Rani Olson, MS

Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Coordinator of Nutrition and Food Systems Program


  • M.A., Urban Planning, The University of Arizona
  • B.A., American Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz


Rani Olson is passionate about attracting youth to examine critically the complexity of our food system, how and why it functions the way it does, and to develop robust skills to be active change-makers in reimagining a just food system. She is recruiting you - yes you reading these words at this very moment - to come as you are, with your passions and unique talents, to participate in creating a wave of positive change to carry us into a just, equitable, and environmentally sound future as a collective voice, as a collective people, to do the work

A recent addition to the Nutritional Sciences Department, Ms. Olson began teaching courses in Nutrition and Food Systems (FOOD) in the Spring of 2019.

Ms. Olson has a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she studied race and class disparities nationally, and those relating specifically to environmental stressors and diseases affecting urban communities. She spent the following years developing her skills as a chef, working as a server in the restaurant industry, and working on small farms in Georgia and California. She moved to the southwest to study the complex relationships between our built environment, community vitality, equity, and our food system. Ms. Olson received a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Arizona. 

For the past decade, Ms. Olson has explored the internal and external world of our local food system and food ways. She continues to work at Tucson Unified School District, both coordinating their Farm to School program, as well as directing and launching the Food Literacy Program and Lab. A website will be live in the summer of 2019 - stay tuned!

Raised in Sacramento, California, Ms. Olson has lovingly called Tucson home for nearly fifteen years.