University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics

Ben King

Ben King, M.S. '10

B.A. 2007 Grinnell College

Areas of interest

local, sustainable, and fair-trade food systems

Thesis Title:

Direct local food procurement in farm to school programs: Examining feasibility through Vermont farmers' perspectives and a system-level conceptual map

Undergraduate and Professional Background:

Undergraduate Education: Grinnell College (2007): B.A. in Anthropology with a concentration in Global Development Studies.
Relevant Professional Experience: Farm in the City, St. Paul, MN: Market Garden Manager.

Graduate Courses:

Fall 2008
CDAE 205 Rural Communities in Modern Society
CDAE 255 Applied Consumption Economics
CDAE 354 Advanced Microeconomics
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar

Spring 2009
CDAE 326 Community Economic Development
CDAE 351 Research Methods
NFS 295 Qualitative Methods in Food and the Environment
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar

Summer 2009
NFS 295 Exploring New York City's Urban Food System

Fall 2009
NR 377: Land Use Policy and Economics
CDAE 391: Master's Thesis Research
CDAE 392: Graduate Seminar

Spring 2010
CDAE 391: Master's Thesis Research
GRAD 397: Comprehensive Exam

Summer 2010
GRAD 399: Thesis Defense
GRAD 900: Continuous Registration

Funding Grad School:

  • Research assistantship with Professor Jane Kolodinsky working on Farm to School.
  • Internship with Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (funded through CALS Associate Dean's office)

On Customizing Grad School to Fit Personal Interests:

I customized my coursework by shopping around in a few departments for classes that matched my interests. In this way I got different perspectives on food systems, which is an inherently transdisciplinary topic. Research-wise, I was lucky to be hired on an assistantship that fit into my area of interest. So I was able to align my thesis topic pretty closely with of our funded research.

Words of Wisdom to Inquiring/Incoming MS Students:

Have a pretty clear idea of what you want to study as you come into the program. There will be some opportunity to explore, but two years is a deceptively short time to choose a topic, design a study, implement it, analyze data, and write your thesis. All the while, proactively communicate with professors about your progress.

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