An Internship Experience at the United Nations

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Outside the UN headquarters 

Gastronomy student Ritika Jagasia spent two months in New York City this summer as an intern at the United Nations. Here is her reflection on the experience.

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Ritika Jagasia

This summer, I had the opportunity to work as an Events and Knowledge Management Intern at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. UNOSSC is a body under United Nations Development Programme established to promote, coordinate and support South-South and triangular cooperation globally and within the United Nations. Their work is mainly structured to support developing counties such as India, Brazil, South Africa, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains.

My role in UNOSSC was to work on an upcoming important event called the Global South-South Development Expo that is offered by United Nations solely focusing on Global South. It in a high-level annual event, hosted this year in Antalya, Turkey, designed to showcase successful development stories.  While my internships was only for two months, they truly treated interns as a staff and entrusted them with serious responsibilities.
E_2016_SDG_Poster_all_sizes_without_UN_emblem_Letter copyIn 2015, the UN established 17 goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As a knowledge management intern I studied solutions provided by various countries to achieve the sustainable goals. As a gastronomy student, I was particularly interested in the United Nation’s Sustainable Goal 2, which is to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. I researched and collected data on the agricultural sector in African countries and my efforts will be produced in the upcoming UNOSSC Climate Change Publication. UN internships are, really, what you make of them.

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Global Town Hall Meeting with Secretary General Antonio Guterres

I also had the privilege of attending the town hall meeting in the presence of UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. I learned about the values and principles of the organization when the Secretary General mentioned that we come from different corners of the world. Our cultures, religions, traditions, widely vary and hence there are competing conflicts among us. This is why we need the UN. The Secretary General is very keen on getting various agencies under the UN umbrella to work together towards one goal of alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting partnerships.

Getting an internship at the UN is not difficult. It is about knowing what you want and being extremely motivated and organized. It was a fulfilling experience every single day when you walk inside the headquarters and knowing that somewhere you are creating a cause and making a difference. A job with an international organization certainly does not demand to discard one’s personal ideals, but one must match those personal views to the goals and policies of the organization.

Additional information on United Nations Internships can be found here.

 

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A Fresh Crop of Gastronomy Students

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We are looking forward to welcoming a fresh crop of Gastronomy students to Boston University this fall. Here is the final batch of their bios and photos. We hope you have enjoyed getting to know them!

Alex DiSchino is a first generation American from an Italian family who at a young age Alex DiSchinodeveloped a love of food by spending hours in the kitchen with his Aunts and furthered his passion by working in multiple roles in restaurants (from line cook to waiter) before heading off to college. Originally from South Florida, Alex has been a Boston resident for the past 10 years ever since he moved to get his BSBA in Marketing from Northeastern University. Alex’s career has led him through roles where he has gained a strong background in consumer electronics and CPG food industries. With these skills in product marketing, development, and management Alex aims to continue to leverage his skills in developing commercially viable products but adjust his focus toward developing meaningful and successful food products or experiences. He sees the Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy program as a once in a lifetime opportunity to share his experiences with a community of likeminded individuals who have a common goal and love for food and it’s importance to our culture and society.


Christy Soojung Sung was born in Seoul, Korea. In May 2014 she completed a BA in Christy Sung.jpgInternational Relations with a concentration in Conflict Resolution at the George Washington University. From there, she worked at CJ as a business strategy analyst for 2 years. At CJ, she began to cultivate her career in the health and wellness industry and realized that her real interests were stemming from topics about food. She started talking about food and health on her Youtube channel that she started in college. As she continued to talk about food, she felt compelled to pursue a career in the food industry and wanted to learn more about it. When she found out about the Gastronomy program, she was eager to dive straight in.

She also has experience working for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for a year as a marketing officer, which is where she developed her passion for sustainable environments and systems.

Christy is interested in Food Policy and Food Business, but in general she is excited to absorb all topics that are related to food such as sustainable food systems, food trends and its history, how a food business works, and topics in nutrition. She is confident that this will be the start of the most exciting chapter of her life.


Kelli SmithKelli Smith was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. After a childhood spent in grandmother’s kitchens and watching more Rachel Ray than Rugrats, she developed a love for all things food (especially eating it).

During her time at Miami University working toward a BA in International Relations and Latin American Studies, she had the opportunity to study abroad with Semester at Sea. While visiting over thirty countries and taking a course on the Anthropology of Food, she realized this interest might be more than just a hobby.

With a Master’s in Gastronomy Kelli hopes to combine her passions of writing, travel and food into a career, how exactly? That’s still to be determined. Whether it be through a blog or magazine, her main goal in life is to fill her passport and fill her stomach at the same time. 

 

Announcing the Fall 2017 Pépin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastronomy

Boston University’s Programs in Food and Wine and MLA in Gastronomy Program are pleased to announce the following lectures scheduled for the Fall 2017 semester. Lectures in the Pépin Series are free and open to the public, but registration with Boston University’s Programs in Food and Wine is required.


The Cooking Gene, with Michael Twitty

Tuesday, October 24 at 6pm
College of Arts and Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Ave, Room 224

Renowned culinary historian, Michael W. Twitty, offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, using the popular but complicated lens of Southern cuisine and food culture. To do so he traced his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom. Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who “owns” it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race.  His mission, to re-create the culinary genius of Black colonial and antebellum chefs sits side by side with revealing truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.

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“The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South” by Michael W. Twitty. HarperCollins

Food on the Page, with Megan Elias

Wednesday, November 8 at 6pm
College of Arts and Sciences Building, 725 Commonwealth Ave, Room 224

What’s in a cookbook? More than repositories of recipes, cookbooks play a role in the creation of taste on both a personal and national level. From Fannie Farmer to the Chez Panisse Cookbook to food blogs, American cookbooks have commented on national cuisine while also establishing distinct taste cultures. In Food on the Page, Megan Elias explores what it means to take cookbooks seriously as a genre of writing that is as aspirational as it is prescriptive.

