PRI’s The World, and the New York Times. Monica is a native of Mexico City and received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009. Currently she resides in San Francisco, California where she teaches classes as an Adjunct Professor for the MFA Design program at the California College of the Arts.

Headshot of Ricard San Martin

Ricardo San Martin

Ricardo San Martin is the Research Director of the Alternative Meat Program at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at UC Berkeley. The Alternative Meat Program allows students to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in alternatives to animal meat. This is a meaningful and complex challenge about which he cares deeply, especially since two of his four children are vegan. He believes that Berkeley is the most powerful place on earth to tackle this immense challenge and make real change, particularly for the large population of our planet that needs low cost, nutritious and sustainable protein. For over 30 years, he was a hands-on inventor and entrepreneur of plant-extracts, some of which are used today by the companies that are developing alternatives to meat. Dr. San Martin holds a BS from Universidad Catolica de Chile in Chemical Engineering, a MSc. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Biotechnology from Imperial College, London.

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Minh Tsai

Minh Tsai is founder and CEO of Hodo Foods. Today, Hodo is one of the most original and sought after plant-based brands in the US. But Vietnamese refugee Minh Tsai never expected he’d be running such a company. Minh simply decided to make the delicious, organic artisan foods he grew up eating in Vietnam, but found elusive in the US. He started with one farmer’s market stand in the San Francisco Bay Area 15 years ago. Through innovating his own take on wholesome, traditional methods, Hodo products quickly became must-have ingredients for renowned chefs. Now, Hodo is found in ingredient-driven restaurants from Chipotle to Benu and Daniel, and in thousands of retail stores nationwide including Whole Foods Markets and Target. Before entering the food business, Minh worked in investment banking, software and management consulting. He has a BA and MA from Columbia University.

Session 2 Speaker Bios

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Clarissa Broughton

Clarissa Broughton joined the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) in 2014. She recently took on the new role of Channel Development Strategist. Her new role focuses on finding new innovative ways to serve populations that ACCFB are currently not reaching. During her time at ACCFB, she has focused on building relationships in the community, developing and expanding food programs in schools and colleges, and implementing culturally competent practices amongst community partners. She has a BA in Psychology and currently a Masters of Social Welfare candidate at UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare.

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Ildi Carlisle-Cummins

Ildi Carlisle-Cummins is the Executive Director of the California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS). Prior to becoming Director of the organization, she played a leading role in various CIRS projects. She also runs the Cal Ag Roots Project, which studies the history of California farming and tells stories about key moments in agriculture in the state. Over the past seventeen years, Ildi has been a leader in various corners of the California food movement. She was Associate Director of the youth empowerment and food justice program, “Food, What?!” an ran the Farm to School Program for Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) for 5 years. She was president of the board of Life Lab, a school garden organization, and worked with Oakland Unified School District on a local food purchasing program. Throughout her work, Ildi’s approach always emphasizes partnership, bridge-building, and justice. Ildi holds an MS in Community Development from UC Davis.

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Tiffany Deguzman

Tiffany Deguzman is originally from Lenoir, North Carolina and is currently a second-year student at Berkeley Law. She attended Duke University for undergraduate and received her B.A. in Political Science and Italian in 2019. Tiffany spent much of her college career studying foodways, and has worked on issues surrounding food systems through previous internships with Corporate Accountability and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Today, Tiffany continues to think about transforming food systems as the Director of Client Services for Berkeley Law’s Food Justice Project. In this role, Tiffany works with a staff attorney from the East Bay Community Law Center to train fellow students on how to help individuals navigate the CalFresh appeals process. After law school, Tiffany hopes to work at the intersection of environmental, racial, and economic justice.

Daniella Sawaya headshot

Daniella Sawaya

Daniella Sawaya is Director at Kitchen Table Advisors. Her love of food stems from a childhood spent helping her father and grandmother cook Lebanese and Nicaraguan dishes, while learning to preserve family recipes. At an early age, these experiences instilled in her a passion for cooking, a willingness to eat anything and a firm belief in the power of food to bring people together and to offer a way of communicating beyond language. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley, where she focused on how urban design can serve as a tool for social impact. Daniella has focused her career on supporting entrepreneurs and mission driven, food-focused organizations. She spent five years at San Francisco’s internationally recognized incubator kitchen, La Cocina, where she learned to thrive in dynamic and resourceful workplaces.

