Five graduate students became the first group to complete the UCLA food studies graduate certificate program last week.
The food studies program, which the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs launched last fall, educates graduate students about food security. Students in the program can take courses on food production, urban planning, maternal and child nutrition, food safety laws and environmental sustainability policy.
Alexis Oberlander, a graduate adviser for the department of urban planning, who helped develop the food studies program, said in a statement the program brings together scholars from different disciplines to study food issues.
Karen Diaz, a graduate urban planning and public health student and one of 14 students participating in the program next year, said she wants to study how social hierarchy helped some individuals and excluded others in her community in southeast Los Angeles.
“I was looking for programs that would allow me to specialize in my niche interests of the built environment and communal health in communities of color with a focus on environmental and food justice,” Diaz said in a statement.