Dr. Joanne Delaney Burke’s focus on creating access to a fair, just and sustainable food system through her seamless integration of teaching and service has earned her the 2018 Faculty Excellence in Public Service Award.
Joining the nutrition program in 2004 as assistant clinical professor, Dr. Burke was simultaneously appointed director ofthe nationally accredited dietetic internship program. She was later named the inaugural Haas Professor of Sustainable Food Systems within the UNH Sustainability Institute. The complex appointment allowed her to follow her passion of building an equitable and just regional food system and positioned the UNH dietetic internship program at the forefront of this emerging professional focus.
She has been recognized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a dietitian who “inspires” through her passion for social justice and racial equity in the food system. Dr. Burke’s commitment to advancing food justice manifested in the form of an online “Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge” to education and engage discussion addressing system causes and potential solutions to food and health inequities. Locally, she was instrumental in mentoring the Swipe-it-Forward project recognizing hunger and food insecurity on UNH campus. Dr. Burke is recognized as a thought leader for“A New England Food Vision,” a platform to consider how our region can promote a resilient, just and equitable food system that benefits all citizens.Dr. Burke was responsible for devising dietary patterns designed to respect our regional production capacity while promoting population and planetary health.
Dr. Burke serves the university, state and region as well as her profession as she manages to weave scholarship and teaching into public service activities. She ties service with active learning to extend her commitment to sustainability and food justice and she exemplifies what it means to be a socially aware and civically engaged professional for our students and stakeholders. It is for these reasons and many more that she is this year’s recipient of the university’s faculty award for Excellence in Public Service.