Mark Anthony Arceno
Philippine-born and Metro-Detroit raised, Mark Anthony (M.A.) Arceño received his B.A. degree from Albion College in May 2010. At Albion, he double majored in French and international studies with a regional focus in Africa and double concentrated in ethnic studies and public policy and service. For the fall of his junior year, M.A. studied abroad and conducted independent research throughout South Africa, and spent the following spring studying abroad in Paris and interning at Vivre Sans Frontière, a study abroad program for predominantly high school students. Upon his return to campus, he compiled his research into an Honors thesis which addressed the then upcoming English translation of the Roman Missal (put into practice November 2011) and its effect on South Africa’s multiethnolinguistic Catholic population; in April 2010, M.A. presented his thesis work at the 38th annual National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES) conference held in Washington, D.C. In addition to his academics, he brings interfaith and intercultural leadership experience from groups such as the Bridge Spiritual Life Leadership Team and Umbrella, Albion’s unifying organization of the campus’s 12 diversity groups.
M.A. uses as an overarching framework the notion of “learning through food,” i.e., learning about people and cultures through the foods being consumed; the recipes which have been passed down, shared and adapted over time; and the meaning behind the meal. His primary research interest is generally in the anthropology of food and more specifically in the gastronomic cultures of the cuisines des terroirs of French frontière communities (e.g., Alsace, Bretagne), with thematic interests in available ingredients and “authenticity,” food presentation and memory, and open air markets and sociocultural exchange. Recognizing the role and importance of food identity to the holistic understanding of individuals and communities, M.A. began introducing food and culture programming on Denison's campus (especially residence halls) this past fall and began the Community Culture Kitchen (January 2012) in partnership with the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. During the 2011-2012 academic year, M.A. conducted research via the aforementioned programming as case studies for a paper titled "Students at the Table: Stone Soup and Undergraduate Food Culture on a Liberal Arts Campus" which was presented at the 40th annual NAES conference in New Orleans, LA.
Now entering his third academic year as a higher education staff member and as MCSA Program Coordinator, M.A. helps support the mission of the office (and that of the recently signaged Center for Cross-Culture Engagement) and the students we work with on a daily basis. Alongside his roles in co-chairing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee, and coordinating the Paving the Way Pre-Orientation program, as well as the Posse Program on Denison's campus, M.A. spends much of his time working with Denison's multi-cultural student groups, their leaders and their advisors. He is also the editor of "Diversity @Denison," a weekly newsletter geared toward the student population in particular and those interested in diversity work at Denison, and facilitator of The Amava Dialogues, a dialogue group open to all male Denison faculty, staff, and students. For the 2012-2013 academic year, M.A. is the organizer of Denison's first Food and Culture Colloquium.