MA – Social Entrepreneurship and Food Studies
Earlene Cruz is the founder and Director of KitchenConnection.org. Kitchen Connection allows lay and professional cooks to host or participate in live, online, and interactive cooking classes that support SDG 2: Zero Hunger. Earlene completed her Master's degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Food Studies at Gallatin. Now a visiting professor focusing on food insecurity at the NYU School of Global Public Health, she focuses on at the drivers of food insecurity such as conflict, climate change, and socio-economic factors. Her scholastic research specifically addresses the power of food to unite and/or divide people. Her passion is for bringing people together, especially through food culture to harnes the power that it can have in transcending conflict. This work led her to be recognized as a James Beard Scholar. Her previous work included supporting film and bilingual programs through the French Embassy in New York City. There, she contributed to the book, The Bilingual Revolution, which has since been translated into eight languages. Her personal passion for bilingualism has led her to speak five languages. She was recently appointed to the Youth Steering Committee of the United Nations Department of Global Communications, where she supports youth in their efforts to deliver on the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. She sits on the board of two nonprofits, promoting social entrepreneurship and peace through intercultural exchange.
At Gallatin, I worked under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Berg who heads the Graduate Food Studies program. As my adviser and professor, she was an incredible support, propelling me to achieve my academic and professional goals--she genuinely cared about both and worked with me to make those goals see the light.