Food System Leadership Institute: A Curricular Approach to Transforming Virginia's Food System

Andrew Wingfield, Kate Christen

Session Information

Year: 2017 | Time: 4:15pm-5:45pm (Poster Session) | Location: Johnson Center (Dewberry Hall)


Collaboratively designed by teams from the original quartet of 4VA universities (George Mason, James Madison, UVA, and Virginia Tech), the Food System Leadership Institute (FSLI) is a course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. This multi-modal course is in development and will launch in the summer of 2018. Students from the 4VA universities will spend two weeks at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation with intensive face-to-face instruction on sustainable food systems and leadership. They will then return to home campuses for embedded experiential learning placements in campus dining operations, working with dining personnel on projects aimed at increasing university sourcing of locally produced food. The course will culminate with a cohort reflection and presentation activity using tele-presence technology. This course is an outgrowth of the 4VA-funded Virginia Sustainable Food Coalition, whose mission is to harness the intellectual, human and economic capital of colleges and universities to foster the emerging local food economy in Virginia. In support of this mission, the course design and delivery will involve a wide variety of Virginia food system stakeholders, and course participants will gain experiences and make connections that assist their development as future food system leaders for the Commonwealth.


active learning; learning spaces; STEM education; mindfulness; digital tools; evidence-based practices; collaborative learning


  • There are currently no refbacks.