As the school year begins, the SFA is pleased to welcome new Southern Studies student, Abby Huggins, to our team as a Nathalie Dupree Graduate Fellow. Let us introduce you to Abby and the places she comes from.
Abby has North Carolina roots. She was born near the coast, raised in the foothills, educated in the mountains, and has frolicked in the rolling piedmont hills. Much of her love of food comes from those North Carolina roots – enjoying the homegrown vegetables and generous desserts at her grandmother’s house, learning to grow her own vegetables in the rich clay soil, discovering the pure delight when folks gather around a common table. In branching from those roots, she has immersed in such distant places as Grenada, West Indies and Nome, Alaska, connecting with culture, community, and stories along the way.
Abby earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Appalachian State. Following graduation, she worked with Grenada Community Development Agency as an intern, supporting their educational and community based programs. Through the same internship program, she leapt to Nome, Alaska and worked with Nome Community Center, assisting elders, youth, and families. These places taught her values in listening to stories, honoring culture, and supporting community. Inspired by gardening projects and a passion for growing and sharing food, Abby worked on vegetable farms, first in Fairbanks, Alaska, then in central North Carolina.
Now, Abby is honored to spend her time as a graduate student in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi and a graduate assistant with the Southern Foodways Alliance. She was drawn to this particular program because of the opportunity to study food and culture with an emphasis on oral history and documentary work. During her time here, she envisions finding the places where her various passions and interests coincide. She is excited to build connections and deepen her understanding of the evolving South during her time in Mississippi.