Category Archives: Our Team

Research Affiliates

Research Affiliates are outstanding team members who collaborate with us remotely on specific research projects.

  • Radhika Kumar, MPlanning (India)
  • Rosie DeVito, MPH (USA)
  • Joy Resor, MUP (USA)
  • Midhat Fayaz, Geo-Informatics Doctoral Candidate ’20 (India)
  • Athar Parvaiz, Independent Journalist (Kashmir)
  • Cassandra Granville, 26th Congressional Hunger Fellow
  • Megan Smith, 26th Congressional Hunger Fellow
  • Zhu Zin, PhD Geography

Insha Akram

Insha Akram is a young professional from Kashmir Valley. She holds an MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management with a minor in International Business from Presidency University Bangalore and a Bachelor’s in Science from the University of Kashmir. In her previous roles, she has worked in multiple capacities, from a service desk engineer at Mercedes Benz Research and Development to Logistics and Inventory Manager for a food company in Bangalore, India. In the Food Lab, Insha is part of the “haakh project” team, supporting research with smallholder haakh growers. She is preparing to pursue further studies abroad and fulfill her lifelong dream of pursuing a doctorate degree, and with that, exploring the world.

Liya Rachal Chandy

Liya Rachal Chandy

Liya Rachal Chandy is a fourth semester student in the Master of Architecture program with a focus on Inclusive Design and Urban Design. She oversees global projects within the lab setting and thinks of food systems as a level for positive social change. Prior to working at the lab, she worked as an Architect in India and strongly believes in the power of place making as well as the power of  good design. For the school, she acts as a liaison for International students and advances conversations on equity, inclusion and diversity. She also enjoys cooking, drawing, painting, gardening, and all things creative in her spare time!

Alfred Gary

A graduate of UB’s Master’s of Public Health graduate of the University of Buffalo, Alfred Gary is interested in health equity, social determinants of health, and the built environment. A native of Buffalo’s east side neighborhood, Alfred’s work in the Food Lab is focused on how the intersection of abolition and urban agriculture can promote sustainable and equitable community food networks. During his field training experience, Alfred augmented his interest in health equity as a Housing Research Intern for the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier where he worked on the trajectory from transition to permanent housing for women of varied backgrounds. In his free time, Alfred enjoys bowling, reading, and exercising.

Lorna M Georges

Lorna M Georges is fascinated by the effect of design on how people interact in the built environment. She grew up in Haiti where, formal architecture, though well known, is not the primary driver of how the built environment or housing is designed. Lorna is currently an undergraduate student in environmental design (with a minor in architecture). She aims to pursue a graduate degree in architecture. With the Food Lab team, she shares a passion for using the food system as a lever for improving living conditions in communities. When not at school, she enjoys reading, cooking, writing, and painting (especially to relax).

Carol E. Ramos-Gerena

 Carol E. Ramos-Gerena is interested in agroecology, critical food system education, critical theories, land-use policies, and food sovereignty. She has worked in governmental and non-governmental organizations that support community development projects in her country. For about a decade, she has promoted agroecology and collaborated on environmental restoration of abandoned buildings and underused lands near public housing and public school sites in Puerto Rico. At the UB Food Lab, Carol coordinates a bi-city action-research initiative to promote urban agriculture policy designed by and for people of color in the cities of Buffalo and Minneapolis. 

Carol is currently pursuing a doctorate in urban and regional planning at the University at Buffalo. She is an Arthur A. Schomburg Fellow and a Health Policy Research Scholar (HPRS) supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Prior to joining UB, Carol completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez Campus and a Master’s degree in Environmental Planning at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. Her Master’s thesis focused on sustainable planning of agroecological initiatives in K-12 public schools in Puerto Rico. In her spare time Carol enjoys playing with her pets, painting, biking, urban farming, watching movies, and hearing/playing Afrolatinoamerican music.

William Gonzalez

As an immigrant and a student of history, William Gonzalez seeks to understand how historical politics, economics, and cultures affect the livelihoods of modern-day communities. William is a History BA from the University at Buffalo, and is preparing to pursue advanced study to prepare him for a career tied to museums or libraries. In the Food Lab, he brings a historical perspective to researching issues of food inequity and food justice among communities of color (he is currently documenting the ways in which Black leaders strengthened Buffalo’s food system in the 50s and 60s). Outside of work and school, William enjoys reading, hiking, and cooking.


Shireen Guru

Shireen Guru

Shireen Guru is interested in most modern American history with a particular focus on post-World War II women’s history. She is also interested in the historical implications of the research in the Food Lab, including but not limited to food equity, accessibility, and the gendered nature of food-related practices. Outside of academics, she can be found reading, baking, or in the nearest theatre stage managing. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2021 with her Bachelors degree in History.


Cameron T. Herman

Dr. Cameron Herman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and an affiliate faculty member in Africana Studies at Buffalo State College. His teaching and research broadly focuses on understanding the ways marginalized groups experience and navigate social inequalities in urban environments. Cameron has published solo and collaborative journal articles, chapters in edited volumes and online publications on a range of topics including Black artists’ response to gentrification, housing activism and neoliberal governance, Black masculinity in hip hop. In the wake of COVID-19’s onset, Cameron’s research agenda has expanded through collaborations with community partners and equity-minded scholars in the UB Food Systems and Healthy Communities lab to support community-based responses to inequitable food systems in Buffalo, NY. In his free time, Cameron enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, exploring neighborhoods on his bicycle and photographing everyday life.