Second year geography Ph.D. student Gwyneth Manser has received the 2020 Buzzard Graduate Scholarship from Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), an international honor society for geography students. The $1,000 scholarship is given to one graduate student member of GTU each year.
“I’m incredibly honored to have received the 2020 Buzzard Graduate Scholarship,” she said. “Gamma Theta Upsilon’s generous support will assist me in launching my dissertation field work this winter.”
Manser’s doctoral studies are concentrated at the nexus of food studies, agricultural geography and cultural geography. Her dissertation research will examine the form, function and impacts of rules and regulations at farmers markets in Oregon.
“Farmers markets are a vastly understudied area of the food system, yet they are also a direct meeting point for farmers and consumers,” she said. “My research will examine how farmers markets can promote the growth of resilient local and sustainable food systems, promote small farmers’ economic success, increase food security within communities and lead to a more robust local food economy.”
Manser seeks to identify regulatory barriers that may inhibit underrepresented groups—including women, immigrants and people of color—from participating in farmers markets. Her dissertation has been developed in collaboration with the national nonprofit Farmers Market Coalition.
Gamma Theta Upsilon is an international organization that dates back to 1928. However, the local Nu Iota chapter at UC Davis is relatively new. Manser was elected vice president in 2019 and has worked to expand its membership.
Manser also serves as a member of the UC Davis Chancellor’s Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board, as a student representative on the Geography Graduate Group Executive Committee and as the vice chair of the Graduate Student Affinity Group of the American Association of Geographers. After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in academia, and to remain engaged in critical, applied and community-engaged research and teaching.