Final Blog Post*

Since my last blog post, Professor Bauce and I have been making tremendous progress with our research. We finished meeting with Provost Uday Sukhatme and Angelo Spillo. At both of the meetings Professor Bauce and I obtained some quality information that will be added to our end of the year report. We were both very excited to find out that our Provost is a vegetarian and supports Pace’s sustainability efforts!

Also, Professor Bauce and I have decided to create a petition. The purpose of the petition has not been decided yet. We are in the works of deciding whether or not we would like a sustainability officer on campus or to have funds allocated to the Green Pace Sustainability group.


Not too long ago I met with Tyron Ellen who works for Chartwells at the New York City Campus. The focus of our conversation was Food Waste and establishing a Food Waste Recovery Program at Pace University’s NYC Campus. Pace University is protected under the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act established in 1996 by Bill Clinton, to donate any not sold or served food items to a Non-Profit organization. We are working with Chartwells to setup a food donation agreement with The Bowery Mission. Profesor Bauce and I will be incorporating a food waste initiative into our end of the year report.

This research project has tremendously impacted my life. Through the relationship I have established with Professor Bauce, I have been able to expand my knowledge on Food Sustainability, and also enroll in an Independent Study on Food Waste. Professor Bauce has been helping me, on top of our Undergraduate Research meetings, during our weekly colloquium meetings; to finish my documentary on Food Waste and Homelessness in New York City. Our relationship is becoming a lot stronger and I am honestly blessed to have this opportunity. I recently messaged a former supervisor on Facebook to thank her for introducing me to Professor Bauce and convincing me to take his AOK1 Environmental Studies class (ENV 201 – Animals in Society). Our conversations are always very deep and rewarding. Professor Bauce has inspired my interest in food studies while also fine-tuning my business communications skills.  Also, because of this research I have decided to get more involved with food studies and recently I was accepted to work at a Not for Profit called Food Shift in Oakland, California. I also recently applied for a Summer Research Project with the Dyson College to expand my research of Food Waste in San Francisco.

Blog post #3

I have been making significant advancements in the readings related to my research project. For example, I recently finished “Diet for a Hot Planet,” by Anne Lappe, for which I have compiled a document of prominent sources and information vital to our research. The text provided an extensive amount of information, while also providing different examples for the reader to act or get involved. Lappe would identify a problem, then in a following paragraph, provide resources and options to battle the issue. Towards the end of the book, Lappe dedicated a whole chapter to “Action.” This is what I enjoyed most. The book also informed my theoretical modeling for this project; the book goes into depth discussing all the different ways Industrial Farming is the number one cause of climate change – production, distribution, waste, deforestation and biodiversity.

I have started reading through an online source publication entitled, FEW Resources ( This website provides a vast amount of information related to the range of issues dealing with the environment and our human habits. It explores the main areas that are affected by meat consumption, production and distribution – food, energy, water, global justice and global development. Some theorists argue that sustainable farming is incapable of producing enough yield to feed our growing population. However, according to the 2008 USDA Census of Agriculture, there is only 1.6 million acres of organic cropland in America, representing 0.52% of our total US cropland.[1] Hence this argument holds no value; we must increase our organic cropland production, providing sustainable farming, in order to feed our growing population. This piece of information is vital to our research project because it has been proven that animals can be raised for food sustainably. Sustainable farming does not mean no meat, however it does mean that we must lower the amount of meat we consume overall. Increasing our organic farms by dedicating more land to it, while also removing factory farms, will allow for us to increase our sustainable foods. Therefore providing healthy, less environmentally impactful foods.

Furthermore, researchers have noted that by 2050 we will need an additional planet and a half to feed the expected 9 billion people. Industrial farming is degrading our soil fertility by the second; if we were to produce more organic farms on the available cropland we would provide enhanced soil fertility. These two sources will be useful when Professor Bauce and I sit down to write our final publication for the research project.

I am learning through our research the importance of focus. There are many different segments that can be incorporated into our project. But, it is key to establish what our objectives are, and how we can better understand the problems at hand with Dining Services/Pace Community. Remaining focused has been a challenge for me. Throughout our weekly conversations, Professor Bauce has been a strong mentor in my life, making it clear and constantly reminding me how important staying focused is. I have made some mistakes consolidating information, prioritizing my studies, personal life and other jobs. Also, Professor Bauce has helped me avoid vast generalities when speaking about my project to people in person or online.

Early last month, we met with Tyron Ellen who works for Dining Services at Pace University. Our conversation was rather interesting and informative. Tyron explained, Dining Services has increased the amount of available vegetarian options however these items aren’t selling. Also, from this discussion, Professor Bauce and I learned about the student group representing the concerns of the student body related to Dining Services – the student Dining Services committee. Professor Bauce and I hope to connect with Pace student representatives to understand why the vegetarian options aren’t selling and maybe what has been in the works with the student committee.

Finally, Professor Bauce and I have been making a gradual switch to a more applied topic, which will produce practical recommendations for how the university can meet its commitments to sustainable operations. Before, we were in sociological theory, now we are in operations research. I am excited about this transition and hope that we make some positive changes with the university. I am curious to see how our discussions with the university and dining services will unfold and how much of an impact our research project can make.


Blog Post # 2

Professor Marley Bauce and I are making substantial progress on our research. Firstly, our application to the Institutional Review Board was accepted with minimal revisions. (The chair of the IRB said that our proposal was in “wonderful shape.”). We now have permission to send out our surveys to 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students on the New York City and Pleasantville campuses. We have finalized the Qualtrics survey, which we are going to be sending out via email to our 3,000-student sample. Professor Bauce and I are going to be sending the survey out very soon. We wanted to give the student body/staff members some time to recover from Hurricane Sandy before we decided to send out the email. I am curious to know, from the data that we are collecting, whether or not students believe that environmental responsibility extends to food choices. Also, whether or not they believe in corporate responsibility to the planet.

Campus-Wide Environmentalism: Understanding Pace’s Sustainability Initiatives Through its Dining Halls

The purpose of this study is to examine the sustainability goals of Pace University as applied to its Dining Services Office. Data emerged has indicated that industrial food production (particularly animal agriculture) is the key driver of climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation/desertification, and water pollution. Many people regard environmentalism as a valuable ethical concern, but this concern often stops when people are asked to analyze their diet and food purchasing habits. This study will gather information from the Pace University community members, examining their diet habits, their commitment to environmental stewardship and their perceived connections between food and ecological change.

This study will help Professor Bauce and I understand whether or not the Pace community actually has a commitment to sustainability. After subjects have understood this information they will indicate whether or not Pace University’s Dining Services Office should offer different foods. (Food’s that have less of an environmental impact) This research will be presented to Pace’s Dining Services as a means for change.

The methods we will use to conduct this research are through a survey program offered by Pace University called Qualtrics. We will also do one on one Faculty interviews. These interviews will take up to an hour and the survey will only take up to 10 minutes. The survey will be anonymous. Faculty will be invited to serve as interview subjects according to their disciplinary and departmental affiliations.