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|Graduate School: Tufts University
Undergraduate School: University of Michigan
Areas of interest: Environmental Issues
Mentor: Carol Burns, Principal, Taylor Burns Architects
Placement: Mayor's Office, City of Boston
Supervisor: Edith Murnane, Director of Food Initiatives
Project description: Tori entered the summer expecting to conduct research on municipal policy that may influence urban agriculture. While that research is underway, and she am thrilled to be in the midst of it, Tori spent the majority of her fellowship working on the urban agriculture pilot project. The City of Boston may lease three vacant properties in Dorchester to individuals or organizations interested in running an urban farm for commercial purposes, education, and/or d donation. In response to the concerns of local residents regarding the impact of urban farms on their community, the Director of Food Initiatives, DND, and the BRA ramped upcommunications. The drafting, publication, and dissemination of the communication tools were an exercise in leadership, collaboration, City administration, and most significantly, the importance of community engagement. The pilot project introduced her to a new perspective from which to view urban agricultural policy and will inform the research she does moving forward. Overall, she thoroughly enjoyed being on the Director of Food Initiative’s team and having the opportunity to employ her analytical and organizational skills to actualize a vision for urban agriculture.
I applied to the Rappaport Institute to serve as a Public Policy Summer Fellow with the aim of expanding my professional network in Boston and garner practical work experience. My goal was to establish a strong foundation for my graduate studies through a behind-‐the-‐scene look at the innovative food policy underway in Boston and an introduction to the actors and institutions involved. By anchoring me to a desk in the Mayor’s Office, the Rappaport Fellowship facilitated that foundation. What I did not anticipate was the way the Fellowship would broaden and deepen my intimacy with Boston. Beyond the connections promoted to other universities in the City, the Rappaport network and seminars invited me to sample local delicacies, explore the historic forces that shaped neighborhoods, and added layer upon layer to my awareness of the institutions that shape a city.