Kane Ferguson is a PhD candidate in Hispanic literatures with a minor concentration in food studies through anthropology. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Spanish from the University of New Hampshire, Durham. Her research follows an interest in food both anthropologically and via representations in contemporary US Latina/o narratives. Her dissertation, "Culinary Negotiations of Migration and Exile: Belonging and Foodways in Diaspora Literature of the Spanish Caribbean" analyzes the ways in which protagonists engage with foodways to assert or undermine notions of belonging through conceptualizations of commensality, kitchen spaces, dining etiquette and taste preference, and body composition. Kane served as the graduate fellow for the IU Food Institute from 2018 to 2020 before being selected as the IU Latino Studies Dissertation Year Fellow 2020-2021.
Julie Kearney Wasserman is a PhD student in the Department of Geography and served as the IUFI graduate fellow for 2017-2018. She has an educational background in ecology and ecological horticulture, with research interests revolving around the implications of climate change on agriculture. She’s had a lifelong obsession with food and cooking, having grown up intently watching her dad who has a serious knack for Cajun cuisine. One of her favorite quotes of all time is, “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
Leigh Bush earned her Ph.D. in the Food Studies program at IU. Her dissertation research focuses on the effects of new media on the culinary community. Prior to working for the Food Institute, Leigh spent two years in the field working with chefs, media producers and software developers involved in the culinary community across Chicago. Leigh has assisted and instructed several classes at the university including Archeology of Wine and Fermented Beverages, Anthropology through Visual Media, Intro to International Affairs, and Interpersonal Communications. Leigh hosted the WTIU documentary Hoosier Hospitality: Wine and acted as managing producer for WFHB’s storytelling radio show The Porch Swing. Leigh was a graduate fellow with the IUFI for 2016-2017.
Maddie Chera earned her Ph.D. in the Cultural Anthropology sub-field working on her dissertation on the promotion of traditional foods and the perception of food culture change in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. She has been a Student Representative of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), and also a member of the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN), an AAA sub-group. Maddie has taught several classes at multiple universities and works on strengthening food studies pedagogy across disciplines. Maddie was a graduate fellow with the IUFI for 2016-2017.