Dr. Robin Kucharczyk, assistant professor of chemistry and faculty coordinator of the AAP's Wilmington campus, and her students recently welcomed three guest speakers to their virtual SCEN107: Snack Science classes.
Dr. Neri de Kramer, assistant professor of anthropology at the AAP, joined the class to describe her consulting activity for the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo. Dr. de Kramer is a cultural anthropologist with a culinary background — in addition to her Ph.D. from the CIty University of New York, she also holds a diploma in culinary arts from New York's International Culinary Center.
In addition to teaching at the AAP, Dr. de Kramer also works as a freelance ethnographer; she has done research in Europe as well as the U.S., and her research has been applied to the development of new new products, brands, and advertising strategies for several global companies, including Johnson & Johnson, McCormick, and PepsiCo. Meeting with the Snack Science students, Dr. de Kramer described how she helped develop a survey that provided the company with valuable perspectives on worldwide consumer-flavor decisions.
In addition to Dr. de Kramer, Snack Science students also welcomed Jeanine Cava, a Monmouth University adjunct professor and founder and lead consultant of Soil to Soul, an organization created to study food systems and ways of improving local food availability. In her visit, Cava demonstrated the interconnected impacts of the global food system and greenhouse gas emissions.
Snack Science students also welcomed Jessica Wescott, who presented on food insecurity in urban areas. Wescott is the founder and executive director of Planting to Feed, Inc., an urban garden-based initiative that addresses hunger in Wilmington. Since 2017, Planting to Feed members have partnered with Wilmington's Kingswood Community Center, where they planted and continue to maintain a community garden, as well as the Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans, where they host community dinners, and also send out their "Street Warriors" — volunteers who walk through downtown Wilmington, giving free, healthy meals to any members of the community unable to make it to the organization's other locations.