An Intro to Joy’s Journey in Italy<3


My name is Joy Gimei and I am currently a rising Senior majoring in Information Science and pursuing a certificate in Engineering for Humanity. I participated in the Food Studies in Italy program, in which we contextualized gender and food within the diverse regions of Italy, and the processes required for production, distribution, and consumption that guarantees quality. I have had a passion for cross-cultural perspectives, and as a Kenyan-American, food has had an immense impact on both of my cultural experiences, as it has impacted values I hold both within myself and share with my family. This opportunity gave me the language to articulate these experiences and broaden my awareness of the experiences of those who identify with other cultures. 

The Information Science major aims to prepare us for jobs that interact with individuals of diverse thought, backgrounds, and experiences. So when applying for this program, I was hoping it would place me within a hands-on environment to build this muscle beyond the classroom. Additionally, it has always been a dream during my post-grad journey to acquire a job that allows me to travel domestically or globally, or work for a global company that encourages me to interact with individuals of different backgrounds and cultures. Participating in this study abroad opportunity was something that would expand my exposure to cultural practices and priorities that may differ from my own, empowering me to add another dimension to my perspective of the world as a whole. 

College has been an experience that has granted me the freedom to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually on my own. However, Oakland has become a home away from home, with professors, classmates, friends, and spaces I have become familiar with, so this program was the perfect place to venture out of my comfort zone at a capacity I have never been able to before. 

Furthermore, one of the many reasons I decided to pursue the Engineering for Humanity certificate is its emphasis on using the sophisticated problem-solving methods involved in engineering to “serve marginalized communities while being environmentally and socially sustainable,” (EFH Pitt website). When discussing how I could use this Maymester to serve me in my pursuit of my certificate with the chair, Ian Nettleship, he was enthusiastic about this opportunity specifically, as he believed it would provide me the foundation to tackle food insecurity with my service project in a way that is environmentally, ethically, and culturally conscious. 

But even beyond the academic and professional benefits, I have fallen in love with Italian cuisine and culture over the years, so to have the opportunity to be fully immersed in it and partake in once-in-a-lifetime excursions I would not have access to otherwise was an honor for me. I can’t wait to take you all along my journey and the lessons I learned along the way!


Joy Gimei<3

One Comment Add yours

  1. Victoria Malomo says:

    This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read more about your journey!

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