Bio: Stephanie Zhu is a PhD student in the department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Her research interests surround national U.S. agriculture policy and the potential for agroecology to be a transformative framework in the U.S. policy context. Prior to coming to Virginia Tech, Steph completed her Master's at Penn State University studying Rural Sociology & International Agriculture and Development. Her thesis used mixed methods to analyze the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, qualitatively coding for prevalence of agroecology principles and generating descriptive statistics about the results. Steph has worked for the American Farmland Trust as a Research and DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice) graduate intern and has also apprenticed on a small flower and vegetable farm prior to starting graduate school. In her spare time, she likes to exercise, explore nature, and enjoy live music.

Areas of Emphasis: U.S. agriculture policy, agroecology, ecological agriculture, social justice, Farm Bill

M.S. Rural Sociology & International Agriculture and Development, Penn State University
B.A. Computer Science, Vassar College