When Andrea Catania first heard about an opportunity to join the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, she didn’t think her Master of Arts in Gastronomy studies would qualify her. But she soon learned the program was open to graduate students of all types, and with the help of the BU Initiative on Cities, she was able to land a summer fellowship that gave her eight weeks to make a difference in the lives of Boston residents.

Through the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Catania came to work with Mark Araujo, the city’s Food Security Design Fellow. Together, they worked on a project to reimagine farmer’s markets across Boston, creating greater access, understanding, equity, and variety in the artisanal food hotspots. This work allowed Catania to work with agencies like the Boston Fire Department, the Inspectional Services Department, the Office of Food Justice, and the Office of Language & Communications Access, as well as external partners like farmers market coordinators, vendors, chefs, and community leaders.

It was a unique opportunity to put the interdisciplinary skills she’s honed in her MA in Gastronomy studies to work in a dynamic, high-impact environment.

Visit the Initiative on Cities to learn more of Andrea’s story.