Vivian Whitney

Professional Experience

Serra Guarneri, Palma Nana︎ Asst. Property Manager & Volunteer Coordinator
Cefalù, Sicily ︎ January 2023 - Present

Live on-site at Serra Guarneri to manage the volunteers for the structure and co-manage the property. Coordinate with property manager to prepare weekly schedule for groups and summer camps as well as travel and errands to and from Cefalù. Responsible for volunteers’ living situation and educational program during their entire stay, including implementation of workshops and experiences on Sicilian traditions, culture, and food. Manage volunteer work schedules and trainings. Manage logistics and selection of European Solidarity Corps volunteers and other Erasmus+ programs. Perform and oversee maintenance and general upkeep of the property, including guest room cleaning/preparation and meals for guest stays. Manage the vegetable garden and all products and preservations made with the harvest.

Cooking Italian With Joe ︎ Director of Communications
Syracuse, NY / Remote ︎ August 2020 — June 2021, November 2022 — May 2023

Managed communications for, the Italian recipe brand of Joe Borio. Created social media strategy to grow audience and engagament on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTub. Secured brand partnerships, sponsorships, and affiliations for YouTube and website. Imported and redesigned website from WordPress to Squarespace. Increased website ad revenue by 334% from 2020 to 2021. Managed social media implementations, like Cameo and TikTok. Transcribed recipes and implemented a style guide for consistency. Tracked e-commerce and analytics for olive oil orders.

Serra Guarneri, Palma Nana︎ Facilities Volunteer
Cefalù, Sicily / Remote︎ December 2021 - October 2022

Managed volunteers and kept track of daily responsibilities. Helped oversee and manage vegetable garden and flora and fauna around the property, including chickens and wild boar management. Brainstormed and presented activity ideas and learning goals for use during the environmental education camp. Worked on-site December 2021, March 2022, and July - October 2022 assisting with general facility maintenance. Prepared group meals for volunteers and guests on a daily basis. Performed daily upkeep including cleaning, repairs, deliveries, and errands and feeding the animals. Processed food items like marmalades for preservation and use at the facility and tended to the garden.

The Preserve Journal ︎ Content Research & Creation
Remote ︎ November 2021 — March 2022

Pitched original articles ideas and research and develop exisisting pitches. Developed social media campaigns and prepare framework for ongoing fixtures.  

Slow Food USA ︎ Communications Intern
Remote ︎ May 2020 — August 2020

Managed editorial calendar for blog and edited and published stories to the blog weekly. Helped manage weekly Zoom skill-share sessions and uploaded to blog. Wrote captions for and managed social channels. Spearheaded annual Membership Drive project and assigned and guided over 30 stories and interviews to a team of ten. Wrote and interviewed multiple stories in a month for Membership Drive.

POPSUGAR ︎ Contributing Writer
Remote ︎ May 2020 — August 2020

Pitched stories monthly, including DIYs, recipes, shopping articles, and personal essays. Wrote and reported one weekly story on topics including entertainment, food, pets, and family. Received up to 865 shares per article, averaging 162 shares.

Institute for Veterans and Military Families ︎ Communications Intern Syracuse, NY ︎ August 2019 — December 2019

Marketed and promoted Institute for Veterans and Military Families program. Created graphics for social channels and edited promotional videos on Adobe Premiere. Wrote and edited copy for web, speeches, handouts, and social. Formed insights on marketing campaigns to create a social strategy.

Food Network, Discovery Inc. ︎ Digital Media Intern
New York, NY ︎ May 2019 — August 2019

Pitched video ideas weekly and researched locations, topics, and content for videos. Wrote one article biweekly for web and edited videos on Adobe Premiere for socia. Attended shoots and assisted with set up, lighting, filming, and media dropping. Conducted analytics and wrote insights on video performance on social media.

