Research and Graduate Studies

National Science Foundation 2013 Graduate Research Fellow at CSUN

July 1, 2013

Krisha Hernandez-Pruhs

Krisha J. Hernandez-Pruhs is a second-year graduate student at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in the Master’s of Arts: General Anthropology Program with an expected graduation spring of 2014.

As an anthropologist, Pruhs researches in the subfield of feminist political ecology. Her current research focuses on the social dimensions of biotech foods in the U.S. and grassroots movements surrounding them. Her research was honored with National Science Foundation’s (NSF) prestigious 2013 Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP) award, becoming the first CSUN anthropology student to receive this fellowship. She is also a recent recipient of the 2013-2014 Sally Casanova Scholar appointment.

Recently, Pruhs was reelected as the Graduate Student Representative of the National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA) for the 2013-2015 term. In this position, Krisha serves her student members by actively working for the concerns of members as related to their professional membership, participation and visibility within the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Pruhs also serves as the 2013 co-chair of the NASA Programming Committee, which reviews and organizes student panels, roundtables and events for the 2013 AAA annual conference.

 From September 2010 to June 2012, Pruhs attended California State Polytechnic University of Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology/Cultural Resource Management. During her time, Pruhs was honored to serve as the first serving and appointed Secretary of Sustainability in the Presidential Cabinet of student government during the 2011-2012 academic year. She served as co-president of the McNair’s Scholar Club—a recipient of the honored award—and president of the Anthropology Club.

Pruhs graduated from Pasadena City College in June 2010 with an Associate of Arts degree. She led the Anthropology Club as acting president before becoming the Director of Social Sustainability on the first sustainability committee of student government in 2009.

As an active member of her community, she’s launched and participated in several events around Los Angeles, including: LAFreestore where she organized a community empowerment project; has volunteered as an ethnographic research assistant for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians Tribal Administration and in local efforts with members of indigenous communities in Southern California through various cultural and traditional foodways programs. Currently, she volunteers as a librarian for the Seed Library of Los Angeles.  This participatory and collaborative methodology allows her to research on social and environmental justice efforts in local communities while bringing awareness to grassroots movements.

Pruhs has presented in symposia at the 2010 AAA Annual Meeting, and the 2011 and 2013 Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings. At the 2011 AAA Conference, her poster was awarded the Society for Visual Anthropology Award for Excellence. She’s preparing for the 2013 AAA annual meeting as chair and co-organizer of the paper panel, “Liberating Practices in Anthropology: The Application of Alternative Pedagogies, Economies, and Beyond,” and organizer for the roundtable, “Student Perspectives on the Future of AAA Programming.” Professional conferences helped spark Pruhs’ passion for anthropology and can be read in her piece, “I Didn’t Know We Could Do That!

Her future will continue to see research on grassroots environmental efforts, women’s environmental and civic movements, as well as local and traditional foodways with an emphasis on community engagement through collaborative and participatory approaches.