Erica Benoit

SPP Environmental Workshop Series Coordinator
MES Program, The Evergreen State College

Erica Benoit moved to Washington from Arkansas to pursue her Master of Environmental Studies (MES) degree at Evergreen. While in MES, she was the Environmental Engagement Workshop Series Coordinator for SPP for 2 years. She recently graduated from the program in June 2020 after her completing her thesis research, in which she compared the prison food environment to that of a food desert. Since graduating, she has taken on a different role at SPP mainly working on special projects.

Before she came to WA, Erica received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas in 2017. During her undergraduate degree, she completed an internship at Rattle’s Garden, a small organic farm, served in the Environmental Concerns Committee on campus, and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. While all of these experiences were influential, a sociology class called Food, Culture, and Nature generated a new passion for developing sustainable and socially inclusive food systems. She furthered this focus by dedicating her undergraduate senior thesis topic to examining barriers to people of color in farmers’ markets, and the role of that farmers’ markets can have in socially inclusive and sustainable agriculture. Following graduation, she also completed a year-long AmeriCorps service term with The Access to Healthy Foods Research Group, working mainly on the growing Farm to School movement.