Scholarship, Community, Honors, Ecosystems, Food

Our Mission Statement

The ScholarCHEF community changes the world by building a Pitt community (faculty, staff, students, partners) to advance the knowledge through a synergy of the best of Pitt research and teaching, a deep focus on student education/formation, and a commitment to practically engaging grand challenges with external stakeholders.

How we operate

Employing existing leaders/assets within the food system to enable an interdisciplinary set of faculty and staff to mentor and engage students through transformative learning experiences and opportunities. To collaboratively push the knowledge base forward while serving both the internal community at Pitt and the external community in Pittsburgh and the greater Allegheny County area.

Our specific goals

  • To provide honors scholar community students an interdisciplinary academic foundation of the food system through introductory coursework, guest lectures, etc. 
  • To provide students with a deeper academic knowledge of the issue through middle and/or upper-level courses, guest lectures, etc.  
  • To provide a framework for interdisciplinary research and engagement around pressing food issues for Pitt faculty, staff, and students.
  • To expose and engage students in existing and new research being done by faculty and community partners around the food system. Honors college research fellowships can be utilized.
  • To work collaboratively with community partners and faculty/staff across multiple disciplines. 
  • To provide students with experiential opportunities based on their previous experiences. Local experiential experiences (externships, internships, service-learning projects) must involve community partners.  
    • Students with little experience with the food system can engage in a series of externships with local partners, in which the scholar community can provide funding. 
    • Students with more advanced experience with the food system can engage in internships. 
  • To provide students with a broader perspective on the food system through study abroad, study away and national scholarship opportunities.   
  • To provide project support via Frederick Honors College funding for upper-level students to work collectively to address problems within the food system.  
    • Upper-level food system students will have the opportunity to work in small interdisciplinary groups to submit a project proposal addressing an issue within the food system.

2023-34 AY Events

  • September 8 @1:30 pm — Urban Food Tour (PDF)
  • September 25 @5:00 pm — Meet with Fadi Kattan
  • November 2 @4:00 or 5:00 pm — cooking class

Register for these events in advance.


Faculty: Dr. David Sanchez (current rotating lead)  
Executive/Professional Leads: Dr. David Fraser
Associated Faculty: Dr. Julia Hudson-Richards, Dr. Kay Shimizu, Dr. Elizabeth Oyler, Dr. Frayda Cohen, Dr. Michael Glass
Student Advisory Board (2021-2022): Emily Albrecht, Molly Draper, Alexander Firestine, Alexandra Marlow, William Sauerland
Staff/Support: Stacie Dow

Are you a student and want to get involved in ScholarCHEF? Register for one of our upcoming community events.

This scholar community was an honoree of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement's 2021 Partnerships of Distinction Award! Watch a video highlighting the work of this group.