All Around the World

Faces: Justin Dickey cover

Justin Dickey | Environmental Economics and Policy

Class of 2024 | Ecampus | San Antonio, Texas 

Food System Inequalities

Through high school I did not think that I would attend college. I planned on becoming a chef, and my priority was working. When I was 18, I decided to test my metal. I packed up my car and headed west, taking a job at a three-Michelin starred restaurant in San Francisco. I was invested in that life until a workplace accident forced me to take some time off. During that time, I began to explore what I wanted my life to look like day to day. I decided to head back to Texas and pursue an education. At the community college I was attending I saw that there were tons of services for people without reliable access to food. The discrepancy between this and my time in San Francisco where I saw people pay thousands of dollars for a meal only to leave it uneaten made me curious about our food systems. Since then, my interests have developed into exploring how climate change will impact global food systems and how public policy can help shape and overcome inequalities of all sorts.

Traveling Student

I am constantly looking for new and exciting experiences, and I have always been drawn to travel. In 2021, my now wife and I decided that we wanted to live into that passion and set out for what has now been a two-year adventure spanning 26 countries and 5 continents. While traveling I completed my associate degree and transferred to OSU to pursue a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy.

Global Communities

The College of Agricultural Sciences has helped me to integrate with the university even as an Ecampus student. I have had access to great professors who I have been able to meet with regularly and who have helped me explore and develop my interests. By engaging with OSU professors and faculty, I have been introduced to a global OSU community that I didn’t even know existed. I was even able to meet up with a former OSU student in Seoul!


Follow Your Own Timeline

When I started school, I felt like I was behind. I started later than most of my peers and worked throughout. It has taken me a few extra years just to get this far. One piece of advice I wish I had been told was that it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get through school. Everyone operates on their own, unique timeline, and however long it takes is the right amount of time.