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Cultivating Community

K Senior Shoshana Schultz hold "A Year of Food in Kalamazoo," a calendar created by her and other K students.

Cultivating Community is a first-year seminar taught by Associate Professor of English Amelia Katanski ’92. It’s a service-learning course that combines academic inquiry with a project rooted in a local issue or organization.

This fall, Cultivating Community students broke into groups to interview and photograph people active in the area food community for the purpose of creating a 2013 calendar titled “A Year of Food in Kalamazoo.”

Subjects ranged from farmers and farm worker advocates, to organic food vendors such as Bridgett Blough ’08, who operates her own food truck business called The Organic Gypsy.

Teacher’s Assistant Shoshana Schultz ’13 worked as a go-between for the students, Katanski, and the People’s Food Co-Op, the class’s community partner.

“The seminar engages students in a critical examination of national food justice issues and introduces them to local food vendors who face these issues daily,” said Schultz. “The calendar is a meaningful and active way to address food justice and for others in the Kalamazoo community to be part of the discussion.

Now a senior, Schultz took Cultivating Community her first year at K. “My first year completely framed the way that I got to know the Kalamazoo community,” she said. “I’m proud of the work the students did this year.”

The calendars are on sale now at the People’s Food Co-Op in Kalamazoo for $15.

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