UC Davis is launching its first Campus Global Theme: “Food for Thought: Feeding Ourselves, Feeding the Planet.” This complex topic for the inaugural series of programs was chosen by the Global Education for All Steering Committee to advance global learning and UC Davis efforts towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by connecting the entire campus community to programming that is personally, academically and professionally significant.
“Aligning with the Global Education for All initiative, we are aiming to provide more ways for our UC Davis community to engage in global, international and intercultural learning opportunities right here on campus,” says Joanna Regulska, vice provost and associate chancellor of Global Affairs. “Our mission in Global Affairs is to inspire global curiosity, understanding, and engagement, and our hope is that this Campus Global Theme does just that.”
The Campus Global Theme provides opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and community networks to share and develop their interests and skills through the creation of workshops, seminars, service and research projects, hackathons, performances and other types of programs and events. The theme of Food for Thought: Feeding Ourselves, Feeding the Planet hones in on the global dimensions of food—whether they be socio-cultural, environmental, political, economic, spiritual or human, animal or planetary health related, amongst others.
“The possibilities for programming and for getting involved are endless, especially with UC Davis’ strong reputation in agriculture, plant and animal science, health sciences, art, music, politics and the social and economic disparities that lead to food insecurity, among many other related disciplines” says Regulska.
And with Sacramento deemed the country’s “Farm-to-Fork” capital, Regulska envisions the UC Davis and Sacramento campuses participating in Food for Thought programming that reinforces the region’s role in the global dimensions of discussing, celebrating, analyzing and acting upon feeding humanity.
The inaugural Campus Global Theme will take place from January 2020 through June 2021, with applications for mini-grants and individual or group proposals being accepted now from faculty-members, staff and students. Proposals from all disciplines and from all areas of the Davis and Sacramento campus are encouraged.
Ermias Kebreab, associate dean of Global Engagement in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and director of the World Food Center, and Erica Kohl-Arenas, faculty director of Imagining America and associate professor of American Studies, are serving as the faculty co-chairs for this theme. The statement of purpose written by the faculty co-chairs reinforces how UC Davis is uniquely suited for this effort. “As a comprehensive research university, we have much to teach and more to learn about feeding—feeding for healthy bodies, minds, souls—and beyond that, ecosystems and economies. The Campus Global Theme program offers a platform for the entire community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and our extended networks—to engage in discussion, debate, and dynamic action.”
Nourishing Campus Global Learning
Maria Arteaga, a senior managerial economics major and a Millennium Fellow, sees the Campus Global Theme as an opportunity for students to accessibly experience global learning.
“A lot of international experiences relate to food, but in a way, that can be very superficial. This is not just a potluck or consuming somebody else’s culture, it’s about learning,” she says. “When we say ‘Food for Thought,’ it means not necessarily food, but any type of idea or culture that goes into preparing food, or any other way you may feed yourself.”
During her Millennium Fellowship at UC Davis, Arteaga and the fellowship team focused on developing the Campus Global Theme program, which included reaching out to the student population and making sure that they’re connected and involved.
“It’s really interesting to take on this theme because food isn’t the only thing that feeds you,” says Arteaga. “We have a lot of different students here who I feel can relate to that. This theme provides the opportunity to engage in one seemingly familiar and simple theme—but really it’s very diverse and open for interpretation.”
And given that UC Davis is a global community, the Campus Global Theme program is an excellent way for students, faculty, staff, and community members to come together, share perspectives, and gain new experiences and knowledge around a common theme.
“By participating in this Campus Global Theme, I hope students have a better understanding of their own community as well as how diverse UC Davis is,” Arteaga says. “So after graduation, they’re able to take these types of campus experiences to communities across the nation or even the globe.”
“In this way, we can continue to share our experiences with people as well as listen to others’ experiences,” she says.
For Arteaga, this form of global education encourages students to really think about what effect they’re going to have on the world.
“If we can work with others to come up with solutions to problems, or just be able to listen to people in the community, we’re going to better understand the various communities we encounter,” she says.
Open Call for Proposals
We encourage our community to think creatively in developing venues for transdisciplinary, intercultural engagement that incorporate various ways of knowing, learning and participating. By hosting such programming as exhibits, activities, events, performances, workshops and roundtable discussions, presenters and participants alike are sure to benefit from the engagement. Submissions for mini-grant applications and programming proposals are open until June 21, 2019.
About Global Affairs at UC Davis
Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty studying and researching internationally—and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world's most pressing problems through more than 150 international partnerships.
Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is now in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.