Program Director, Duke Campus Farm
Assistant Professor of the Practice, Duke Franklin Humanities Institute
Dr. Saskia Cornes took the helm at the Duke Campus Farm in June 2014. She received her formal farm training on the 30-acre farm at UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (known as the Farm & Garden), where she started as an apprentice and ended as an instructor. But most of her farming knowledge comes from farming alongside others – mainly with small-scale organic growers, but also with college students, chefs, and at-risk youth, including stints at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Added Value/Red Hook Community Farm, and smallholdings in India, Scotland and Spain. She has been working in and around the campus farm movement since 2009, designing experiential curricula in critical food studies for Columbia University, the University of San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz and Hostos Commmunity College. Saskia holds a PhD in English Literature from Columbia University and teaches in the environmental humanities through Duke's Franklin Humanities Institute. When she’s not out in the field, she’s bringing the field to campus, working with departments and programs across Duke to rethink our relationship to food and to the land and people that grow it.
Assistant Program Manager
Emily supports DCF’s educational programming and student engagement by building connections across student, faculty and community spheres. Emily has been with the farm since its inception in 2010. She enjoys connecting with other campus farms to strengthen the broader movement toward developing interdisciplinary, experiential food systems education. When Emily isn’t busy working alongside the student farm crew or scheming DCF’s next co-curricular program, she’s probably chatting with a neighbor.
Field Education Manager
A Southern native, Leslie has built and managed farms in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, prior to moving to the Piedmont. At the DCF, she facilitates interdisciplinary studies with the farm serving as a learning lab. Each semester she educates a revolving student crew on the mechanics of small-scale, sustainable agriculture. A degree in Agronomy with a concentration of Environment Soil Science from Mississippi State University affirms her right as a self-professed, dirt nerd. A lifelong love of flowers and the natural world has propelled her towards a career she believes to be the perfect alchemy of her passions: food, plants, and people.
Melissa graduated from NC State University in 2013 with a B.S. in Environmental Technology & Management and minors in Environmental Science and Toxicology. She discovered her deep passion for the sustainable food & farming movement while volunteering with the NC State Sustainability Office during her undergraduate years. She has since served as an AmeriCorps and worked with many organizations in the Triangle area helping to create a more sustainable food system through food redistribution, access, and education. Outside of work, Melissa creates & showcases “Art for the Earth,” colorful abstract visual art made out of recycled materials. She also enjoys writing & playing music, gardening, hiking, camping, and anything that allows her to spend time outdoors!
Environmental and Food Justice Associate, Resilience Corps NC Member
Abijah grew up in Durham and graduated from Guilford College in May 2020 with a BA in History and a BA in English and Media Studies. They are excited to be a part of the 2020-2021 Resilience Corps cohort and feel oh so lucky to spend their service term at Duke Campus Farm. Abijah is passionate about the relationships between land and liberation, injustice and enclosure, the growth that comes out of a personal connection with the Earth and how all of this impacts our food systems. As we speak, they are creating programming that allows us to critically engage with both our urban and rural environment in dynamic and interesting ways. Some of their favorite things to indulge in are the Broken Earth Trilogy by NK Jemisin, Shameless, Steven Universe, and cookie dough ice cream.
Meet The 2020-2021 Academic Year Student Crew
Avery Davis Lamb (he/him) is a student, writer, and activist, studying the intersection of Christianity and the environment at Duke Divinity School and the Nicholas School of the Environment. He is particularly interested in how Christian communities can serve to rekindle relationships with the non-human world and be catalysts for climate action. Avery is originally from Kansas, where he developed a deep love for agriculture, wilderness, and the beauty of Creation. When he's not at the farm or in class, Avery enjoys collecting more books than he can read, riding his bike on roads and trails, and taking Sunday afternoon naps. You can find him on twitter @averydavislamb.
Floey Zhao (she/her) is an undergraduate junior at Duke. She is majoring in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, and minoring in Environmental Sciences & Policy. Floey is interested in food justice, veganism, and plants! Outside of class you can find her working with Root Causes, adding to her herbarium journal, or (attempting to) run, skateboard, and play the piano.
Kendall Jefferys (she/her) is an undergraduate senior studying Environmental Science and English at Duke. Community workdays at DCF ignited her interest in sustainable agriculture, leading her to participate in the 2019 DukeImmerse Food Studies, a semester focused on an interdisciplinary approach to the future of food. As a DCF Communications Intern, she looks forward to diving deeper into work with food systems and the narratives of food and farming. In her free time, Kendall enjoys painting, writing, and figure skating. On campus, you may find her in the gardens, or, more likely, reading a new favorite book.
Olivia Olsher (she/her) is an undergraduate junior from London, UK majoring in Environmental Science & Policy. She is very interested in sustainable agriculture and environmental justice issues, especially after spending her summer in rural Eastern North Carolina. Olivia volunteered at the Duke Campus Farm on Sundays during freshman year and is looking forward to being a part of the student Farm crew this year!