Title: Professor and Director of the VT Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation
Bio: Kim Niewolny is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education and serves as founding Director of the Virginia Tech Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation. Over the past 16 years, her research, teaching, and extension programming has emphasized the role of power and equity in food systems–based community development from an interdisciplinary and critical social theory perspective. As a scholar-practitioner, her work focuses on the interface of sustainable food systems and the practice and politics of community food work from classroom to community spaces at the local, regional, and global level. Kim teaches graduate courses and provides teaching leadership in the Civic Agriculture and Food Systems Pathways Minor and serves as Director of the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition and the AgrAbility Virginia program. She has previously served as President for the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society and has been a board member of the Virginia Food Systems Council since 2018. At the Center, her focus in on research, outreach, and education that generates and promotes creative possibilities for food systems that are abundant, resilient, and equitable for all.
Personally, Kim finds joy in growing, cooking, eating, and sharing food—and raising chickens with her family.
Scholarly interests: cultural and participatory community development; critical pedagogy and critical praxis; action research; multi-sector collaborations for sustainable food systems; food narratives through storytelling and narrative inquiry; regional food systems, new agrarian sustainability; and the intersection of technology, farm labor, and disability. To learn more, visit: https://www.alce.vt.edu/about/faculty-staff/niewolny/niewolny-bio.html