Melissa Mulengwa, Food Ambassador

Description: UCI faculty, staff, and students from many disciplines participate in the UC President’s Global Food Initiative. Our campus plays active roles to promote food security on campus, zero waste in the dining halls, sustainable and healthy food choices, research in food justice and equity, and development of new food curriculum and experiential learning. During academic year 2017-18, various faculty, staff, and student-led groups will host several high profile events, conferences, and outreach and education campaigns to orient our campus toward the goals underlying the Global Food Initiative and showcase UCI’s leadership across the UC system. At the same time, counterparts at other UC campuses will be leading similar efforts that are designed to be engaged on our campus as well.

Student Project: The purpose of this fellowship project is to identify and leverage the synergy among these various food-related efforts at UCI so as to maximize cross-disciplinary learning, elevate our campus dialog, and broaden impact. Actions include communications, Basic Needs website management and content development, marketing, outreach, research, writing, event planning, community organizing, and network building. While serving a campus-wide role, this student will be based in the Food Access and Security team through the Center for Educational Partnerships. The Student Ambassadors serve as the GFI student engagement ‘go‐to’ person for the UC Irvine campus. Ambassador will participate in GFI leadership meetings to share their student voice, report on student engagement activities, and connect with working group leaders across the UC system.

Melissa Mulengwa is a third-year Public Health Policy major with a minor in Medical Anthropology. She is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but currently resides in Monterey Bay. Her interests include the promotion and awareness of nutrition and food security among people from all parts of society, specifically regarding child and maternal health. She found her inspiration for nutrition from her beautiful, health-conscious mother, and her interest in food security from her wonderful experiences in various health and wellness organizations while attending UCI. Melissa loves to connect deeply with others, and to cultivate meaningful, resonant relationships that make her life wholesome. She hopes to one day have an impact with communities of color in the movement to bring awareness to overall health and wellness, nutrition, and food security to all mothers and children.