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? With this being my last semester with CESP, I’m happy that we’re able to be together. After a year of being online, I am able to put a face (albeit masked) to a name, further cementing those community ties. As such, I am glad to have met so many incredible people through this experience.

Something few people know about you: Over the last year, I’ve written quite a few grants for a small student-run nonprofit. Since I’ve been a part of this organization since my freshman year, I wanted to give back somehow. Although we did not receive the first several, I just recently heard back about a pretty significant grant. It feels good to end on a high note.

Something else about you? Since the semester prior to COVID, a fellow student and I have been working with several student organizations and UW-Madison administration on bringing Swipe Out Hunger, a leading nonprofit dedicated to ending student hunger, here to campus. This semester (actually right now) is our first Swipe Drive, so it was great to see all that work come to fruition.