Cherry Award Professor’s Students Take a Deep Dive into Food Insecurity Work at Baylor and in Waco

As the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, Dr. Jennifer Cognard-Black knows her way around a classroom. As a distinguished professor of English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and author of numerous books, essays, and articles, she has a way with words. And one of her greatest passions is food. Each of these streams of her life converged this year at Baylor in her creative writing class “Books that Cook,” the title borrowed from her 20__14 work “Books that Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal.”

The course afforded students the opportunity to explore the many literatures of food, from recipes, to essays, to histories. It also gave them a chance to practice their own craft of writing. Students were paired up and given a task to write a narrative-nonfiction piece that focused on one initiative of the many facets of work being done at Baylor and in the Waco community to increase food security. They include:

An overview of BCHP partnerships by Becca Muncy and Matthew Fendt

The Fridge Project by Rebekah Carter and Michael Nakaoka

SNAP and College Students by Nicole Salama and Megan Thiesfeld

The Store by Bridget Chagollan and Lucy Newbold

Baylor Free Farmers Market by Katie Groves and Annie Huntington

World Hunger Relief by Brayley Payne and Cole Sutton

Campus Kitchen by Peyton Robinson and Austin Gould


These essays combine interviews, research, and personal reflections. We are thankful for their creativity and the curiosity they brought to this task. We are also thankful for the work of Dr. Cognard-Black for highlighting our work and giving students a transformative experience that will inform their lives well beyond the classroom.


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