Connor Raboine

What are your majors? Human development and family studies, communication arts with certificates in food systems, environmental studies, and global health

Expected graduation: December 2021

What inspired your interest in the environment and/or community? Food. The first organization that I joined when I came here was Slow Food UW, a nonprofit dedicated to providing “good, clean, fair food for all.” Seeing what a great community SFUW was drove me to further understand what their mission meant to me.

As I reflect, good food embodies flavor and creativeness, but also a satiation that isn’t just physical, but rather a sense of community. Similarly, clean food should not just only describe the physical nature of the food, but also the practices used in producing it. Farming methods should be sustainable with the health of not only those consuming the food in mind, but the environment as a whole.

Lastly, fair means accessible to everyone regardless of socio-economic class. In a world that is increasingly championing exclusivity, the basic necessity that food is should not be a part of that trend. With this in mind, I see food as an underutilized tool that can reverse that trend and create a more cohesive and inclusive society. The relatability of food makes it the perfect catalyst for community outreach. We bond through experiences, and nothing is more prominent in our shared humanity than the desire for great-tasting food.

What would you say (or do you say) to other students about CESP and the Nelson Institute? Although I have only known CESP in its virtual format, I can say for certain that everyone has made it a priority to connect with their fellow members. In this way, it has really been an incredible experience meeting with so many great people from such a diverse set of backgrounds.

Something few people know about you: In my free time, I make wine from different types of wild edibles or produce I buy from the farmers’ market! Oftentimes, it does not turn out, but I keep on trying. To date, the best wine I have made is rhubarb. My roommate actually made me some labels to put on my bottles for my birthday this year.

Something else about you? Over the last couple of months, I have spent much of my time writing grants for the nonprofit that I co-direct. Grant writing is incredibly exhausting, but it is so rewarding. Knowing that you’re able to enact change as a result of the grant funds is really a good feeling.