Home > Sectors > Colleges > Steering Committee

Steering Committee

The New England Farm and Sea to Campus Network is a community of higher education and food systems stakeholders who connect, share, and collaborate to develop transparent regional supply chains and educate campus communities about regional food systems. Steering Committee members co-chair Working Groups. They meet monthly and volunteer a few additional hours per month to lead, promote, and coordinate Network activities and advise FINE on farm to campus initiatives.

 

Andy CoxAndy Cox

Director of Dining Services, Smith College

Andy Cox (he/him/his) is the Director of Dining Services at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. His past experience includes General Manager at The Hotchkiss School and Executive Chef at the Harvard Kennedy School as well as farm to table restaurants in Oregon, Chicago and Boston. He holds a BA from UMass Amherst in Sustainability Management with a Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming. Andy is committed to focused shifts in institutional spend to support regional agriculture through diner engagement and education.

Beth EmeryBeth Emery

Director of Dining Services, Boston College

Beth Emery, RD (she/her/hers) is the Director of Dining Services at Boston College where she works to inspire and support her talented colleagues to create food that is healthy, sustainable and delicious. Beth previously worked for ARAMARK in their higher education division where she gained experience on many New England campuses. She is particularly proud of BC Dining’s FRESH to Table program which works to increase our procurement of food that is environmentally, economically, or socially just and supports our local food economy. Beth lives in Dedham where she plays clarinet in the Community Band, and loves to read, bike, hike and kayak.

Crista MartinCrista Martin 

Director for Strategic Initiatives & Communications, Harvard University Dining Services 

Crista Martin joined HUDS in 1998 and with her team coordinates online and print marketing, social media, market research, and public and media relations. Crista is a frequent presenter and volunteer with NACUFS, including as its Regional Director and Regional Conference Chair. Crista also spearheads HUDS Strategic Initiatives, guiding the planning and implementation of work in the areas of sustainability, food donation, business development and planning, customer service and more. She serves on the Menu of Change University Research Collaborative spearheaded by the Culinary Institute of America and HSPH, and was named a "Food Hero" by the City of Cambridge in 2015 for her work on HUDS' food donation program. Crista has worked for several non-profit associations, and has degrees from Boston University and American University in public relations and creative writing.

Hilary WalrodHilary Walrod

Dean for the School of Arts & Sciences, Colby-Sawyer College

Hilary Walrod (she/her/hers) is the Dean for the School of Arts & Sciences at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH, where she taught Graphic Design & Digital Media before shifting into her current administrative role. She is a designer, educator, leader, and listener who champions interdisciplinary learning, making connections, and moving people. Much of her design work, both independent and client-based, focuses on food: namely local and regional foods, and how to move people to change food habits for the common good and for health. She is committed to community engagement, sustainability, and incremental positive change – as well as time outdoors, cooking, and backyard chickens.

Ismail SamadIsmail Samad

Director of Programs, CommonWealth Kitchen

Ismail is a chef/advocate for the reduction of food waste in kitchens across the country. Trained as an environmental biologist, then as a chef, he incorporates food rescue principles into his meals, creating menus that are directly linked to sustainability. Ismail was pivotal in the planning, launch and early expansion of Daily Table, nonprofit grocery stores in Roxbury and Dorchester, Massachusetts, designed to address the issues of food insecurity, nutritional health, and wasted food. Ismail has held the title of Executive Chef at some of Vermont’s top-rated restaurants and he is the Co-Founder of The Gleanery, a farm to table/nose to tail restaurant and bakery in Putney, VT Vermont that specializes in the use of post-farmer's market produce. The Gleanery has been featured in The Farm to Table Cookbook and The Vermont Table Cookbook. Ismail is currently the Director of Programs at CommonWealth Kitchen, Boston’s nonprofit food business incubator with a mission of building a new food economy grounded in racial, social, and economic justice. Ismail is a 2018-2020 BALLE Fellow, the board president of Boston Area Gleaners, and is a contributor to the EPA's Web Academy Webinar Series on Sustainable Materials Management. Ismail is a proud East Clevelander, unschooler, and GED holder. 

