Vanessa García Polanco, MS-B
Department of Community Sustainability
CSUS - Minorities, Immigrants, and Refugees Community Engagement, Food Policy, Foodways
Hometown: North Providence, RI/ Moca, Dominican Republic
Advisor: Dr. Lissy Goralnik
Vanessa García Polanco is a master student in the Department of Community Sustainability. Her research interests are minorities, immigrants, and refugee's involvement in their local and regional food systems, especially in the areas of production, garden, and farm governance, access to markets and culturally appropriate foods and food policy. She plans to study the Agro-Biodiversity of Lansing Community Gardens run by minorities, immigrants, and refugee's and how this relates to their foodways, and identity in the food system.
Vanessa has served at the local, state and regional level to promote democratic empowerment and racial equity in the food systems as a network member, writer and speaker for Food Solution New England and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. She worked as a chair for communications and outreach at the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, as a program assistant at the URI Cooperative Extension. Vanessa has served as a policy specialist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Interior. Vanessa is an alumna of the Food Solutions New England Network Leadership Institute. Vanessa received a B.S. in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island with minors on Hunger Studies, Leadership Studies and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Vanessa is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.