Name: Emma Enoch
Graduation Year: 2018
Degree: B.A. Sustainable Food Systems
Current Hometown: Brunswick, Maine
Employment: Food Bank Director at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program; Project Manager at Farm to Fork: A Zero Food Waste Project
Can you tell us about the work you are doing?
The food bank keeps me busy managing the 1.3 million pounds of fresh rescued, donated and purchased food that flows through our agency annually. I’m also working on a project I designed during my time at Sterling. Several colleges in New England chose to audit their current food waste streams, analyze the efficiencies and effectiveness, and implement changes that would ideally mitigate food waste in their dining halls.
How did Sterling influence your current career path?
Sterling’s community organically lends itself to cultivating intense and inspiring relationships between students and faculty. Those relationships demanded me to show up prepared and willing to learn. I cared so much about the perspectives of my peers and faculty, and felt that those feelings were reciprocated. When hearing uniquely talented minds talk about the nature of our world, its people, and its cultures, we can become transformed and inspired, both personally and professionally.
My time at Sterling was spent learning how to listen and respond with intention, heart, and curiosity, which has helped me cultivate a real trust in my intuition and passions. I was able to get a job in my field months after graduation, and I can directly attribute that to the confidence and knowledge Sterling instilled in me.
What is your most memorable course or “out in the field” memory:
I was on the field course in Yosemite a few summers ago. It was incredible. Oh, goodness. There are so many memories! Another student and I sat on this little rock ledge overlooking the most insane mountainous landscape. We both had grown up in little New England, and were always marveling at the open sky and bigness of it all. We had spent the morning laughing about marmots and quizzing each other on the Latin names of wildflowers. Between bites of dried mango and chocolate-covered almonds, she looked at the grandness of the landscape in front of us in silence. I burst out laughing in pure amazement and she turned to me and said, “How the hell did we get here?” I had never felt more wonder for the world than I did in that moment.
Any words of wisdom for current Sterling students?
You exist in such a unique place in the world. You are able to put yourself in the way of beauty every single day, intentionally or not. Please don’t let yourself lose sight of that. Learn to trust yourself, to appreciate the closeness of that community, and know that your experience at Sterling will set you up well to navigate the world once you leave. Try not to wait until your last semester to notice the special place you’ve chosen to spend a snapshot of your life. But also remember that the world is vast and inviting outside of that little community, and the work you will do after Sterling, whether it be as a farmer, agro-ecologist, chef, educator… is so important.