Jamil Asad-UbinasJamil Asad-Ubinas

Executive Chef, Amherst College

Jamil Asad-Ubinas is the Executive Chef at Amherst College where he delivers on the school's commitment to locally produced, sustainable and high quality food. Prior to joining Amherst College, he worked for Bon Appetit and held the roles of Sous Chef and then Executive Chef at Hampshire College. At both colleges, he collaborated with the campus farms to use their produce in his menus. He also helped open the successful restaurant, The Grille on Maple Lawn, in Maryland. Born in Puerto Rico and with a certificate in International Cuisine from Universidad Interamerica de Puerto Rico, Chef Asad enjoys sharing his passion for fresh, local, seasonal ingredients with students. In addition to his work in college dining, he helped Project Bread create healthy breakfast dishes for the Amherst-Pelham school district. In his down time, he collects die cast cars and spends as much time as possible with his wife and young son.

Julia YakovichJulia M. Yakovich

Director of Service Learning, University of Connecticut 

Julia M. Yakovich, MPA, directs service learning and engagement initiatives for the University of Connecticut. In this role she is able to integrate her professional experiences and education to incorporate meaningful service learning coursework and projects for both the University and the community-at-large; nonprofit, government entities and business ventures alike. Julia ensures efficient and effective incorporation of service learning curricular strategies between university and partner stakeholders for mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships and has a particular focus on food security, farming practices, and sustainability. She is part of a newer service learning minor, Sustainable Community Food Systems, that enables students to learn and be part of the food system in immersive ways. Julia is currently developing a food delivery collaborative platform connecting community and university partners.

 

 

 

Kathy WicksKathy Wicks

Director of Sustainability, University of Massachusetts Dining Services / Auxiliary Enterprises

Kathy Wicks is the Director of Sustainability for University of Massachusetts Dining Services/Auxiliary Enterprises. Kathy oversees all sustainability initiatives for all of Auxiliary Enterprises. She focuses on integrating sustainability in everyday decision making for the division, aligning efforts with the campus wide sustainability priorities, and building diverse partnerships. She has extensive experience in building multi-sector collaborations, leading community engagement strategies, and strategic planning for a variety of food systems initiatives. Kathy is passionate about creating an inclusive, equitable, and resilient food system. She holds a Master of Public Health from UMass Amherst and a Bachelor Degree from Smith College as an Ada Comstock Scholar. Kathy enjoys gathering family and friends to cook together using local ingredients year round. She also enjoys practicing mindfulness meditation and supporting local music.

Kelly BabbinKelley Babbin

Owner & Farmer, Howling Flats Farm

Kelley Babbin is a farmer and owner of Howling Flats Farm, LLC, (www.howlingflatsfarm.com) a small family farm on 15 acres in North Canaan, CT. Kelley is raising Grassfed Angus, pasture pork ,and lamb for the local community. The mission is to give their animals a life free of stress and illness in order to produce high-quality and ethically conscious food for the community. They focus on environmentally responsible soil management practices that result in atmospheric carbon sequestration making the products not only healthy, but good for the earth as well. Kelley received her A.S. from Northwestern CT Community College and her B.S. from Trinity College. "I am thankful everyday that I get to share my love of farming with my Grandsons and am passionate about preserving our land and waterways while raising Healthy Family Food." 

Maeve McInnisMaeve McInnis

Maeve McInnis (she/her/hers), originally from Cape Neddick, ME and a current resident of Portland, earned a master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management with a specialization in Food & the Environment from The New School in New York where she conducted her thesis at the NYC Mayor’s Office for Food Policy.  She sits on the boards of the Portland Food Council and the Maine Grain Alliance. Her passion for social justice, local food systems, and the environment make her the perfect person to lead this effort to serve more local food at Sodexo sites throughout Maine.

Mike WebsterMike Webster

General Manager, Hotchkiss School

Mike Webster (he/him/his) is the General Manager of Dining Services at The Hotchkiss School, where he focuses on combining culinary traditions with sustainable agriculture in an effort to create an enjoyable dining experience while educating the future leaders of America. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, food is an important priority and a primary focus for Mike; bringing REAL food to REAL people is an ongoing goal. Mike has worked to create a progressive dining program, centered on local, sustainable and ethical cuisine. Mike lives in Lakeville, CT with his wife Lynn, twin daughters Olive and Emilie, and Remi – the Dog.

