Dr. Lucy M. Long
Founder and Director
Dr. Long manages the Center and website; writes content for its publications; writes grant proposals; develops projects; conducts fundraising; develops and conducts workshops; and develops and implements the mission of the Center. She oversees marketing, public relations and product development; and is the primary contact for the Center.
The Center for Food and Culture was founded in 2007 by Lucy M. Long, Ph.D., a folklorist, musician, mother, cook, and consumer of most things edible. She began studying food in 1980 in relation to work on Asian immigrant communities in the US and has continued looking at food from many perspectives. When she began teaching in the mid 1980s the field of foodways was not recognized as a serious academic subject, so she explored and taught about food in the context of other disciplines– folklore, anthropology, popular culture, American culture studies, international studies, ethnic studies, tourism, and even ethnomusicology.
Long also worked in museums and libraries doing exhibit research and design, educational programming, archiving, and interpretative presenting. Food was a common theme throughout much of this work. Long’s multidisciplinary scholarly background (PhD in Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania; MA in Ethnomusicology, University of Maryland; BA in Liberal Arts with a major in Music, Davidson College, NC; Certificates in Interpretation; National Association for Interpretation) and her involvement in both academia and public sector work made her familiar with a wide range of approaches to understanding food. It also made her aware of the multiple issues surrounding it, and the ways in which those issues are intertwined and complex.
As a scholar and an activist, Long observed that individuals and organizations oftentimes worked in isolation and could benefit from increased intercommunication. She also noticed that cultural perspectives on the meanings of food tended to be ignored or misunderstood by those concerned with changing the contemporary food system or improving our personal eating habits. Since meaning is the basis for action, Long felt that dialogues among scholars, chefs, nutritionists, farmers, green market advocates, and others concerned with food and foodways are necessary to create positive and sustainable change. She established the Center for Food and Culture to bring together resources, organizations, and individuals involved in food research, study, appreciation, activism, production, and consumption in recognition that food connects us all.
Long has published or produced numerous articles, books, museum exhibits and documentary videos about food, including Culinary Tourism (2004), Regional American Food Culture (2009), Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia, 2 volumes (2015); The Food and Folklore Reader (2015); Ethnic American Cooking: Recipes for Living in a New World (2016); and the forthcoming Comfort Food Memories and Meanings (ed. With Michael Owen Jones, University of Mississippi Press, 2017) and Honey: A Global History (Reaktion Press, 2017). She teaches adjunct at Bowling Green State University and is a guest lecturer and graduate thesis reader at numerous universities around the world.
Melissa Hill has been with the Center for Food and Culture since its beginnings, working initially as a research assistant to Dr. Long. She also assisted with developing and implementing marketing strategies, website development, documentation projects, archiving, and managing the everyday operations of the Center. She now focuses on developing and coordinating the educational projects and programs offered by the Center.
A graduate of Bowling Green State University, she worked extensively with Dr. Long while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies and a Masters of Education in Tourism, Recreation, and Event Planning. For her master’s project she combined her interests in food and education to develop a Compost-to-Culture Culinary Tourism Curriculum for preschool through high school. She recently completed a Bachelor of Science in education for middle childhood English language arts and social studies. She will continue working with the Center while she also teaches middle schoolers at Christ the King School in Toledo, Ohio. She is able to test many of the Center projects with her four children.
Tony Howard is an accomplished producer, director, and documentary writer, formerly on the staff of WBGU-TV at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. He earned an Associate of Science degree in Social Science at Yuba Junior College, Marysville, CA; a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast journalism with a Minor in Spanish at Fresno State University; and a Master of Arts in Interpersonal Communication at Bowling Green State University. Tony lends his expertise to the Center by helping to produce, record, and edit a variety of videos. He also previously co-produced with the Center Director several full-length award-winning documentaries, including, Stirring Up the Past: The Grand Rapids Apple Butter Fest.
Research Associate/Archiving Assistant
Holly Howard is a graduate of Bowling Green State University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Popular Culture. Holly is a volunteer research and archiving assistant at the Center. She also has assisted extensively in developing indexes and compiling bibliographies to numerous publications on food and culture.
Volunteer—Art and Design
Becky studied Studio Art/Commercial Illustration at Cazenovia College; she then attended Bowling Green State University where she earned her B.A. in Art History and History. Becky currently runs Schooner Farms (http://www.schoonerberries.com), a highly successful CSA with her husband, Don Schooner. She also teaches workshops on numerous topics connected to food, including one on aprons. Becky regularly lends her assistance in creating brochures and other print items for the Center. She also designed the three foodways calendars that the Center produced.