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 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.
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.
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.
Meet The 2021-2022 Academic Year Student Crew
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.
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!
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!