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Herman Yee

Herman Yee came into food justice work inspired by his UC Berkeley Urban Garden Ecosystems Graduate Student Instructor’s idea to start a non-profit nursery and farm in Alameda. He has worked as a garden educator in the Bay Area in school and community settings, helping people connect to and interpret the different roles gardens can play in communities. He currently works at Urban Sprouts, a small non-profit based in the Southeast part of San Francisco. He cares for three gardens in the Sunnydale Housing Project, which produce food for residents and are serve as outdoor green space for the residents and the Boys and Girls Club.

Session 3 Speaker Bios

Headshot of Federico Castillo

Federico Castillo, BA ’92, PhD ’01

Federico Castillo is an environmental/agricultural economist. His research is centered on technology transfer and innovation, economic valuation, the socio-economic impacts of climate change, and the economic aspects of protected areas and migration. He is a member of a multidisciplinary team that is developing a research agenda on climate change, agriculture, and population issues in the Berkeley Campus. He is currently engaged in research with scholars from The Tropical Agricultural Research Center (CATIE), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) and the University of California, Davis in projects dealing with ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, the socio-economic impact of weather extremes in California agriculture, and climate change impacts on migration from Mexico to the U.S.

Headshot of Kali Feiereisel

Kali Feiereisel, MPH ’16

Kali Feiereisel provides food safety technical assistance to farmers as they further develop their practices to meet new requirements. In addition to her background in diversified vegetable production, she studied food and agriculture policy and local food systems while completing her graduate degree in Public Health Nutrition from UC Berkeley. When she’s not out in a farm field somewhere, Kali enjoys skiing the Sierra slopes and cooking with all the delicious bounty California growers provide for our tables.

Headshot of Mackenzie Feldman

Mackenzie Feldman, BSc ’18

Mackenzie Feldman is the Founder and Executive Director of Herbicide-Free Campus (HFC), an organization committed to eliminating herbicides from schools across the country. Growing up in Hawaii, Mackenzie saw the effects that corporate agribusiness and the resulting pesticide exposure has had and continues to have on her community, and simultaneously witnessed the power of the Hawaiian food sovereignty movement to make positive change. While attending the University of California, Berkeley, Mackenzie along with her teammate, created Herbicide-Free Cal after the two got herbicides banned from their beach volleyball courts and decided to expand the campaign to the rest of the campus. Upon graduating in 2018, Mackenzie expanded the campaign to the rest of the UCs, and then nationwide, and Herbicide-Free Campus was born. HFC now has campaigns at 18 schools in 10 states. Mackenzie is also a Food Sovereignty Research Assistant for the FAO and a Food Research Fellow for Data for Progress, where she writes food and agriculture policy for the Green New Deal.

Headshot of Carolina Prado

Carolina Prado, PhD ’17

Carolina Prado is Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at San José State University. She has worked at the intersection of community-based research, environmental justice, and border studies for the last seven years. As a first generation queer Chicana, she believes that her struggles for social and environmental justice should create an impact on both sides of the border. Her current work is using environmental justice mapping indices in the U.S. as a guide to create a spatial analysis of environmental inequality in the border city of Tijuana, México. She is also passionate about food justice and anti-domestic violence work.

Headshot of Aileen Suzara

Aileen Suzara, MPH ’15

Aileen Suzara has dedicated over 14 years to working for food, environmental, and social justice. She envisions healthy food systems as intrinsic to healthy communities. As a chef, and educator, Aileen launched food project Sariwa (“Fresh” in Tagalog) at San Francisco’s La Cocina, using the medium of communal meals to recenter ancestral food wisdom and link with small growers of color. Her work has been recognized by Bon Appetit/Healthyish, and she is currently a Fellow with the Castanea Fellowship’s inaugural cohort for food and racial justice. Aileen has worked within school gardens and community kitchens, and collaborated with colleges, hospitals, and nonprofits to reconnect food as medicine with culturally rooted practices. Her community affiliations include the Asian American Farmers Alliance, Mothers2Mothers Postpartum Justice Project, and Sama Sama Cooperative. The daughter of migrant Filipino healthcare workers, she was shaped by Hawai’i and makes home in the Bay Area.