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Spelman College Food Studies Scholars

Food Studies Scholars

Food Studies at Spelman College is a Global Movement
Spelman College's Food Studies Program, the first interdisciplinary food studies program at an Historically Black College and University, engages students in an innovative exploration of food interdisciplinarity and centers its connectivity to the African Diaspora, intersectionality, and food science. It is our hope that our food scholars will find the needed community, scholarship, and professional opportunities through the program to approach some of these pressing global and local food challenges.



  • The goal of the program is to empower Black and Brown women to pursue and transform current food system challenges
  • Food Studies Scholars are a two-year cohort of highly competitive students (all classifications) with keen interests in food systems-related careers

  • The 2021-2022 Food Studies Scholars are the inaugural cohort of scholars and largely funded by one of our corporate partners, Kellogg

  • Food Studies Scholars receive funding, mentorship, garden immersion, and research and professional development support

  • Scholars also participate in monthly meetings with leaders, bonding activities/trips, and speaker sessions. All scholars are declared Food Studies minors

Meet Our Scholars

Food Studies Scholar: Joy Rutledge, C'2025

Food Studies Scholar Joy Rutledge

Joy Rutledge is a freshman computer science major with a minor in food studies at Spelman. Her interest in food studies began in the summer of 2020 after noticing food insecurity following the pandemic.

With a computer science background, the Atlanta, Georgia native hopes to bridge the gap between technology and agroecology to minimize the degradation of land and soil to grow produce that helps the revitalization of Earth while also supplying food to the community.

Rutledge also desires to provide food to urban communities by leveraging technology to allow people to grow produce in their own homes. Outside of school, she likes to journal, watch movies with friends, and spend time with her sisters

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