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Campus Stories


We are what we eat

March 22, 2018
By Whitney Helm
Sophia Hale-Brown researched how communication around dietary changes.

Sophia Hale-Brown'18

Sophia Hale-Brown'18 sits in the garden of a luxury resort in Northern California.

The ways that people interact with food can involve more than just dietary choices. Sophia Hale-Brown'18, an anthropology and sociology major, researched how a vegan resort communicated with customers about veganism this summer.

She’s been fascinated by the topic of communicating about dietary changes since she started noticing her dad's interactions with family after his diet became plant-based, and since she started exploring a shift in her own diet to plant-based food.  

“How people communicate with one another about change is significant and can create or break relationships,” she says. “Our beliefs about the world come from somewhere, they have histories and social and cultural forces that maintain them. The strategies I outline in my article intend to respect the background of individuals’ beliefs while creating space to explore and learn.” Sophia's article "Strategies Used to Communicate Dietary Change at a Vegan Resort" was published March 2018 in the Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research.

“It feels good to see the paper in print. In many ways I see this as a beginning rather than an end, because this research is now able to be encountered and explored by others.” she says.