Alex Papadakis, from North Hampton, New Hampshire, came to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to major in sustainable agriculture and food systems, with a dual major in ecogastronomy. She is in the University Honors program and is also a Hamel Scholar. She will graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor of arts degree. Alex was motivated to get involved in research because she considers herself a hands-on learner. She said, “You are able to generate and facilitate your own questions, guide your own learning, and start to apply what you’ve learned in class to a real-world context.”
Alex says that the Research Experience and Apprenticeship Program (REAP), through which she conducted her research on the local food system, taught her that research is not a linear process; she adapted and revised her research plan in several ways along the way. But the experience proved to be a “light bulb moment” for her. She has decided to focus her major studies on the food system, particularly on issues of food access and food insecurity. Alex decided to further this interest through the Semester in the City program. In the spring of 2019 she worked in Boston with an anti-hunger organization, Project Bread, where she has learned about and helped with some of the exciting work being done to address these important food issues.