Looking Back:  Recent ICIK Activities

ICIK Seminar Series: August-December 2015

Seminars are archived and available for viewing at the ICIK Website

Global Economic Development through Tourism Research: Namibia and Beyond

On December 4, 2015, Dr. Hannah Messerli and Dr. Amit Sharma presented a seminar on the significance of tourism's socio-economic contribution which must be understood beyond numbers and headlines that may distort the full picture.  Dr. Messerli provided an overview of tourism research efforts she supports at The World Bank in cooperation with its partner organizations.  Dr. Sharma described a recent case study he conducted in Namibia where indigenous communities are being encouraged to preserve wildlife on their communal reserves in an effort to draw ecotourists to the area.

Dr. Hannah Messerli is a Senior Private Sector Tourism Development Specialist at The World Bank.  Dr. Amit Sharma is an Associate Professor of Hospitality Finance and Director of the Food Decisions Research Laboratory in Penn State's School of Hospitality Management. 


New Markets, Old Ways: Value Chains and Native Potatoes in the Peruvian Highlands

On December 3, 2015, Dr. Daniel Tobin presented a seminar on traditional and modern outlooks on Peruvian potato production. This seminar addressed how value chain development for native potato varieties intersects with the conservation of diverse native varieties and the traditional production practices smallholders utilize to produce them in the central highlands of Peru.

Daniel Tobin, Ph.D. is an Instructor for the International Agriculture (INTAG) minor at Penn State and conducts research on market development for smallholder farmers in the Andean highlands.

Pacific Perspectives: Music and Dance of Hawaii and Aotearoa (New Zealand)


On November 11, 2015, Dr. Ann Clements and Dr. Sarah Watts presented a seminar on the music and dance of Hawaii and New Zealand. This seminar provided two different perspectives on the roles of music and dance in Hawaiian and Maori cultures. One perspective focused on autoethnography as a means for exploring an unfamiliar culture. The other described how music and dance are a catalysts for writing and re-righting the indigenous perspective.


Ann Clements, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Music Education in Penn State’s School of Music. She is a University Faculty Fellow in Teaching and Learning with Technology and a Penn State Open Innovation Winner.


Sarah H. Watts, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Music Education in the PSU School of Music, College of Arts and Architecture. She specializes in early childhood and elementary music education, Music pedagogy, and musics of the Pacific.


Zambian Indigenous Vegetables: Knowledge in the Mind but not the Market


Kelli Herr presented a seminar on her research and work in Zambia on October 29, 2015. After joining the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program last spring, Kelli began working on a food security venture geared toward implementing greenhouses in Zambia. She wondered about the types of produce greenhouse owners would choose to grow and the nutritional value of the produce, so she explored what is being grown, sold, and consumed in Zambia, in hopes of identifying the indigenous vegetables and their place in the local market economy.


Kelli Herr is a junior at Penn State in the Schreyer Honors College majoring in Community, Environment, and Development (International Development). She is minoring in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (social entrepreneurship).  She is also a 2015 recipient of the M. G. Whiting Student Indigenous Knowledge Research Award.


From Garden to Fork: Serving Locally Grown Fruits and Vegetables in Johannesburg, S.A. Schools


The “From Garden to Fork: Serving Locally Grown Fruits and Vegetables in Johannesburg, S.A. Schools” seminar was held on September 17, 2015. The seminar identified the various motivations for school gardens and discussed whether current incentives would assure sustainability. Dr. Kesa shared the South African perspective and Dr. Sharma presented the U.S. perspective on farm to school programs

Dr. Hema Kesa has a Doctorate in Food Service Management, specializing in Community Nutrition. Her research includes Community Nutrition, Maternal Nutrition, Community Engagement, Food Service, Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles.

Dr. Amit Sharma is an Associate Professor of Hospitality Finance in the School of Hospitality Management, and the Director of the Food Decisions Research Laboratory at Penn State. His research focuses on the cost-benefit and economic aspects of food decisions, particularly in foodservice environments.

Student Voices: Sharing the Experience of Learning through the Ways of Knowing of the Ojibwe


During May 2015, nineteen Penn State students traveled to the Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth nations in Northern Minnesota to take part in the cultural engagement experience “Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing among the Ojibwe.” They gathered once more on September first to share their experiences as part of the ICIK seminar series. Through a unique and inspiring relationship with Ojibwe leaders, the students were able to participate in daily life with host families, take part in traditional ceremonies with medicine men and learn about the history and culture of the Ojibwe from local Native teachers.  At this seminar, students shared personal accounts of students’ cultural engagement experiences and their developing perspectives on the ways of knowing of the Ojibwe.

The Integration of Traditional and Scientific Knowledge in the Production of Bordeaux Wines


 In August 2015, the Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge hosted a seminar entitled “The Integration of Traditional and Scientific Knowledge in the Production of Bordeaux Wines,” presented by Dr. Serge Delrot, Professor of Plant Physiology at the University of Bordeaux. The seminar illustrated how vintners and scientists have interacted successfully with the help of the wine industry and stakeholders to maintain and improve the quality of the Bordeaux wines over the years.






















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