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Christina
Social Sciences
E215
Mello
Assistant Professor of Applied Cultural Anthropology
808-689-2494

Dr. Christy Mello is an applied cultural anthropologist. She completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Her scholarship is community led and based as evidenced by her consulting role with different grassroots organizations. Research interests include community health issues, food and environmental justice via social enterprise and tourism, applied anthropology, visual anthropology and ethnographic film, as well as political ecology theory and studies of power.

Ph.D. Anthropology                                   
University of New Mexico, 2013

M.A. Anthropology
University of New Mexico, 2007          

B.A. Anthropology                                                                            
Grand Valley State University, 2005

July 2015-Present: Assistant Professor of Applied Cultural Anthropology, University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu

2014-2015: Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Southern Mississippi

2012-2014: Adjunct Professor, Anthropology Department, Grand Valley State University 

2011-2012: Part-Time Teaching Instructor (PTTI), Anthropology Department, University of New Mexico                      

Fall 2010: Adjunct Professor, Anthropology Department, Grand Valley State University  

Fall 2010: Adjunct Professor, Social Sciences Department, Muskegon Community College

Professional Experience

  • June 2012-2016: Consultant, Our Kitchen Table, Grand Rapids, MI
  • June 2010-October 2010: Manager, Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, Grand Rapids, MI
  • March 2010-December 2010: Evaluator, North End Environmental Collaboration, Detroit, MI
  • June 2009-August 2009: Assistant, Fulton Street Farmers’ Market, Grand Rapids, MI
  • July 2004-July 2005: Administrative Office and Activities Coordinator, ALERT (Alcohol, Education, Research and Training) Labs, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
  • January 1999-August 2002: Case-aid and Day Programmer, Hope Network Behavioral Health Services, Grand Rapids, MI
  • ANTH 383 Museum Studies
  • SSCI 486, 490a, 490f Senior Practicum and Projects
  • ANTH 480 Land, Culture, and Social Justice
  • ANTH 481 Anthropology in Action and Building a Career
  • ANTH 490 History and Theory in Anthropology
  • ANTH/CM 378 Visual Depictions of Human Experience and Media Power
  • ANTH/BUSA 421 Sustainability in Tourism
  • ANTH 152 Culture and Humanity
  • ANTH 425 Medical Anthropology
  • SSCI 317 Fieldwork and Qualitative Methods

Mello, Christy, Saleh Azizi, and Shea-Lah Kama. 2020. Spatial and Relational Representations of Economic Wellbeing and the Kahumana Farm Hub: Wai‘anae, Hawai‘i. Human Organization 79(1): Forthcoming Spring 2020.

Mello, Christy. 2018. Engagement as Scholarship: Food Justice in Practice. Annals of Practicing Anthropology 42(1): 39-52.

Mello, Christy. 2018. Food Insecurity in Southeast Grand Rapids, MI: How Our Kitchen Table is Building Food Justice in the Face of Profiteering and Exclusionary Practices. Chapter in Edited Volume, Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Mello, Christina, Lisa Oliver-King, and Inez Adams. 2017. Growing Food, Growing Consciousness: Gardening and Social Justice in Southeast Grand Rapids. Culture, Agriculture, Food, and Environment 39(20): 143-147.

Mello, Christy. Aloha ʻĀina: Homelessness, Learning Communities, and Social Justice. 2017. Practicing Anthropology 39(4): 31-35.

Graduate Assistantships:               

University of New Mexico, Anthropology Department    

  • ANTH 130 Cultures of the World, Spring 2012        
  • ANTH 101 Introduction to Anthropology, Spring 2011, Fall 2011
  • ANTH 130 Cultures of the World, Spring 2008                    
  • ANTH 340/530 The Anthropology of Water, Spring 2008               
  • ANTH 331/531 Indigenous Peoples of North America, Fall 2007                    
  • ANTH 101 Introduction to Anthropology, Fall 2007

Graduate Work Study Position:           

Fall 2006-Spring 2007: University of New Mexico, Anthropology Department    

Research Assistantships:

Summer 2005-Summer 2007: University of New Mexico, Center of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 

  • Summer 2006-2007: HEART (Health Evaluation and Research Team) Project
  • Summer 2006-Summer 2007: PED (Public Education Department) Project
  • Summer 2005-Summer 2006: Collegiate Prescription Drug Abuse Project

Academic Honors:

