Make The Connection

November 21, 2013 | By Katie Nunner '15

OWU students Hayden Barns (left) and Sarah Jilbert explore a market in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Jilbert ’14)

Theory-to-Practice Grant, ‘Transatlantic Food Practices’

Learn how OWU’s Course Connections, Travel-Learning Courses, Theory-to-Practice Grants, and other programs prepare students for global citizenship and leadership and help them…Make the Connection.

An Ohio Wesleyan contingent tours a winery renowned for its sustainability practices as part of a Theory-to Practice Grant-funded trip to Barcelona, Spain. The trip compared food and environmental cultures in Spain and Columbus, Ohio. Pictured are the group’s tour guide (left), Sarah Jilbert, Hayden Barns, staff member Emily Gattozzi, and professor David Walker. (Photo courtesy of Hayden Barns ’14)

Name: Sarah Jilbert ’14
Majors: Economics Management and Environmental Studies
Hometown: Valley City, Ohio

“I did a lot of initial research through an independent study with Dr. [David] Walker in Spring 2013. Then we traveled to Barcelona to learn and see research first-hand.

“We were able to compare this knowledge to the culture of Columbus. … We experienced [many] differences. For example, people in Barcelona eat at completely different times than the U.S. Their largest meal of the day is lunch, and it’s at 3 p.m. They usually don’t eat dinner until 9 p.m. Their care of the natural environment is more advanced than ours. The city’s sustainability efforts including recycling, composting, public transportation, and care of local foods is more advanced than in Columbus. Also, the health implications of food are different. The U.S. [is more] centered on fast food than Spain.”

OWU students Hayden Barns (left) and Sarah Jilbert explore a market in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Jilbert ’14)

Name: Hayden Barns ’14
Self-Designed Major: Psychological, Political, and Social Perspectives on Healthcare
Hometown: Charlottesville, Virginia

“I’m interested in public health, so I approached the project from that perspective – focusing on nutrition and how the typical diet in Barcelona contributes to the relative health of its citizens compared to Columbus (especially in regard to obesity.)

“Our trip to Barcelona was an adventure. We faced a steep language barrier we had to get over in order to do our research and get around the city. I’ve traveled out of the country before where I didn’t know the language, but this trip was a bit different because much of it was spent in the less touristy areas where English wasn’t spoken. In this respect, we learned how to be resourceful and work as a team to figure out what to do.”

Name: David M. Walker, Ph.D.
Title: Assistant professor of geology and geography

“Our project furthered the aims of the University and the Theory-to-Practice Grant Program by allowing applying what we’ve learned in and out of the classroom to a place and culture completely different from that of Ohio Wesleyan. The students expanded their knowledge of food by experiencing food in many ways – observing its culture, environmental impact, and health on society. Finally, we effectively learned how to communicate the outcomes of our work to faculty, staff, and students at Ohio Wesleyan as well as off-campus venues.”