Destiny Treloar

At the Intersection of Food and Environmental Justice

“One of the great things about Doris Duke is that it exposes you to so much,” says Destiny Treloar ’23 MESc, who joined the program as a junior in college. She was, at the time, interested in environmental policy and politics; she planned to go into nonprofit work. Her first summer with Doris Duke, however, she studied food precarity among youth and became fascinated by the intersection of food and environmental justice. “And now my thesis at YSE is going to be on food — a subject that never would have occurred to me if you’d asked three years ago what field I’d be working in.”

Like many others in the Doris Duke program, Treloar was drawn to apply by the figure at its center: Professor Dorceta Taylor. When she was a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College, Treloar attended a talk given by Dr. Taylor. “I was inspired by her work on environmental justice,” Treloar says. Once accepted to Doris Duke, she was equally inspired by the other members of her cohort.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Focus at YSE
Food justice

“It was first and foremost incredible to be around other people who are so motivated to make their mark in the environmental field, whether they’re interested in ecology or they are aspiring political officials,” she says. “Being part of a community like this pushes you to put yourself out there, to not feel intimidated.”

Though graduate school had not initially been in her plans, Treloar realized during her time in Doris Duke that she not only enjoyed working on issues of food justice, but that she took great pleasure in research more generally. Along with YSE, she applied to master’s programs at Columbia, the University of Michigan, and the University of Chicago. She was accepted to all four of the programs but ultimately chose YSE in part because of the financial assistance she was offered. But also, she says, because of Professor Taylor.

“If you’re going to work on food, then she is the person to go to,” Treloar says. “I knew that continuing to build my relationship with her would be an advantage unmatched anywhere else.”

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