Location: Bowdoin / Sustainability / Activity / 2010 / Profiles / Maina Handmaker

Maina Handmaker
Class of 2011

Posted March 02, 2010

Class Year: 2011
Majors: Environmental Studies and Visual Arts
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Leadership on campus: Sustainable Bowdoin, ACUPCC, Tedford Shelter
Environmental Mission: To build Brunswick’s community food system, and make healthy, safe, local food accessible to everyone.

How have you been involved in sustainability efforts on campus?
I started working for Sustainable Bowdoin my freshman year, and became an EcoRep my sophomore year. I work on the President’s Climate Commitment Committee, too.

What course or professor helped you to connect with sustainability on campus?
I’ve taken so many environmental studies courses at Bowdoin, but I think the one that really focused my passion and my work was Feeding the World, a seminar on food and agriculture with Phil Camill, the director of Bowdoin’s environmental studies program.

Have you been involved in a summer research fellowship? What did that entail?
Last summer I received a fellowship from the McKeen Center for the Common Good to pursue a community research project on Brunswick’s local food network. A professor and I are trying to preserve two hundred year old barns in the center of town, and turn them into a year-round farmers’ market space – a space to support local farmers, include all members of the Brunswick community in fresh food access, and to become a center for community learning and gathering. I’m continuing the project now as an independent study.

Did you study abroad? Were environmental topics a part of your program?
I just returned from northeastern Thailand, where I spent a lot of time learning from villagers about community organizing and human rights. We worked with communities fighting to save their environment from development projects like dams and gold mines.

How do you think will you remain involved in sustainability efforts after graduation?
I hope to keep working for local food issues; working on a farm, following through with my farmers’ market project, and hopefully working on urban agriculture issues in our fresh food deserted cities.

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"I think the [course] that really focused my passion and my work was Feeding the World…"