University of Hawaii West Oahu Sustainability Ambassador, 2018

University of Hawaii Federal Priority Initiative selectee, 2016

Anthropology Works, 50 Best Cultural Anthropology Dissertations 2013, January 21, 2014

University of New Mexico’s Graduate Student Symposium Best Paper Presentation, 2007             

Fellowships, Grants, Awards:

 Imi Na‘auao/University of Hawaii West Oahu, Kamehameha Schools, ($252,273), 2017-2019

IES Seed Grant/University of Hawaii West Oahu ($2,500), 2017

Distinguished Visiting Scholar Fund (for guest), University of Hawaii West Oahu ($2,500), 2016

BRC travel funds, University of Hawaii West Oahu 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 (total $8,000)

Anthropology Graduate Student Travel Allocation, University of New Mexico ($350), 2013            

Ortiz Public Policy Fellowship, University of New Mexico ($10,000), 2011-2012                               

3% Tuition Award, University of New Mexico ($3,600), 2010-2011                                                          

RPT Award, University of New Mexico ($750), 2010                                                                 

Dissertation Field Site Development Grant (Summer), University of New Mexico ($500), 2008

Ethnology Fellowship, University of New Mexico ($8,000), 2007-2008                                               

Flanders Academic Scholarship, Grand Valley State University ($1,000), 2004-2005        

 

“Local Food and Power Dynamics in Southeast Grand Rapids, Michigan.”

Community health issues, food and environmental justice via social enterprise and tourism, applied anthropology, visual anthropology and ethnographic film, as well as political ecology theory and studies of power

Conference Papers:

“ ‘Imi Na‘auao: A Collaborative Food Sovereignty Project,” Society for Applied Anthropology, Portland, Oregon, March 2019

“Kahumana Farm Hub: A Community Resource,” with Saleh Azizi, ‘Aha ‘Imi Na‘auao, University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu, Kapolei, Hawaii, February 2019

“From Food Insecurity to Food Sovereignty: Collaborative Applied Research and Engaged Scholarship Mapping Project,” with Monique Mironesco and Michael Wahl, University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu, Kapolei, Hawai‘i, February 2019

“ ‘Imi Na'auao: An Example of Community Engaged Scholarship,” with Camonia Gram-Tutt, Lorinda Riley, and Thomas Scheiding, Engaged Scholarship Consortium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2018

“From Food Insecurity to Food Sovereignty: Goals for a Community Driven Applied Research Approach” with Monique Mironesco and Michael Wahl, Sustainabile Agriculture Education Association Conference, Kapolei, Hawaii, July 27-29 2018

“ ‘Imi Na‘auao: Kahumana Organic Farm,” Society for Applied Anthropology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2018

“Pu‘uhonua ‘O Wai‘anae: Sustainable Approaches to Community Health and Wellness for Displaced Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders,” Society for Applied Anthropology, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2017

“Aloha ʻĀina: Houselessness, Learning Communities, and Social Justice,” Society for Applied Anthropology, Vancouver, British Columbia, March 2016

“Ethnography as an Evaluation Tool for Social Change: An Analysis of Local Food Organizations in Grand Rapids, Michigan,” American Anthropological Association Meeting, Washington, DC, December 2014

“Local Food and Gentrification in Southeast Grand Rapids, MI,” Society for Applied Anthropology, Albuquerque, NM, March 2014

“Growing Food, Growing Consciousness: Gardening and Social Justice in Southeast Grand Rapids,” American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL, November 2013

“Local Food and Power Dynamics in Southeast Grand Rapids, Michigan,” Second City Anthropology Conference, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, March 2013

“Planting in Deserts: Social Justice and Gardening in Grand Rapids, Michigan,” Coauthors: Inez Adams (Panel Presenter), Lisa Oliver-King, Christina Mello, and Our Kitchen Table, American Anthropological Association, Montreal, Canada, November 2011

“Securing Healthy Food Access in Economically Distressed Urban Neighborhoods: An Alternative Approach,” Anthropology Graduate Symposium, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, February 2011

“A Sense of Place,” Presented with Our Kitchen Table, Community Food Security Coalition Conference, Des Moines, IA, October 2009

“The Marginalized Voices of Those with Epilepsy: An Anthropology of the Senses,” Anthropology Graduate Symposium, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, April 2007

“Gender and Empowerment: Contemporary Lakota Women of Rosebud,” McNair Conference, Penn State University, State College, PA, July 2004   

Invited Presentations:

“Kahumana Farm Hub: A Community Resource,” with Saleh Azizi (co-presenter), Hawai‘i Farmers Union United/Wai‘anae Chapter, Wai‘anae, HI, April 2019.

