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Location: Lucas Hall
Administrative Assistant, Food & Agribusiness Institute
Clare is the new Administrative Assistant for the Food and Agribusiness Institute. She provides administrative support to Erika French-Arnold and Dr. Greg Baker. Together with a great team of student assistants, Clare helps coordinate campus events, field trips, and undergraduate and postgraduate involvement in FAI concentrations.
Before working with the FAI, Clare earned her undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco, and her master's degree in history from the University of Glasgow. Her postgraduate research focused on 19th and 20th century American pure food legislation, with an emphasis on the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938. Clare also furthered her understanding of current food and agribusiness issues through an AmeriCorps placement with the Silicon Valley Heath Trust and working with Whole Foods Market.
A San Jose native, Clare has enjoyed a lifelong interest in food preparation, culture and history. She is delighted to be a part of the FAI team to facilitate the discussion and study of these topics among students, faculty and our community.
Q&A by Jenna Herzog:
When did you become interested in food and agribusiness?
Even though it sounds cliche, I've always been interested in food. I watched a lot of cooking TV shows as a kid, and made a lot of horrible recipes. But an interest in studying food occurred when I was in my undergraduate program and I volunteered with CUESA (Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture);they put on Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and educational programs.
Also, working at Whole Foods grew my interest in food. I started working there on my 21st birthday in 2009 and I worked there for six years. I started as a cashier, then I worked in Whole Body;the vitamin and body care section;and then I was a demo specialist. I also worked for AmeriCorps for eight months in school gardens. I really didn't know much about gardening, but I took the attitude that I really interested in this and I was there to learn. Which was funny because I was teaching 3rd graders, and the kids see right through you. It was around 2008 and 2009 when there were all these articles coming out about how to start your own garden, and I was really inspired. I spent all this money at Orchard Supply and then nothing ever grew. Beside tomatoes, I can grow tomatoes well.
What would be the first thing you would do after winning a $100M after-taxes in the lottery?
If I had all the money in the world, I would fix San Jose. I would give each part of San Jose its own kind of European high-street type of model, where you have actual shops and you can actually walk around. And some kind of cohesive transportation system. And no more strip malls! I would specifically make sure that the Winchester Domes were saved and preserve the Mount Umunhum Radio Tower. It's my home town, and though it has it's charms now, I would like to make it into an actually cool city. Let's be honest, for being the 10th largest city in the country it is not exactly metropolitan.
If you could have the job of anyone at SCU, who would it be and how would you do the job differently?
The manager of the Adobe Lodge. I would steal their soup recipes to better understand the method to their madness because their soup recipes just don't make sense. They're so random! They're not like the soups in the main cafeteria; they're like ‘white bean, kale, and squash blossom’! I would be the SCU soup Nazi. No soup for you for one year!