2020 CREATE Scholars

Ryan Gavin

Ph.D., Public Health

I grew up in Minnesota and pursued both my undergraduate and master’s degrees in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Science. As a master’s student, my research focused on closing agricultural yield gaps and exploring the nutritional variability in wild cereal ancestors. Over the course of this work, however, I became increasingly interested in more directly quantifying the downstream health effects of our food system. This interest led me to my current field of environmental epidemiology, where I hope to explore how ecosystems impact the health of rural populations. I’m excited to be a part of the CREATE Scholars program and look forward to learning from and with my cohort.

Faith VanMeter

Ph.D., Developmental Psychology - May 2022

I am interested in understanding children’s development following victimization and their experiences in systems related to that victimization, such as the foster care and legal systems. I aim to contribute to policies establishing equity in the quality of programs, services, and resources provided to children and families experiencing rural poverty to reduce rates of child victimization and promote healthy child development. 

Eskender Yousuf

Ph.D., Student-Organizational Leadership, Policy & Development

My motivation for becoming a 2020 CREATE Scholar stems from my own commitment to live in a more equitable and just world. I aim to use my own positionality, experiences, and future aspirations, to level the playing field for the many marginalized communities that I identify with. I am excited for this opportunity to engage with community-based partners and solve real-world problems!

Adam Moskowitz

Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences

I study the ways that working peoples’ lives are affected by their jobs and environment. Through my research and the CREATE scholarship, I plan to work in solidarity with communities that have been underserved by the status quo. After all, if a university is not striving to better the wider community, it isn’t doing its job.

Stuart Deets

Ph.D., Art History - May 2024

I’m an art historian who believes that art can be a means of negotiating our life in common. I’m excited to be a part of the CREATE Scholars because I believe that the best scholarship is interdisciplinary & produced in collaboration with many viewpoints.

Mohammed Abulela

Ph.D., Educational Psychology - May 2023

I am deeply interested in interacting with community partners to find creative solutions for issues related to social justice and equity. I strongly believe that scholars should do research that contribute to the welfare of humanity. The CREATE scholar is a unique opportunity for enhancing skills related to leadership and research based on community integration. 

Margie Tang-Oxley

Ph.D., History

I am a current History PhD student studying Asian American cuisine in the 20th century. Through CREATE, I hope to ground myself in community, and build the skills to effectively tie together the histories of food production, the environment, and climate justice activism. Outside of my research, I enjoy cooking, gardening, and spending time with my tiny dog, Romeo.

Doug Benton

Master of Urban and Regional Planning - May 2021

I’m excited to be a part of CREATE because of its emphasis on social justice and relationship-building. CREATE provides a unique opportunity for me to more deeply explore climate and environmental justice issues and their relationship to urban planning, through an interdisciplinary, community-engaged research model. My experience with CREATE will critically inform my future community engagement work as a practicing planner. In my free time I enjoy running, hiking, listening to music, visiting museums and parks, doing crosswords and all things trivia.

Aidan Reed

M.S., Natural Resource Science and Management - December 2020

The water problems that we face now and in the future require interdisciplinary solutions. Water connects all life and is at the heart of our shared experiences. Working together using a diversity of perspectives, disciplines, and life experiences, we can meet the challenges facing our generation. 

Hannah Jo King

Ph.D, Natural Resources Science and Management - May 2024

In my work as a graduate student, I prioritize a racial justice lens to address needed changes in our environmental and food systems today. I am excited to participate in the CREATE program because  I believe in the power of communities to build creative solutions to local challenges. I look forward to working alongside community leaders in the Twin Cities and leveraging the scholarship of UMN on behalf of community-driven solutions.

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