Testimonials

“Professor Garza created the most insightful and well-composed course I had the opportunity to take while at the University of Vermont. His thoughtfully assembled lessons included a balance of hard sciences and social sciences, and a balance of mentally stimulating assignments and engaging discussions, providing his students with the tools with which to examine the course’s complex topics. He is an excellent communicator and an effective instructor, and I hope that students have an opportunity to learn with him for many years to come.” -Alayna T.

“Eric’s class was one of the most thought-provoking I took in my master’s program at University of Vermont. At once both incredibly applied and also theoretical, it helped me to understand the role of energy in so many systems and products of our economy and built environment. It also was challenging on a deeply personal level—the intrinsic message of what we were learning was to challenge and reconsider our role in the energy economy, in the food system, and in our communities.” -Daniel K.

“I had the privilege of taking three of Eric Garza’s courses throughout my time at the University of Vermont. Each was equally thoughtful, challenging and informative. Eric’s courses perpetuated not only my knowledge of, but my general passion for our food systems, which are ever so complex and always changing.” -Ashley R.

“Eric is clearly very knowledgeable about the interwoven complexities of food systems issues and how to approach them through a systems-thinking lens. The class I took with him was well-balanced between reading and discussion on the one hand, and hands-on activities to learn new skills in investigating food systems on the other, including regularly diagramming system dynamics as well as a project to understand real-time commodity crop market statistics. The lessons he offers are valuable for both graduate and undergraduate students, and he is great at teaching in a way that is both challenging and accessible at the same time.” -Hannah S.

“Eric’s ability to clearly and succinctly apply complex systems theory to the paradoxical food system in America somehow makes very complicated topics seem simple to understand. Eric has a true knack for combining visual and verbal learning tools that allow a diverse group of students to navigate and explore their own interests within the food system.” -Michelle S.

“Professor Garza was truly a formative influence in my developing interest in food systems as a student at the University of Vermont; his thought-provoking and assumption-smashing lectures are refreshing for systems thinkers who enjoy the complexity of wicked problems like the food system. I have him to thank for challenging my blanket assumptions about the sustainability of local and small-scale agriculture, especially as it pertains to energy use.” -Olivia P.

“Two of my favorite courses as an undergraduate student at UVM were The Real Cost of Food and Complexity in Food Systems, both taught by Eric Garza. Eric created such a welcoming space for students to engage in open discussion and healthy debate while simultaneously pushing us to question our own beliefs and opinions. The required coursework was practical, easy to understand, and intriguing. These courses were some of the few where I actually looked forward to doing my homework. Eric is a unique individual who brings an unparalleled life experience to the classroom.” -Carolyn R.

“As both a former student in one of Eric’s food literacy classes and an avid listener of his podcasts for the past couple years, I highly recommend taking his classes. I see Eric as an independent thinker who strives to live an intentional life and has inspired others around him, including me, to do the same. Something that stood out to me about Eric as a teacher is his fearlessness in leading the class to explore difficult questions together. I appreciated that the stimulating intellectual discussion he inspired was grounded in a relevance that extended beyond the classroom.” -Rylee W.

“The space for learning that Eric creates is intentional, thought-provoking, and accessible. Rather than chasing down single answers or conclusions, Eric encourages students to look at issues regarding food systems from all angles, most importantly to challenge assumptions of ourselves and society. Eric’s personal knowledge and openness to conversation is refreshing and critical in guiding students to new understandings of food in society as people and as stewards.” -Nell C.