Director, Fertile Ground
M.P.P.A. Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2008
B.A. Art History and English. Georgetown University, 1984
Continued Training People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond: Undoing Racism; Interaction Institute for Social Change and Rockwood Leadership Institute: Facilitative Leadership; Center for Whole Communities: Whole Measures for Community Food Systems pilot program.
Adjunct Food Policy Lecturer, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of MA/Amherst (2007-present). Courses include: Community Food Systems and Food Justice/Food Policy.
Fellow, UMA/Amherst Community Service Learning and Engagement, 2013.
Instructor, UMA School of Continuing & Professional Education Online (Summers, 2011-present).
Lecturer, Departments of Theater and Music, UMA/Amherst 2003, 2004. Course: Stage Presence.
Food Systems, Evaluation
2002–present, Founding Director, Fertile Ground, www.fertilegroundschools.org. Leading regional strategy and evaluation technical assistance provider for community food projects. Clients include: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation Healthy Food Fund; Cultivating Community Portland, ME; Gardening the Community, Springfield, MA; Massachusetts Food Plan, Massachusetts Food Policy Council, Center for Whole Communities, Burlington VT, Nuestras Raices, Holyoke MA. MA Farm to School Project, Kindergarten Initiative, Worcester and Holyoke MA.
2007–present, Lecturer, Community Food Systems and Food Justice and Policy, University of MA/Amherst.
2009–present, Founding Partner, Partnership in Practice. With partner Carol Stewart, provide evaluation, community based participatory action research, systems thinking, racial equity, and collective impact services to networks, food policy councils, community nonprofits, municipalities and Universities. Specialize in process and outcomes evaluation through systems analysis, logic model, participatory action research and evaluation. Methods include: PhotoVoice, rapid market interactive survey, Whole Measures value-based dialogue focus groups, mapping, stakeholder analysis, visioning, developing ongoing feedback loops. Adept in multi-stakeholder group facilitation, mediation, intergroup dialogue, transformational leadership, food systems, equity and social justice analysis. Projects include:
2015–present, Nuestra Comida Project. Develop participatory action research and evaluation strategies with multistakeholder groups, and conduct W.K.Kellogg Foundation Cross Site Evaluation.
2009–2014, Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council. Develop participatory action research and evaluations strategies with intergenerational multi-stakeholder groups. Member of Kellogg Foundation national nine site evaluation team.
2004, Community Food Projects Research Consultant, Solidago Foundation.
Nonprofit Development, Marketing, Events, Community Organizing
2005, Consultant. The Energy Coalition, Irvine CA. Feasibility for energy efficiency educational programs.
2000–2001, Consultant. Clean Air Communities, NY. Networking and feasibility study environmental justice and clean energy projects.
1987–1997, Associate Director of Special Projects, Natural Resources Defense Council. Designed educational promotions and produced benefit music concerts featuring major performing artists. Managed donor, trustee and celebrity relations.
Awards and Fellowships
2012–2013, Fellow, Center for Community Service Learning and Engagement, University of MA.
2008, University of MA: Outstanding Community Service and Engagement.
Boards and Committees
- Union of Concerned Scientists Good Food For All Committee
- PV Grows Steering Committee, co direct Racial Equity Committee
- MA Food Policy Alliance Steering Committee
- National Mentor, Food Corps
- Food Policy Committee, Northeast Regional Farm to School Network
- Evaluation Committee, National Farm to School Network
Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications
"Building an airplane while flying it: One community’s experience with community food transformation.” with Carol Stewart, Laura Fries, and Sarah Bankert. Forthcoming.
“PhotoVoice as Youth Voice” with Krista Harper, Diego Angarita et al. Forthcoming.
“Call for Partnerships: an innovative strategy to establish grassroots partnerships to transform the food and fitness environments” with Sarah Bankert et al. 2014. Journal of Community Development.
“Food. Voice. A Story from Holyoke.” Co authored with Diego Angarita and Jazmine Colon. Whole Thinking Journal, Summer 2013.
“Snap Peas: A PhotoVoice Participatory Assessment of a School Gardening Program through the Eyes of Fifth Graders” co authored with Lee Ellen Reed, Krista Harper and Maggie Shar, Practicing Anthropology Fall, 2009.
“Safe Practices for Serving School Garden Produce” co-authored with Regional Farm to School Network specialists. 2009.
“Community Undoing Racism – Lessons for Gardens and Beyond” CISA’s Farm to School Newsletter. 2008.
“Williamsburg Nonprofit Teaching Children about Local Agriculture” UMass/Amherst Extension Vegetable Notes. 2008.
2014–present, We are the Possible: Participatory research funded through W.K.Kellogg Foundation with former Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council.
2008–present, Cross Site Evaluation of Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, mapping systems and policy changes to the food and built environments. Partners: W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, University of Michigan Center for Managing Chronic Disease.
2013, Holyoke Public Schools Plate Waste Study. Partners: Holyoke Public Schools, Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, Western MA Public Health Training Center.
2012, Investigation of the impact of urban community gardens on Nuestras Raices community gardeners and broader community. Partners: Nuestras Raices, Inc., U Mass Center for Public Policy and Administration, Stockbridge School of Agriculture.
2011–2013, Healthier Holyoke School Food: PhotoVoice project with Nuestras Raices youth leaders, U Mass Amherst. Developed research project, youth engagement in policy process, writing a journal article using dialogic editing with key youth and adult practitioners.
2010–2012, Community Food Security Coalition program trial using Whole Measures for Community Food Systems at Nuestras Raices. Three organizations awarded technical assistance to pilot WMCFS, published online by CFSC and presented in several conferences.
2013–2014, Holyoke Kindergarten Initiative. Lead Evaluator with Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, Holyoke Public Schools, Holyoke Health Center.