Part I: Joel Helfrich, Rochester River School: Proposed First Vegan Public School in the U.S
Joel is a father, educator, and activist who lives in the City of Rochester, near Highland Park. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of history at Monroe Community College and, formerly, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He received his BA in history from the University of Rochester, an MPhil degree in American Studies from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota. His doctoral dissertation is a historical investigation of Western Apache struggles over a sacred and ecologically unique mountain in Arizona from 1871 to 2002. He has also worked on animal rights, environmental, historic and sacred sites preservation, and social justice issues. He holds the conviction that a myopic focus defeats the most important work any historian does—being an informed and informative member of society. He sees the environment as a site where much of his historical training can be brought to bear, so he continues to pursue those interests as well as others.