Sustainable Food Instructor Sarah Berquist Receives Teaching Award

Sustainable food Instructor Sarah Berquist and student assistant Kayleigh Boucher at the  Faculty Honors Dinner April 29, 2019.
Sustainable food Instructor Sarah Berquist and student assistant Kayleigh Boucher at the Faculty Honors Dinner April 29, 2019.

Sarah Berquist, instructor and program coordinator of the sustainable food and farming program in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was chosen as the 2019 recipient of the UMass Distinguished Community Engagement Award for Teaching. 

According to Provost John McCarthy, this award recognizes “individuals within our campus community for their outstanding contributions to engagement locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.” 

She also was recently recognized for her teaching excellence by the Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society. 

Berquist, well-known for her excellence as a classroom instructor was recognized for the education she brings to the local community. With a focus on farm-based education and social equity in the food system, Berquist offers hands-on projects that are actively working toward a more just and sustainable food system. In collaboration with the student farm, she co-founded and manages the Food for All Program, which donated 10,000 pounds of recovered produce in 2018 to the local relief organizations Not Bread Alone and the Amherst Survival Center. She also mentors students who design and execute garden-based lessons with K-6 grade students with the School Garden Program at Amherst Regional Public Schools.  

At the national level, Berquist serves as chair of the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) and is currently working with other SAEA members to champion innovative educational approaches for sustainable agriculture through research and teaching practices that are rooted in social equity.