Vanessa Rickenbrode is a first year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology. In 2015, she graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Community, Environment and Development, with a concentration in International Development and a specialization in Biostatistics; along with minors in International Agriculture, and Biology. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she traveled to Nyeri, Kenya for two summers studying issues in agricultural, economic, and community development. She was also fortunate enough to gain research experience with both rural sociologists and agricultural economists at the Pennsylvania State University and Kansas State University, respectively. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she continued working at the Center for Economic and Community Development (CECD) at Penn State. Her current research interests center around the sociology of food systems with an emphasis on inequalities in the distribution of and access to nutritious food; and how these disparities are linked to gender, income, employment, and other dimensions of inequality. While pursuing her doctoral degree, she hopes to gain a better understanding of world food systems and the social and market boundaries faced in rural areas, in order to gain a deeper comprehension of how to address problems of food insecurity, poverty, and global & domestic inequalities.