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Undergraduate research fellows speak on sustainability

IMG_8127On Feb. 8, the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions hosted its weekly sustainability seminar, entitled “Changing the Narrative: How do we make sustainable food systems sustainable?”

Attendees of this week’s seminar heard testimony from fellows of the University of Maine Sustainable Food Systems Research Collaborative (SFSRC), an interdisciplinary research initiative spearheaded by UMaine’s Honors College.

The SFSRC involved collaborative work between university faculty, undergraduate fellows and community partners. The SFSRC “organizes around issues to attract students by elevating awareness to faculty and resources.”

The research presented by fellows ranged from the study of geographical food distribution to the rise of young farmers in Maine.

Second-year student Jahzmin Walker attended the seminar to watch her friend, SFSRC fellow Audrey Cross, present on the Real Food Challenge at UMaine.

“She’s really passionate about improving campus-wide food, and wants students to experience what it’s like to have real food,” Walker said. “She wants it to come from local farms where the food is good for the body and soul. She believes she can start that with helping college kids innovate themselves.”

Stephanie Welcomer, associate dean of the Maine Business School, praised the research the fellows had done adding that the SFSRC was “hugely interdisciplinary and entirely societally relevant.”

First-year student Chantal Bussiere, who attends the seminars religiously, urged more students to come to the weekly informational sessions.

“Everyone should attend the seminars. They’re fun, informative and inspire hope,” Bussiere said.

The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions hosts seminars every Monday at 3 p.m.

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