All posts tagged: academia

My interview at the In Common Podcast: Talking about food systems research, wellbeing, and grad school life

065: Food systems, communicating science and taking care of yourself in academia with Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz Click here to listen “In this episode, Courtney speaks with Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz, a PhD candidate in Food Systems at the University of Vermont. They discuss Luis’ unexpected path to his research on Puerto Ricans farmer adaptation and food security following Hurricane Maria. Courtney and Luis also talk about Luis’ efforts in science communication, sharing his research in Puerto Rico and beyond. Finally, they discuss a blog post Luis recently published on “How to not suffer (much) in graduate school” and his take-aways for taking care of yourself in academia.”  

My Unstructured Structure and the Meadow of Flowers

This is the final reflection written for the University of Vermont course, “Writing Across Disciplines”, taught in spring 2020 by Dr. Caitlin B. Morgan. The essay was written in May 2020–Thus, when it says, “this semester”, “now”, etc., it refers to January-May 2020. In the start of the semester, I wrote that I would focus my efforts on writing a piece centered on a food systems story for my Writing Across Disciplines course. Moreover, I stated that I would allocate time for daily writing. Now in the future (May 2020), which, like Luis Rafael Sánchez says, “always comes dressed as the present”, I can say that I have not followed my plan thoroughly. I wrote the food systems piece, but it has yet to become what I want it to be. I allocated time for work, but found myself often not writing on such times. Nevertheless, I have written what I wanted or what I was assigned to write. In this present-future I can say that my structure is an unstructured one, and it works. …

Being Idle is not an Option: Reconciling my Academic and Political Duties

This is the original version of my Working Life Essay published on Science on August 29, 2019. Click here to read the published version. It was Wednesday, July 17th, and I was alone in my room, in front of my computer with four windows open on the screen. Thousands of Puerto Ricans were marching to Old San Juan that day, demanding governor Rosselló to resign. The leak of the egregious chats between him and his colleagues was the catalyst that motivated people to take their bodies to the streets. Beyond dehumanizing comments, the governor used the chat for political means, a potentially illegal action. Furthermore, and worse, in my opinion, they sneered on those who died because of Hurricane Maria. I stayed up late every night following what was happening. I wanted to talk with all my friends that were marching; with one dear friend of mine who suffered police violence during these protests. Day after day, I was following the news from the time that I woke up; feelings of anger and angst in …

From Ocean to Table: Integrating Marine and Coastal Food Systems into Food Studies

This paper was published in a special edited collection, Cite This, of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies. Click here to read the full paper. It is common to hear and read the phrases “farm to table” or “farm to plate” in food systems discussions and scholarship. Less common, is to encounter “ocean to table” or “ocean to plate.” As scholars, we are aware of the issues that farmers and farmworkers face, but it seems that we often fail to acknowledge coastal and marine food systems’ issues. Why? It could be that those systems seem distant to most of us. Even in Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island and U.S. territory, most scholarship focused on food systems ignores the issues that coastal communities face, especially fisherfolks. Today, given the implications of climate change on coastal areas as well as marine deterioration, researchers and stakeholders are starting to give more attention to coastal communities and marine ecosystems. If researchers and stakeholders want to get involved with fisherfolks to develop solutions for the problems that they face, it is imperative to understand the dynamics …

On Not Suffering (Much) in Graduate School: Part 1

Oprime aquí para leer la versión en español Sol Fantin, Argentinian poet, writes that the problem of time is not that it’s short, but swift. My friends know that I mention that verse all the time. Last August 28, 2018, was my anniversary as a PhD student at the University of Vermont. My intention for doing a PhD stills the same: to become an independent researcher. We must remember that to have a PhD is just that: to have a PhD. So, what do we want to do with that degree? Why we need it? It’s very important to answer those questions before embarking on such a mission. I started my PhD in food systems at UVM very excited, but it hasn’t all been very beautiful.

Para no sufrir (tanto) en la escuela graduada: Parte 1

Click here to read the English version of this post on the steps I took to lessen the suffering before, and during my PhD track. La poeta argentina, Sol Fantin, dice en uno de sus poemas que el problema del tiempo no es que sea corto, sino fugaz. Ese verso siempre lo tengo en la punta de la lengua. El pasado 28 de agosto del 2018, cumplí un año como estudiante doctoral. Mi intención para realizar un doctorado yace en mi interés por ser un investigador independiente. Recordemos que tener un doctorado es eso: tener un doctorado. Ahora, ¿qué queremos hacer con él? ¿Por qué lo necesitamos? Es bien importante tener eso bastante claro antes de tirarnos la maroma. Comencé mi PhD en sistemas agroalimentarios en la Universidad de Vermont con mucha emoción, pero no todo ha sido de colores que me gustan.