“Home is What You Make It: Aloha ʻĀina, Belonging and Sustainable Justice at Puʻuhonua O Waianae (POW),” with Kalani Young (co-presenter), Department of Anthropology’s Colloquium Series, University of Hawaii Manoa, Honolulu, HI, April 2017

“Maintaining the Commons in an Urban Setting: The Politics of Food, Racism, Neoliberalism, and Paternalism,” Yale Food Systems Symposium, Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT, November 2014

“Local Food and Anthropology,” Grand Valley State University Alumni Event, Panel Discussant, Allendale, MI, October 2013

“Local Food and Structural Racism,” Anthropology Graduate Student Union’s Brown Bag Series, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, February 2012

“Activism and Food Justice,” Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, April 2010

“Our Kitchen Table’s Food Diversity Project: Food is a Right for Everyone,” Panel Discussant, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, January 2010

“Neoliberalism and Drug Addiction,” Dr. Les Field’s Anthropology 340 Critical Issues in Political Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, March 2007

Videos:

“Kamoauli Community Launch,” Short video of Kamoauli’s community launch in Wai‘anae, HI, March 2018

“Local Food and Gentrification: A Booming Industry,” Screening at U.S. Social Forum, Detroit, MI, June 2010  

Filmed a video section that provided a behind-the-scenes view of an exhibit planned for 2009, Maxwell Museum, Albuquerque, NM, Fall 2007

“There’s No Love: Overcoming Barriers to Homelessness and Health Care,” a collaboration with Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, Albuquerque, NM, Spring 2007                                      

 

Workshops:

Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop, selected attendee, Birmingham, AL September 23rd through September 27th, 2017

Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Pre-Application Grant Writing Workshop, Honolulu, HI January 14th through January 15th, 2016

Washington Center at The Evergreen State College’s National Summer Institute on Learning Communities, July 13th through July 16th, 2015

  • Society for Applied Anthropology

University and Departmental Service:

Anthropology Club Advisor, October 2018-September 2019

Sustainability Committee, Vice President, UH West Oahu, September 2018-present

Institute for Engaged Scholarship, University of Hawaii West Oahu, January 2018-present

Faculty Senate, University of Hawaii West Oahu, August 2018-present

Academic Affairs Committee, University of Hawaii West Oahu, August 2016-2018

Search committee for UHWO Outstanding Student Award for Social Sciences, April 2017-2019

Search committee for Sustainable Systems Food Systems position UHWO Oahu, Spring 2016

PIKO Learning Communities, UHWO, 2015-2017

Advisor, Anthropology Society, University of Southern Mississippi, August 2014-present

Mentor, Community Engagement Program, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, 2012

Anthropology Colloquium Series Board (student), University of New Mexico, 2011-2012

Community Work:

July 2016-Present: Hawai‘i Farmers Union, Waianae Chapter, Board Member, Waianae, HI

October 2015-2017: Dynamic Community Solutions, Waianae, HI

January 2010-June 2010: East Michigan Environmental Action Council Remediation Project, Grand Rapids/Detroit, MI  

October 2009-October 2010Grand Rapids Institute for Informational Democracy 

Summer 2008-Winter 2010: Our Kitchen Table, Grand Rapids, MI

Summer 2008-Winter 2010: Greater Grand Rapids Food System Council, Secretary, Grand Rapids, MI

Summer 2008-Winter 2010: Bloom Collective, Grand Rapids, MI

June 2009-October 2009: South East Area Farmers’ Market, Grand Rapids, MI

Spring 2007: Center of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention/African Refugee Project, Albuquerque, NM

2000-2005: Committee Member, Native American Community Center, Grand Rapids, MI

Winter & Spring 2004: Intern, Little Hoop Substance Abuse Center, Rosebud Reservation, Mission, SD

Winter & Spring 2014: Intern, Tree of Life Ministry, Rosebud Reservation, Mission, SD

Winter & Spring 2004: Intern, White Buffalo Calf Woman’s Society, Rosebud Reservation, Mission, SD

Fall 2012: Volunteer, Servants Center, Grand Rapids, MI