Nate Travis – Pilot Light Intern

Nate Travis

Nate Travis


Pilot Light Programming Intern 

As an intern, Nate Travis conducts research, interviews, and literature reviews in order to assist the Pilot Light team in updating the content, competencies, and language of the Food Education Standards document and also to help with policy projects.

He is passionate about speaking with and learning from teachers about best teaching practices as well as exploring the intersections of food, food education, and philosophy (it may seem odd, but philosophy of food is an actual field!).

Nate is currently a second-year Master of Divinity student at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He holds bachelor’s degrees in both philosophy and mathematics from Western Carolina University. He focuses his studies at the University of Chicago on pedagogy, ethics, and history, especially as these concepts appear in American pragmatism, a philosophical movement dating from the late 1800s to the present day. In college, he interned for a regional food bank in Western North Carolina, performing statistical analysis and conducting interviews concerning the USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision meal service program and its function in local schools. He hopes to continue expanding his knowledge of, and experience with, food- and education-related work through his research at Pilot Light.

Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #2 – Foods have sources and origins. 

I find that this standard brings together contextuality, history, and social and environmental interconnectedness. All of these themes are featured prominently in my academic studies and the kind of work I see myself doing in the future.

Though some of the other standards also draw upon the ideas of social and environmental interconnectedness, much of my academic work is context-specific and historical, and so this combination of contextuality, history, and interconnectedness makes this standard especially compelling for me. Getting the context and history of the sources and origins of our foods is a great way to begin exploring how the diverse peoples and traditions of our world are inseparably intertwined.

A favorite food memory: 

I was fortunate enough to have my great-grandmother for the first 11 years of my life. Each Thanksgiving, I would help her make a few dozen deviled eggs, and the deviled eggs that we didn’t eat in the process made it to the table for the rest of our family to enjoy. Now, making the Thanksgiving deviled eggs is my responsibility for two reasons: My grandmother doesn’t want to do it, and I do it well.

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