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Tellman '09 photo

Beth Tellman '09

At a glance:

Beth Tellman is studying how decisions about the food we eat affect people around the world.

Beth Tellman is committed to working for social justice, and that's one of the main reasons she chose to attend Santa Clara.

Her focus for the 2008-09 academic year has been on the ethical decisions surrounding the food we eat.

A member of the Santa Clara Community Action Program, she was selected as one of three Hackworth Fellow through SCU's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Armed with $4,000 in funding, she hosts multiple events each quarter to increase awareness in the areas of sustainability, labor rights, and cultural values surrounding food. "When you eat, you are making ethical decisions, which affect millions around the world," she says.  

Tellman hopes that her classmates will think through their options and choose meals that make a healthier world because "these decisions have real impacts." 

The senior, who is double majoring in sustainable globalization and environmental studies, has been active in social justice issues throughout her college career. She studied abroad in El Salvador, through SCU's Casa de la Solidaridad program, and in Thailand. Tellman says the experiences gave her a better understanding of Latin America and Southeast Asia, specifically in the areas of sustainable globalization.  

During her international excursions, she helped organize fair trade agreements and organic farmers' markets, and she says that these experiences allowed her to reflect on the work she wants to do in the United States.

Today, she has founded CEIBA (Construyendo Espacios Integrales para el Bienestar Ambiental/ Constructing Integrated Spaces for Environmental Well-Being) El Salvador, an organization that "reconstructs resilient communities via trauma therapy" and "organic agriculture" to combat frequent climate disasters. Tellman also continues to research social justice intiatives and has had her work published in The Journal of Latin American Geography. CEIBA El Salvador has also been featured on NPR, found here.

For more information about CEIBA El Salvador, click here (for English) or here (for Spanish).

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