Ruairi O'MahonyRuairi O’Mahony

Director of Sustainability, UMass Lowell

Ruairi O’Mahony is the Director of Sustainability at UMass Lowell. A native of Cork City, Ireland, Ruairi has been working in the planning and sustainability field for over ten years. With particular expertise in urban sustainability issues, Ruairi leads a talented team of professional and student employees working to advance sustainability at the university and in the wider community. In 2015, Ruairi established the Urban Agriculture Program at UMass Lowell. Working in close partnership with Mill City Grows, a local food justice organization in Lowell, the program has greatly contributed to the greening of the UMass Lowell campus while simultaneously enhancing food access in Lowell. Incorporating an urban farm, multiple rooftop gardens, and unique community gardens that bring the campus and community together, the program has been instrumental in highlighting UMass Lowell’s unique approach to sustainability in higher education.

Ryleigh MullinsRyleigh Mullins

Food System Liaison & Graduate Student, University of Rhode Island

Ryleigh Mullens (she/her/hers) is a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island studying campus food system resilience. In addition to conducting research for her Master’s in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, Ryleigh works as the URI Food System Liaison, connecting the food produced as a result of classwork or research with dining services. Her work aims to embed campus farms into the university food system, enhance education, and reduce waste by optimizing interdepartmental relationships. Ryleigh has worked in various domains of the food system from farmer’s market associate to assisting research regarding the ecosystem services of urban agriculture. 

Steven SilvernDr. Steven E. Silvern

Professor of Geography and Sustainability, Salem State University

Dr. Steven E. Silvern is Professor of Geography and Sustainability at Salem State University where he teaches courses on environmental sustainability, food geographies, campus food security, and Native American geographies. Over the last twenty-five years, the focus of his research has been on Native American hunting and fishing treaty rights, Native political activism, and Native American food sovereignty. More recently, his research has turned to mapping the local food system in Massachusetts, assessing sustainability of local food, the study of food deserts and food security on college campuses. As an educator, he involves both undergraduate and graduate students at Salem State in the study of local food and issues of food security using Geographic Information Systems, surveys and qualitative methods. His research has appeared in journals such as Political Geography, Cultural Geographies, Historical Geography, and American Indian Culture and Research Journal. His most recent publication includes an essay on the Jewish Food Movement which will appear in a book he is co-editing on the topic of religion and sustainability. He is editor of The Northeastern Geographer: Journal of the New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (a regional division of the American Association of Geographers). 

 

Staff

 

TANIA tARANOVSKI

Director of Programs, Farm to Institution New England

[email protected]

Tania Taranovski (she/her) leads FINE’s farm and sea to campus and foodservice programs, in addition to playing a senior role in operations, strategy, and management. Tania came to FINE with extensive experience in nonprofit program leadership, environmental conservation, and food system strategies. Previously, Tania worked as a strategic advisor for the International Pole & Line Foundation. She also worked at the New England Aquarium as the Director of Programs and Operations for the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, and as the Sustainable Seafood Programs Director. A transplant from Washington State, she moved to New England to pursue her bachelor of science degree in biology and environmental studies from Tufts University. She and her family live in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where she volunteers for community organizations, tends her backyard garden, and spends as much time as possible in, on, or near the water.

BRITTANY FLORIO

Program Associate

[email protected]

Brittany Florio (she/her) is the part-time program associate at Farm to Institution New England. In this role, Britt coordinates program development, outreach, and communications to catalyze change in the dynamic farm to institution movement. She has been working in the food system since 2010. Prior to her work at FINE, Britt co-owned a regenerative herb and vegetable farm business in the Hudson Valley, New York. After leaving the farm life, she worked at UMass Amherst as the Sustainability Coordinator for UMass Dining and as an adjunct faculty member, teaching Sustainability Science. Britt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s degree in Sustainability Science with a concentration in Sustainable Food Systems and Agriculture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In her free time, Britt loves fermenting foods, kayaking, foraging, and making wild flower bouquets.