Erica Leigh

Erica Leigh

Copy of Erica Leigh

Position: Board Member

I moved to Potsdam in the summer of 2021, and I am thrilled to be a new member of the Potsdam community and Co-op! I am originally from the Syracuse area and lived there for the bulk of my life, but have since spent a number of years living in Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio, and Utah –All places with exciting local food scenes and an equal number of challenges surrounding food access. 
I am especially interested in community outreach and education. I am an Assistant Professor of Professional Communication at Clarkson University, and my teaching and research have largely explored food, gender, and social justice education. I also have an extensive background in Food Studies and have taught food-themed classes geared toward civic engagement as well as building sustainable relationships with food (with a focus on gender and body acceptance). 
My passion for food predates the classroom as my grandmother Vivi (of Central Square, NY) embodied cooking as an expression of love and taught me how to cook and bake. So much of my work is indebted to her memory and I hope to inspire the same love for wholesome, nourishing foods that she helped me cultivate. Being back in New York State is a homecoming I am relieved to experience, and joining the Co-op has made my transition that much more seamless. The Co-op has given me access to the same types of produce and consistency with other food items that have allowed me to thrive and establish a sense of normalcy no matter where I’ve lived. 
I am interested in joining the board because I believe active outreach is essential for maximizing the Co-op’s impact on the community and sustaining its membership and longevity. And my experiences with civic engagement through food have given me the tools to create new outreach initiatives for the Co-op. 
I am a dedicated home cook, an adventurous baker, a trained charcuterie, and a cat mom. And I want to bring all of these dimensions of myself into my work for the Co-op.

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