Hostos professors
(Left to rigth) Kathleen Delgado, Flor Henderson and Félix Cardono in Alaska for the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society 2019 Conference.
While some people spent their summer break at the beach, traveling abroad or just relaxing at home, Hostos faculty and administration traveled to Anchorage, Alaska, to join an international discussion on a myriad of food issues at the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society 2019 Conference.

Attending the conference were Félix Cardona, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs; Flor Henderson, professor of Biology, and Kathleen Delgado, an instructor from Hostos’ food studies program. Dean Cardona has supported the administrative end of the food studies program since its inception in 2015. Professor Henderson, the coordinator for the program, is a plant biologist and ethnobotanist who provided her expertise during the conceptual and developmental stages of the program. Delgado is an instructor who has been with the Natural Sciences Department in the fall of 2018.

While in Alaska, the team attended culinary workshops and learned practices other universities are taking to engage their students on and off campus. Many of the presentations from other colleges and universities were on social, economic, and other constraints placed on food production, access, storage, utilization, and distribution. One practice that sparked their interest was a presentation on a university’s growing aquaponics program and how it engages students to improve the cost efficiency of their production on a commercial scale.

“Being in Alaska was a new experience for our Hostos food studies team, and many of the issues and topics presented at the conference were new and different,” Delgado said. “This is one practice we would like to implement to support Hostos’ growing aeroponic lab.”

The team also saw many similarities in other higher education institutions related to addressing educational, social, economic, and environmental issues of food through the implementation of similar programs across the nation. That realization was encouraging, and it was an indication that the Hostos program supports the education of undergraduate food studies students in a comprehensive and dynamic way, while it maintains high standards, similar to that of food studies programs in community colleges, four-year undergraduate programs, and even master’s programs.

“This Alaskan experience allowed our team to reflect on some of the institutional and local challenges, such as space limitations and lack of green areas,” Henderson said. “It also showed us how other institutions are experiencing the same issues we are. Overall, it gave us the opportunity to observe and consider a wide range of educational strategies that can be a possibility to explore back at Hostos.”

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for over half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.
Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate secure transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 25 colleges.