Dr. Vernon is a cultural and medical anthropologist. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA and taught anthropology for over 14 years at UCLA and at Elon University. Dr. Vernon has been a vegetarian for nearly 30 years and has always tried to bring the problems of animal agriculture into the classroom. In 2019 she decided to focus her undergraduate class projects on cellular agriculture because she believes that climate change education is critically important for all students to learn about no matter what their college major is. Working with students on a cultured meat project has opened her eyes to not only the need for education on the subject but more importantly, the need to inspire and motivate students to become active participants in addressing climate change through academic projects and coursework. In 2020, she decided to leave her academic position at Elon to become a full-time climate change educator specialized in cellular agriculture. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Vernon is available for virtual class lectures or in-class lectures about cellular agriculture. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, only virtual class lectures via Zoom or other video conferencing technologies are acceptable at this time. When pandemic restrictions allow for in-class visits again, she would be available to speak at colleges and schools within the broader geographic region of Southern California.
Samantha grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and now goes to school in North Carolina at Elon University where she will graduate in 2023 with a double major in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. She has been passionate about helping the environment her whole life, and after learning about the impact of animal agriculture on climate change she decided to go vegetarian in 2015 and vegan in 2017. In her junior year of high school, Samantha learned about cultured meat after discovering a video created by the brand JUST, which makes her beloved vegan ranch dressing, that depicted the process of creating lab-grown meat. She firmly believes that this is the future of the meat industry, and as an advocate for both the environment and the animals, she looks forward to showing people that before you know it you will be able to eat all the same foods without any of the guilt.