Center for Fair & Alternative Trade

Colorado State University

CFAT Students


JenKeahey -web

Current CFAT Students:

Nick Greenfield: Nick is a UK and South African national with a MA in Critical Global Politics from the University of Exeter. His MA thesis analyzes to what extent the Fair Trade movement can defetishize the commodity, drawing on the case of gold. Nick is a Sociology PhD student who joined CFAT to study Fair Trade, social and environmental justice movements, and how reciprocity is formed in global trade.

Sneha Kadyan: Sneha Kadyan is a PhD student at Department of Sociology, CSU. She has B. A, M. A and M.Phil in Sociology from Delhi University, India. Her current research is focused on understanding the global and local dimensions of fair trade in the apparel industry in India and its implications for its various stakeholders.

Austin Luzbetak: Austin has a BA in Political Science and Environmental Sustainability from the University of Illinois, an MS from the University of Utah, and is pursuing a PhD in Sociology at CSU. Her research interests lie in environmental justice and fair trade.  Specifically, her work looks at the intersections of labor conditions, racial inequality, and environmental degradation.

Milagro Nunez-Solis: Milagro Nunez-Solis is a Sociology PhD student with an MA in International Development (Lincoln University, New Zealand) and Economic Planning and Social Promotion Licentiate and BA (National University, Costa Rica). She specializes in rural development, engaging issues of migrant labor, gender, sustainability, coffee livelihoods, and peasant communities.

Katherine Stevick: Katherine Stevick brings a background in teaching to her MA studies in Sociology at CSU. She is interested in rural sociology, agroecology, and African Studies.  Her thesis research focuses on the impacts of hydroelectric development on community, land-use, and food security in Sierra Leon.

Nefratiri Weeks: Nefratiri is a Sociology PhD candidate at CSU concentrating in political economy.  She studies the mechanisms and processes through which inequality is maintained between and within nations in the globalized capitalist economy, focusing on how and why liberalized capital markets:  fail to fairly distribute scarce economic goods, perpetuate inequalities, and maintain unsustainable production, exchange, and consumption.

Yue Xu: Yue Xu is a Sociology PhD student with an MA from CSU and BA degrees from both CSU and China Agricultural University. She is interested in agro-food studies, rural development, and medical sociology. Her MA thesis, “Rise of Social Network Based Seafood Industrial Cluster and Rural Community Transformation in Zhoushan Islands of China,” was funded by the Rural Sociological Society.

Recent CFAT Graduates:

Shelby Coopwood:  Shelby received her MA in Sociology at CSU in 2018. With interests in environmental sociology and alternative food systems, Shelby worked on CFAT’s project on Food Justice and Domestic Fair Trade and completed her thesis on “Intersectionality and the Food Movement: Applying EcoFeminism and Food Sovereignty.”

Andrew Heller: Andrew completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at CSU in 2009. For his dissertation he undertook fieldwork in Guatemala as a Fulbright Scholar. His dissertation, titled “Competing Coffee Certification Schemes in Guatemala: Who Wins and Who Loses?,” focused on the impacts of alternative certification systems. Andrew is now Assistant Professor of Sociology at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Jennifer Keahey: Jennifer finished her Sociology Ph.D. in spring of 2013. For her dissertation, she collaborated with a team of scholars, practitioners, and Rooibos tea farmers  to develop a participatory commodity networking research approach to sustainable development. As of August 2013, Jennifer began working as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Arizona State University West.

Michael Long: Mike successfully defended his dissertation “An Analysis of Ethical Consumption Participation and Motivation” and graduated with a Ph.D. in Sociology from CSU in 2010. Mike is now an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. He has expertise in quantitative analysis, social movements, and the sociology of consumption.

Jen Loomis: Jen conpleted her MA in Sociology at CSU in 2010. As a CFAT research assistant, she traveled to Peru to complete a research project with Doug Murray entitled: No Como Veneno: Strengthening Local Organic Markets in the Peruvian Andes.” This research was generously supported by the Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. Jen is now a Ph.D. student at Portland State University.

Daniel Newell McLane: Daniel is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at CSU focusing on environmental sociology and development. He has an MA in International Affairs from American University and an MA in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from the United Nations University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica.  He is currently researching eco-tourism in Costa Rica for his dissertation.

Siphelo Ngcwangu: As an international student from South Africa, Siphelo completed his MA in Sociology at CSU. His MA thesis was titled: “The import of South African Fair Trade Rooibos Tea into the US Market.” Siphelo was awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation International Fellowship to attend CSU. Siphelo is now a lecturer at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and continues to research fair trade issues in South Africa.

Laura Ridenour: Laura joined the CSU Sociology department in 2007. Her MA thesis, “Put your mouth where your home is: Exploring the epistemology of the local food movement in the Colorado Front Range,” examines how key food system actors engage in and create the local, alternative food movement. She is currently the Food and Farming Program Manager at Sustainable Connections, a nonprofit advocate for sustainable, local economies.

Claudia Rosty: PhD in Sociology, CSU.  Dr. Rosty’s research focuses on global agro-food systems, social inequality, and gender. With funding from the Inter-American Foundation, she recently completed her dissertation entitled “Fair Trade Certified Coffee Estates: Can Fair Trade USA Promote Workers’ Well-Being, Empowerment and Gender Equity in Brazilian and Nicaraguan Coffee Plantations?”

Erica Schelly: Erica has a BA in English from the University of Washington and is currently an MA student in Sociology at CSU. Her research interests include environmental sociology, sustainable development, and fair and alternative trade. She is currently working on a research project with Laura Raynolds studying Fair Trade Flowers in Ecuador. Her research assistantship is generously supported by the National Science Foundation.

Aimee Shreck: Aimee worked as the CFAT Research Assistant when the Center was becoming established. She received her MA from the Université Catholique de Louvain and her Ph.D. in Sociology at Colorado State University. Her dissertation analyzed Fair Trade alternatives for small-scale banana producers in the Dominican Republic.

CFAT Visiting Scholars:

Elizabeth Bennett: Elizabeth is completing her PhD in Political Science at Brown University. Her dissertation examines governance of the Fairtrade label, with special attention to producer participation in high-level decisions. Her research includes over a hundred interviews with fair trade pioneers and leaders, multi-country fieldwork, and archival study. Elizabeth has published book chapters, a journal article, and has co-authored a forthcoming book.

David Phillips: David holds a Geography PhD from Newcastle University and works as a Research Fellow for the Natural Resources Institute at University of Greenwich, UK. He specializes in value chain analysis, business development and modeling, and impact research. He has extensive experience researching Fair Trade impacts in Malawi, and currently conducts value chain and small business development assessments in Nigeria and Uganda.

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