Annually, the SFA underwrites Nathalie Dupree Graduate Fellowships for students in the Southern Studies M.A. Program. The fellowship offers tuition assistance and a modest stipend in exchange for work with our organization. Students accepted to the University of Mississippi’s graduate program in Southern Studies may request the opportunity to work with SFA, though awards and assignments are ultimately determined by the Department of Southern Studies.

SFA Graduate Fellows

For the 2016–2017 academic year, SFA is pleased to work with Rachel Childs, Tori De Leone, and Kevin Mitchell.


Kevin Mitchell is a Graduate Assistant pursing a M.A. in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. He holds an A.O.S in Culinary Arts and a B.P.S in Culinary Arts Management from the Culinary Institute of America and considers home to be Charleston, South Carolina.

With a background in food, he is very involved in the study of foodways, the preservation of southern ingredients, the history of African American chefs and food justice with the Slow Food movement. He is delighted to be a part of SFA and looking forward to sharing his culinary prowess with his fellow graduate students.


Victoria De Leone grew up in mountainous Central Oregon. Trading the small community in the woods for a slightly larger one on an island, she studied food cultures and immigration narratives at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. After completing her undergraduate studies, she served as a community manager for a grocery delivery startup in Brooklyn.

While she much enjoyed her time in the craft food industry, Victoria is excited to start studying the diverse food stories of the South.


RChilds headshot

Rachel Childs was convinced to pursue a M.A in Southern Studies after volunteering at SFA’s 2015 fall symposium. She holds a B.A. in English-Writing from Berry College, and most recently spent four years in Boston as a developmental editor for first-year composition/business writing textbooks and professional resources at Macmillan Learning.  A metro-Atlanta native, she is delighted to be back below the Mason-Dixon, where grocery stores carry pimento cheese.