Regular readers of Slice of MIT can count on finding carefully crafted narratives lauding the just and equitable impact our diverse alumni are having as they build a better world. The latest issue featured a darling graduate from the Class of 2006 who earned her BS degree in … Comparative Media Studies. (Yes, such a degree is not only possible at MIT thanks to SHASS but is a necessary safety valve to keep the graduation rate up for DEI admits who don’t take to science or engineering.)
Working on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign convinced her that “Our food cultivation and distribution system is broken.” Because inequality and climate change. So she founded an aquaponic farm startup called FOCUS Food Inc. (Fresh Organic Community-oriented Urban Sustainable) growing fish and vegetables on the roofs of grocery stores to serve low-income neighborhoods.
FOCUS won multiple business plan competitions and innovation grants from Harvard, Wharton, and CMU eager to support sustainable social entrepreneurship. Alas, the business was not able to sustain itself by actually selling food after the grant and prize money ran out.
Fortunately, our intrepid entrepreneur collected an MBA from Wharton and an MPA from Harvard. This made her a double certified expert perfectly positioned for a life of righteous advocacy. Which makes for a better alumni narrative than writing about boring engineers who build stuff that works who don’t incessantly spout about equitable sustainability.