On-Campus Experience

Jerk Magazine ︎ Editor in Chief
Syracuse, NY ︎ May 2020 — May 2021

Managed and communicated with print and digital staff of over 130 students. Collaborated with executive staff to produce purposefully crafted editorial and creative vision. Copyedited, proofed, and distributed two 68-page issues per semester. Increased publishing from one issue per semester to two. Oversaw advertising, PR, and social media teams. Increased applications by 300% and staff by 500%. Implemented Slack to expand opportunities for member engagement. Increased publishing from one issue a semester back to two per semester. Pitched 15 feature, opinion, and culture stories a month for print issues. Managed timelines for and edited copy, heds, and deks for five sections. Designed layout for entire issue on Adobe InDesign. Submitted budget requests and communicated with publisher. Previously FOB editor, asst. arts and culture editor, and freshman intern

Research Experience

Food Sovereignty, Land, and Water Grabbing ︎ University of Gastronomic Sciences
December 2021 – October 2022
︎ research lab for book publication with Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Advisor: Gabriele Proglio

Conducted research and literature review on the history of the latifundia system in Sicily, its effects on Sicilian peasants, and the state of contemporary land and water grabbing for essay contribution to book. Line edited and copyedited entire volume before publication.

Thesis Research ︎ Serra Guarneri in Cefalù, Sicily, Italy July 2022 – October 2022
︎ ethnographic research on pedagogy of place and food education at Serra Guarneri, an environmental education facility in Parco delle Madonie Advisor: David Sutton

Followed and observed educational activities in Italian with summer camp groups aged 7 to 15. Conducted fieldwork at various food producers in the region. Interviewed educators in English and Italian and observed curriculum planning. Conducted literature review focused on food pedagogy, environmental education, and pedagogy of place with a post-anthropocentric approach.

Upstate Unearthed ︎ Syracuse University January 2021 – May 2021
︎ group multimedia capstone project
Advisors: Melissa Chessher, Adam Peruta

Produced independent publication focused on outdoor joy in Upstate New York. Researched own and peers’ pitch ideas relating to ethnography of outdoor food practices and rural histories relating to the outdoors. Reported two long-form articles which required visits and fieldwork in the area, shot own accompanying photo and video media, and created accompanying graphics for social media. Worked on committee of three responsible for land acknowledment and resources to support Haudenosaunee peoples and educate on Indigenous activism and movements in the area.


University of Gastronomic Sciences Pollenzo, Italy
Master of Gastronomy: World Food Cultures and Mobility
        recieved Fulbright grant
        109/110 GPA

Syracuse University
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Syracuse, New York
B.S. in Magazine Journalism
Food Studies minor
French minor
3.9 GPA

Syracuse University Florence
Florence, Italy ︎ spring 2020
concentration in Food Studies

Awards & Honors


Syracuse Press Club Awards
︎2022 2nd place, best print/digital feature story, Welcome to the COVID Rush of Seeds, Weeds & Foraged Leaves

2021-2022 Fulbright Casten Family Foundation Award
︎to pursue a Master of Gastronomy degree at the University of Gastronomic Sciences

2021 Henry J. Wolff Prize
︎awarded to the Newhouse senior student deemed most proficient in journalism

2021 Henry J. Leader Memorial Prize in Editing
︎awarded to a Newhouse senior for work in the field of editing

2020 Maria Riccardi Scholarship
︎for an outstanding Newhouse undergraduate woman
in journalism

Jerk Magazine

SND Student Design Contest
︎2021 2nd place, World’s Best Designed Student Magazine

AEJMC Student Magazine Contest
︎2020 1st place, single issue of an ongoing magazine — general excellence
︎2020 1st place, single issue of an ongoing magazine — design
︎2020 1st place, best magazine news page/spread
︎2019 3rd place, editorial of single issue of an ongoing magazine

SPJ Mark of Excellence
︎2019 Finalist, best student magazine
︎2019 1st place, best student magazine in the northeast

CMA Pinnacle Awards
︎2018-2019 honorable mention, best editorial
︎2017-2018 honorable mention, best magazine contents page/spread

Upstate Unearthed

SPJ Mark of Excellence
︎2022 1st place, best independent online student publication

BEA Festival of Media Arts
︎2022 2nd place, best website

Syracuse Press Club Awards
︎2022 2nd place, best use of multimedia


InDesign, Premiere, Audition, MS Office, social media, Google AdSense, TweetDeck, WordPress, Squarespace, AP Style, HTML, CSS

advanced Italian, intermediate French, photography

umami, mixology, corduroy jeans, fermentation, knick knacks, ephemera, anthropology