Colleen Burke teaches in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Her interests include nutrition through the life cycle, sociology of food, sustainable food systems, global nutrition, sports nutrition, and public health nutrition. Colleen’s passion for this discipline stems from a curiosity about the physiological and psychological interplay associated with health behaviors, and the relationship among food, culture, and society. It is a dynamic field where everyone has a voice, opinion, and story to share. The influence among social, environmental, historical, political, and economic variables on food, nutrition, and health is complex. The Semester at Sea voyage will provide a unique platform to explore these interacting factors.
Colleen’s interest in education abroad began on a Rotary International youth exchange program to Brazil. She continued the pursuit of experiential learning through a Wilderness Leadership Program with Outward Bound, and study in Canada and New Zealand. Circa the Harry Potter years, Colleen, her husband (Jeff Larsen), and their children (Noah and Margaret) lived in Scotland. During this time, the family also traveled extensively throughout Europe. Margaret and Noah are now amazing adults, and the family continues to prioritize travel and adventure. Together, they journeyed to South America, Australia/Oceania, and Asia – and hosted students from Turkey, Sweden, and Taiwan.
Colleen is dedicated to inspiring personal growth and the development of intellectual potential through active engagement, inquiry, creativity, and service-learning. Food, nutrition, and health are significant elements of every culture and provide meaningful experiential learning opportunities. One of Colleen’s favorite aspects of travel is to explore and experience local markets and unique food traditions and systems by connecting with community members. She looks forward to novel educational and culinary opportunities during the Semester at Sea voyage.
In addition to travel and gastronomic adventures, Colleen enjoys playing outdoors – biking, hiking, skiing, and rafting. She appreciates yoga, however, finds it challenging to remain focused during poses – and awake during savasana. In addition, Colleen enjoys indulging in activities with minimal energy expenditure such as listening to live music, reading, experimenting in the kitchen, and watching Champions League and World Cup soccer/football.
This will be Colleen’s maiden voyage on the MV World Odyssey. She looks forward to sharing the inspirational and educational journey with family and the Semester at Sea community!