ESTEEM Student receives Fulbright Scholarship

Author: Gene Stowe

Genevieve CrumGenevieve Crum

Genevieve Crum, who will graduate from the ESTEEM program in May, has received a scholarship from the International Fulbright Committee and the U.S. Department of State to study and conduct research in Italy for a year as a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Scholar. She will earn a master’s degree in gastronomy at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in northern Italy starting in September and spend four months as an intern or researcher after the eight-month program. Her focus is the slow food movement and the food industry in Italy. 

For her ESTEEM capstone, Crum, who earned a degree in Environmental Science at Notre Dame in 2015, is working with South Bend Unity Gardens to create a replicable model for managing urban vacant lots, with attention to quality of life, economic impact, and environmental sustainability. “I entered the program with a strong passion surrounding food and sustainable agriculture,” she says. “I was particularly interested in social entrepreneurship and working on a project that had the potential to impact the local community in a meaningful way. The ESTEEM staff really worked with me to create a thesis project that incorporated my interests in social justice and sustainability, and they connected me with the Unity Gardens in South Bend. Through this project, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many inspiring community members who are similarly passionate about food and sustainability within South Bend. We created a project together that focused on repurposing the vacant lots around the City of South Bend and creating a model that other cities could use. There are a lot of vacant lots throughout urban areas. We’re working with GIS technology to look at each individual lot and give a recommendation for what the best use of that space would be.”


Crum, a Louisville native, applied for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program last summer. The program, established in 1946 at the urging of Sen. J. William Fulbright to promote international good will through student exchanges, offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. It grants about 1,900 awards each year from more than 3,600 screened candidates.