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“Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture” by Megan Elias, University of Pennsylvania Press

Remembering German-Jewish Culture through its Culinary Traditions, with Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman

Wednesday, November 29 at 6pm
College of Arts and Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Ave, Room 224

What happens to a food tradition when its culture starts to vanish? The advent of the Nazi era brought about the demise of 1000 years of Jewish life in Germany and its cuisine, which differs greatly from the Eastern European one that is generally the accepted definition of Jewish food. This food tradition lives on in the kitchens of some German Jews and in the memories of many others around the world. This talk, by a mother-daughter author team with a German-Jewish background, will address issues of food and memory, food as cultural identity, and preserving and documenting traditional recipes.

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“The German-Jewish Cookbook: Recipes and a History of a Cuisine” by Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman, Brandies University Press

 

 

A Fresh Crop of Gastronomy Students for fall 2017

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 “What We Get to Eat in The Country” (Puck magazine, 1906). Library of Congress image.

It is just about back-to-school season, when the Gastronomy Program will welcome a new group of students.. Here a fresh batch of their bios and photos. Enjoy getting to know them!

Ariana Gunderson grew up in the Boston area and looks forward to returning for her Ariana GundersonGastronomy MLA at BU. After graduating with a BA in Egyptology from Brown University, Ariana biked to brunch as often as possible while working in DC as a strategy consultant. She then completed a yearlong State Department fellowship in Germany, studying anthropology and excavating a medieval castle. Most recently, Ariana lived in Mexico City, where she continued her consulting work and ate many a tamal. While at BU, Ariana hopes to study refugee and migrant foodways.

 


Justine MartinOriginally from a small bilingual mill town in Northern Maine on the border of French-speaking Canada, Justine Martin inherited her deep love of food and bringing people together from her grandmother. Over seemingly endless buffets of food at countless holidays, family gatherings, and town celebrations, she saw how her grandmother’s French Acadian cooking brought people from all walks of life together.

It was this upbringing and her relationship with her grandmother that first sparked her interest in the powerful role food plays in our lives and in our interactions with others—next door and around the globe. Now, Justine spends nearly all of her spare time cooking, eating, researching, and talking about food and is excited to join the Gastronomy program this fall to connect with others who share her passion. In bringing together her love of food, writing, and culture, she seeks to contribute to the world of food writing and journalism in a unique and meaningful way.

Justine earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Fort Kent and spent two years as a 2nd grade and health teacher in Southern Maine. She then moved to the Boston area, where she works as a university development writer and lives with her husband and two fur balls: Ambrose, the moody yet secretly affectionate cat, and Mabel, the crazy-pants clown of a Boston Terrier.


Meghan Russell grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and went to Penn State University,Meaghan Russell graduating with a degree in History. Since then she has lived in Washington D.C. and Boston working in consulting and technology.

Meghan always enjoyed helping in the kitchen and going to the grocery store and famers market with her mom growing up, but her passion for food really took off after graduating college. After years of cooking for friends and family, she started her own blog (vegetableway.com) a few years ago as a way and is excited to get back to posting on it more regularly.

As a way to get more involved in food advocacy issues, she started volunteering at the Daily Table, a grocery store in Dorchester, MA. At BU Meghan plans to focus on policy and business, looking for ways to address food access issues and promote local, sustainable food choices through awareness and education.

 

Welcome, new Gastronomy students!

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It is just about back-to-school season, when the Gastronomy Program will welcome a new group of students.. Here a second batch of their bios and photos. Enjoy getting to know them!

 


Ashley LopesAshley Lopes grew up in San Francisco, California and earned her undergraduate degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management at New York University. As a food enthusiast with a bottomless stomach for carbs, she enjoys watching cooking shows and making food from scratch. While at NYU, Ashley wrote and edited content for culinary magazines and interned in restaurant kitchens and at the Institute of Culinary Education. Most memorably, she tested and evaluated kitchen appliances as a test kitchen intern at Good Housekeeping Magazine.

After graduating, Ashley worked at a startup in Cape Town, South Africa, before directing her passion for travel to a full-time career at TripAdvisor. Since then, she’s traveled extensively and seen first-hand how food and culture intersect. Most recently, she ventured on a solo backpacking trip through the vibrant food scenes of Southeast Asia and through the spectacular mountains and fjords of New Zealand.

Ashley is excited to move to Boston and join the Gastronomy Program at BU, where she aims to combine her love of food with writing and travel. She looks forward to studying food on a deeper level and connecting with like-minded foodies. Her goal is to pave a meaningful and colorful career in food publishing and culinary tourism.


NormaTentoriNorma Tentori’s fascination with food has been kindled from a young age in Central America where she grew up constantly involved in the kitchen during meal preparation, thanks in great part to her Hispanic and Italian family’s passion, appreciation, interest and enticing diversity in food culture. From there, she called Boston home as she completed her BSBA this past spring in Business Administration with a minor in Nutrition at Simmons College.

As her next career move, she wants to deepen her knowledge in a field that is perfectly aligned with her interest in food, its industry and its prospects in business. She was thrilled to encounter that there is such a program at BU, combining graduate studies in gastronomy and entrepreneurship, right in the city that she has always loved. Norma is confident that this master will satisfy her craving for expertise in gastronomy, as well as provide her with the skills required to intertwine this expertise with brand building and marketing success with a focus in the food / beverage industry