As the College of Social Sciences continues to grow, we would like to introduce yet another great addition to the college.
Dr. Justin Myers joins the Sociology Department as an assistant professor from The Graduate Center from City University, New York where he earned his Ph.D. in Sociology.
Dr. Myers research interests include but are not limited to Environmental Sociology, Sociology of Food & Agriculture, Environmental Justice & Food Justice, Social Inequality and Social Movements.
We caught up with Dr. Justin Myers in a few Q&As to better introduce and welcome him to Fresno State the College of Social Sciences!
Question: What are you most looking forward to here at Fresno State?
Answer: One of the reasons I am looking forward to teaching at Fresno State is that the institution’s makeup and its relationship to the community provides me with the ability of creating classes that directly link course material to the lived experiences of students. Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley, in general, is a bustling and vibrant area that is also facing significant issues when it comes to affordable housing, political inclusion, economic equity, ecological sustainability, and environmental health. Students have first-hand knowledge of these problems and my courses aim to connect their biographies to the broader groups, institutions, and social forces that are creating these inequities, with the intention of creating engaged citizens that can advocate on behalf of political solutions that will address the structural factors creating these injustices. I see the ability to realize this aspiration at Fresno State as a great responsibility as well as a great privilege.
Question: How did you become involved in your specialty area?
Answer: I specialize in environmental justice and food justice movements. My work with the food justice movement began while living in New York City as a graduate student. I became involved with a food justice organization in Brooklyn called East New York Farms! That was doing a lot of community gardening and urban agriculture work rooted in asset-based development and social justice activism. This experience was transformative and has continually pushed me to work with marginalized communities and assist their efforts to utilize food as a conduit for building political power. I look forward to bringing this experience to Fresno and see myself becoming involved with the important environmental justice and food justice organizing that is occurring throughout the valley.
Question: What will your distinctive background do to elevate the Political Science Department offerings here at Fresno State?
Answer: I feel I bring two key experiences to the Sociology Department at Fresno State that will elevate and strengthen student learning and success. First, I am a born and raised Californian who went to a community college before transferring to Sonoma State, where I obtained my BA, and then San Diego State, where I obtained my MA. This background is reflective of many students at Fresno State and enables me to be a strong mentor and model for them as many are community college transfers and first-generation students. Second, my research area in environmental justice and food justice movements, as well as my history of working with community based organizations, is an asset to students and the department because it enables me to bring expertise to my courses on how social movements are able to realize a more just and sustainable world, knowledge that can empower students through showing them that a brighter future is indeed possible and being created right now.
Question: What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?
Answer: A fun fact about me is that peanut butter chocolate is my favorite flavor of ice cream.