Loyola University Chicago

Department of Anthropology

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Mia LaRocca ('17) Wins Fulbright Award to Italy

Mia LaRocca (

Mia LaRocca (BS '17) was awarded a Fulbright/Casten Family Foundation Award to Italy to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, which is committed to promoting a sustainable and just food economy through the tenets of the Slow Food movement. The Fulbright Award will allow Mia to immerse herself in a community and lifestyle dedicated to good, clean and fair food systems, while pursuing a degree that will enhance her current understanding of health and immigration by tracing these issues back to food systems. For her Master’s thesis, she proposed an ethnographic research project on the island of Lampedusa that will examine the current migrant and refugee situation by focusing on their access to food, as well as the community’s involvement in food production. Food insecurity is a growing concern for these communities amidst the implications of immigration and climate change.

Mia believes that the education she will receive at the University of Gastronomic Sciences will establish conversations essential to her research interests and allow her to engage other communities in similar conversations about food sovereignty, health literacy, climate change and global migration. After graduating with a Master’s degree, she plans to seek employment as an ambassador in the food, health or immigration sectors of the United States government or the United Nations.