Please note that this program is now closed and is not accepting additional students. You may be interested in this other program:

Program Overview

High School students will immerse themselves in the kitchen atmosphere for two weeks and explore the broad scope of food from the perspectives of the chef, the scientist, the farmer, and the consumer. Students will be provided with chef coats and hats, and can look forward to researching various issues of the contemporary food landscape. They will visit areas of food from the supplier to the waste hauler, learn basics of food safety, how the application of heat changes food, and how to prepare food from a local farm. Through the completion of this course, all students will gain a food handlers certificate.

Program Objectives

  • Through the fundamentals of food safety, all students will earn a food handlers certificate.
  • In the Kitchen Lab, students will apply science to food in a variety of hands-on activities.
  • Students will learn how to utilize Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) by cooking their own food.
  • In-field observations of the local supply chain will be studied as it relates to the environment.
  • The program culminates with researching an environmental issue related to food studies, and presenting it to their peers.

Learn more about Make the Connection: Food, Farm, Futures: 

Program Dates & Details  Eligibility Requirements  Program Cost  Program Requirements  Typical Day  Faculty Bios

Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

Session I: June 29 – July 12, 2019
Duration: 2-weeks


Credit: Noncredit
Grading System: Pass/Fail


Students must be rising junior or senior status for this course. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

Apply Now!

Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Residential: $3,360*
  • Commuter: $2,566*

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Program Requirements

Students need to have loose fitting long pants and closed toed and closed heeled shoes/sneakers for kitchen work; non-skid soles preferred. Required readings will be assigned prior to the program and throughout sessions.

Student Expectations

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Students are expected to be on time for all scheduled events. Students are expected to bring an open mind and positive attitude to the learning process.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule:

  • Day 1 9:00 am – 12:00pm: Intro to course, Food Handler Training; lunch break (12:00 – 1:00 pm), 1:00pm – 6:00 pm: History of food in America, Exploring Food Systems, Why cook? – knife skills in lab Finish day by 5:00 pm
  • Day 2 9:00 am – 12:30pm; Food lab – basic science behind food manipulation / students prepare own lunch; break (12:30-1:30); afternoon session – Guest speaker – contemporary food issues, research assignments & library tour; Finish day by 5:00 pm
  • Day 3 9:00 am – 11:30; Intro to Agroecology, Food Studies Careers – what to look for and navigating an interview, Lunch break (11:30 – 12:30); Afternoon session: Intro to CSA, cooking class dinner; Finished by 6:00pm
  • Day 4 FOURTH OF JULY – no class
  • Day 5 9:00am Continuation of Agroecology, Field trip to local vegetable farm, pick your own farm, roadside stand farm. Return by 5:00 pm
  • Day 6 9:00am – 11:30 Sustainable Food Systems – exploration, opportunities & challenges; guest speaker; Lunch (11:30 – 12:30); Afternoon session – Field trip to livestock farm – return by 6:00pm
  • Day 7 9:00am – 11:30; Workshop morning to develop topics and presentations; Lunch (11:30 – 12:30) Food Science Lab – Gluten – what is it, what does it do and is it bad? / Pizza lab – students will prepare own dinner. Finish by 7:00pm
  • Day 8 9:00am – 3:00 field trip to OCRRA, Rescue Mission or Food Bank; 3:00 – 5:00 presentation workshop
  • Day 9 9:00-5:00 – event planning and prep for final Family Dinner and presentation
  • Day 10 9:00am – prep for 1:00 pm lunch and good byes.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

Field Trips

Farm tours – We will visit a produce farm and a livestock farm to experience the connections to food ways. We will visit OCRRA to understand the complete cycle of food and waste as it relates to sustainable efforts. Finally, we will visit the Rescue Mission or the Food Bank for another view of food systems as they relate to community. While in transit to or from the field trips, we may stop to investigate a pick-your-own or road side stand operation.

  • Friday, July 5: Visit a local vegetable farm, pick your own farm, and roadside stand farm.
  • Monday, July 8: Field trip to a livestock farm
  • Wednesday, July 10: Field trip to OCRRA, Rescue Mission or Food Bank

End Event

Parents are invited to the end event to celebrate the completion of the program on Friday, July 12. Students will prepare a final Family Dinner and presentation. The final event will be a lunch prepared by the students for their families. The students will also have their presentations in a format for viewing.

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to leave upon completion of the end event on Friday, July 12. The end event is expected to be over by 4:00pm. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bios

Mary Kiernan

Mary Kiernan came to Syracuse University in 2000 to work in Carrier Dome Catering where she managed 42 private suites and numerous other functions related to games and floor dinners. She became an instructor in Hospitality Management in 2007 and received her IMBA at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in 2012. She is an Associate Professor in the department of Food Studies and Nutrition with a concentration in operations and culinary arts.

American Culinary Federation Certifications:

  • Certified Chef de Cuisine
  • Certified Culinary Educator
  • American Academy of Chefs Fellow

Rick Welsh

Rick Welsh joined the Department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition as a Professor of Food Studies in August, 2012. Prior to taking this position he worked at Clarkson University as a Professor of Sociology. Previous positions have included Policy Analyst with the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture and the Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program for the Southern Region. He also serves as editor-in-chief for the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems published by Cambridge University Press. His research and teaching focus on social change and development with emphases on agri-food systems, science and technology studies and environmental sociology.

  • Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University
  • Master of Science in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the College of William and Mary Specialization
  • Food and Agricultural Policy. Technological change in agriculture. Organic agriculture. Genetically modified organisms (agricultural biotechnology). Rural development; Livestock industry; Anaerobic digesters; Wetland preservation.