Duke Campus Farm Staff

Saskia Cornes, Duke Campus Farm

Saskia Cornes


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.


Emily McGinty


Assistant Program Manager


Emily supports DCF’s co-curricular 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.


Photo of Izzy Brace

Izzy Brace


Field Education Manager


Izzy grew up on a farm in Western Maryland. In 2014, she began her career in agriculture working as the Community Garden Manager at Guilford College, where she has a degree in Ecology (BS) and Sculpture (BA). She continued her education working on small scale organic farms in Atlanta, GA and Cedar Grove, NC. In 2021, she received a certificate degree from the Organic Growers School based in Asheville NC. Izzy began her own small scale farm on a 1/8 of an acre in Greensboro, NC, growing vegetables and flowers for a weekly CSA and farmers market. Since then, she has moved onto more land in Alamance county and is raising chicken and duck for eggs and meat. She believes in reestablishing a somatic relationship with the land and connecting through food, education, and love for the natural world.


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Abijah Gattis (they/them)                                           

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 returning for a second term with the Conservation Trust for North Carolina's Resilience Corps; Abijah feels 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. 

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Meet The 2021-2022 Academic Year Student Crew


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Julianna Rennie (she/her) - I'm from Charlotte, North Carolina. I love reading and writing, spending time outdoors, and cooking! During the 2020-21 school year, I traveled and worked on farms in Western NC, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. At Duke, I help lead camping trips with Outing Club, and I edit the 9th Street Journal, a student-run news site that covers Durham



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Floey Zhao (she/her) - I'm from Pennsylvania! I discovered my love for sustainable agriculture and food systems at the LEAF Project farm in PA. I have continued learning through an internship at Pocono Organics in PA and right here at the Duke Campus Farm. I am deeply passionate about the intersection of industrial animal agriculture with animal rights, human rights, and environmental/social justice. In my time off-farm, I can be found instructing a course on Industrial Animal Agriculture, gardening, attempting to play the guitar, or eating pints of vegan chocolate ice cream from The Parlour.



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Olivia Olsher (she/her) is an undergraduate senior 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!



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​​​​​​Ryan Geitner (she/her) is in her final semester as an undergraduate at Duke University. She's majoring in Political Science and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies where she's studying Arabic and Mandarin. Ryan became interested in regenerative farm practices in post-conflict environments after spending a year in Amman, Jordan and studying the destruction of civilian infrastructure (like farms) in conflict in the Middle East. Ryan worked was a member of Duke Campus Farm's summer student crew, and is looking forward to being a part of the farm this fall!




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Kaitlyn Elliot (she/her) - I grew up in Blacksburg, VA and went to the University of Virginia for my undergrad. I got my BS in Environmental Science and minored in Global Sustainability. I am interested in water, how it moves, and the impacts climate change will have on water management. I came to Duke to get my Masters in Environmental Management with a focus in Water Resources. My hobbies include anything outdoors, bouldering, insects, hula hooping and playing with my cat.




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Skijler Hutson (they/he) - I'm from Los Angeles, California (proudly so). I WWOOFed before I came to Duke and I knew I wanted to continue farming when I came here.





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Maia Matheny (she/her) 
is a senior from Maryland studying Environmental Science and Policy with a focus in agriculture and environmental justice and minoring in Gender, Sexuality, Feminist studies. She loves hiking, bouldering, yoga, poetry, and TJs ice cream sandwiches.





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Sara Haas (she/her) - I am from Princeton, NJ and I enjoy hiking, cooking, knitting, and taking care of my plants. In the fall of 2020, I worked for the Conservation Corps in the Pacific Northwest, which is where I really fell in love with the outdoors. I am interested in conservation ecology.





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Reema Garabadu (she/her) - I am a first-year graduate student from a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. I'm so excited to be working on Duke Campus Farm, as I spent much of my time in my undergraduate career working and learning from the campus farm at the University of Georgia. Between my undergraduate and graduate studies, I traversed the country learning about restoration in national parks, and the intricacies of food systems and anti-hunger advocacy in Vermont. I'm excited to be back in school to bridge my interests in food systems, and fostering social and ecological wellbeing. In my free time you will find me on neighborhood jaunts (trying to find the closest Little Free Library!), hiccuping, painting, or making excessive Spotify playlists.


Laura Headshot
Laura Brockington (she/her) grew up in the Triangle, but has spent the last few years in other parts of the US and world. Before moving back to NC for graduate school, she was working at an environmental justice nonprofit outside of Boston where she primarily focused in food justice and getting youth involved in community gardens. She's hoping to continue building connections between people and our food systems while at DCF. In her free time, you can find Laura throwing a frisbee, hanging with her dog, or baking something sweet :)



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Abby Martell (she/her) is a first year Master of Environmental Management candidate concentrating in Business and Environment. She has her undergraduate degree in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design and has had a variety of work experiences ranging from corporate upholstery design to managing a congressional campaign to a 2 year apprenticeship on a sheep dairy in Western NC. Abby is interested in sustainable textile supply-chains, regenerative systems, and corporate responsibility in material sourcing. She also loves to bike, cook, and bird - anything that gets her outside! Abby is so excited to spend the next year sharing her passion for regenerative farming and local food with the DCF community as a Program Assistant!