Master of Science Degree in Sustainable Food Systems student Ben Rengstorf ’20 was recently named a James Beard National Merit Scholar.
Currently a teacher in at Roosevelt High School in the Minneapolis Public School System with a license is in ESL and Spanish, Rengstorf recently finished a degree in Culinary Arts from Saint Paul College and has started teaching after school cooking classes to middle and high school students. “I will be piloting an ESL Food class that will partner with local chefs during second semester. We will also connect with the urban farming class to recover food scraps for compost and use ingredients from our school greenhouse and aquaponics in our recipes, stated Rengstorf.
“To me, the James Beard Award is both an honor and a responsibility,” stated Rengstorf. “It represents an opportunity to study food systems with the experts and innovators in the field.”
With his MSFS Degree, he plans to further develop and implement food system curriculum across the Minneapolis School District. He is working toward building a summer school food system institute, and really connect students to their food in any way possible, so that they are actively engaged in all aspects of what they eat. He hopes to pass along any knowledge and insight gained in the program to the students in Minneapolis.
“I chose the MSFS degree program because it offered a distinct focus in food scholarship, and offered me the ability to keep working while taking classes. Even in the first four weeks, the MSFS program has already been an enriching and invigorating experience. I have been challenged academically by the faculty and inspired by the other students.”