Monday, January 27, 2014

National 4-H CEO Jennifer Sirangelo on CAUSES TV

On this episode of CAUSES TV, Dean Sabine O'Hara is joined by Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of the National 4-H Council, and Rebecca Bankhead, Director of UDC's Center for 4-H and Youth Development.

4-H is the nation's largest youth development and empowerment organization, with more that seven million young members in rural, suburban and urban communities across the country. Children from elementary to high school have the opportunity to learn about science, citizenship, healthy living and food security. 4-H programs are designed to shape our future leaders. What makes the organization special is its reach-- 4-H has 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni.

According to the 4-H Positive Youth Development Report, students engaged in 4-H are:

Around CAUSES January 2014

  1. Dean O'Hara Delivers Keynote for Austria's Young Science Summit
  2. CAUSES Takes Part in NBC4's Health and Fitness Expo
  3. DC Central Kitchen, Bread for the City Purchase Muirkirk Farm Greens for Area Schools
  4. Yao Afantchao to Participate in Penn State Ethnic Produce Conference

(photo Young Science / Armin Bardel, Location: Austria / Vienna) 
Dean O'Hara Delivers Keynote for Austria's Young Science Summit
Dean Sabine O’Hara recently delivered the keynote address for the Young Science Summit, hosted by the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. The program, which was attended by students and young scientists, focused on the field of sustainability. Dean O’Hara, who is an environmental economist and agronomist by training, also participated on a panel with Marie Céline Loibl, Federal Ministry for Science and Research, Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, demographer, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, Melanie Pichler, political scientist, University of Vienna and Andreas Reiter, futurologist, CTB future Vienna Office, to discuss the topic: A planet on the edge of resilience: Do something! Young Science is sponsored by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research, a division of the Austrian Government.

CAUSES Takes Part in NBC4's Health and Nutrition Expo
CAUSES had the opportunity to take part in the NBC4 2014 Health and Fitness Expo. This year signaled the 31st anniversary of the Health and Fitness Expo, which was held Jan. 11 - 12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C.. The Expo featured free health screenings and hundreds of exhibitors with lots of free health information.

Representing CAUSES was Che Axum, Director, Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education and Chef Herb Holden from the Center for Diet, Nutrition and Health. They handed out over 1,400 samples of salad made from Muirkirk farm greens, along with Vicki Reese, of 5 a Day CSA.

Also on hand was UDC's Student Dietetic Association, who made sure attendees were aware of the nutritional content of some of their favorite snacks. And CAUSES Recruiter Marshelle Hailstock participated on an education and recruitment panel, helping to spread the word about CAUSES. View more pictures on our Facebook page!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Speakers Announced for Post Oil City Workshops

The list of speakers for the Post Oil City Workshops has been released, an experts from the private and public sectors will be on hand to take part in the series of workshops focused on energy, mobility and food security. Presented by CAUSES and the Goethe-Institut Washington, the Post-Oil City exhibition and workshops will present solutions for the post oil city as envisioned by architects, planners, designers and engineers from 10 different countries. The exhibit will be hosted on of UDC’s Van Ness campus from Jan. 30 – March 1 on the second floor of Building 32. The events are free, so register today!
Embedded in the exhibit will be workshops on topics shaping the post-oil city of the future. Each topic will be discussed by panelists representing federal government agencies, district agencies, the private and non-profit sector, and individual residents. Free workshops will be held on the topics of mobility, energy, functionality, water and food security:  

Continue reading for the list of workshops and speakers.

Monday, January 20, 2014

CAUSES TV: Food Security

Food is fundamental to our health and well-being. If we don’t eat right we don’t feel right. Can the city of Washington, D.C. do more to ensure that everyone has access to healthy food?

On this episode of CAUSES TV, Dr. O'Hara interviews Dr. Judy Fisher, Bishop of the Full Gospel Church of the Lord's Missions International, and Gus Schumacher, Executive Vice President of Policy of Wholesome Wave and the former USDA Undersecretary of Agriculture. Together, they discuss the challenges faced in addressing food security in Washington, D.C.

Dean Sabine O'Hara is a firm believer in the motto 'Healthy Cities - Healthy People.'

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Internship and Apprenticeship Opportunities

  • Military Extension Internship Program 
  • National Park Service’s National Capital Region Exotic Plant Management Team
  • Eco City Farms

The Military Extension Internship Program is now accepting applications.
Travel while putting your education to work and make a difference in the lives of military families and their children. Designed for college students and recent college graduates, this program provides a unique opportunity to gain practical work experience in child development plus schoolage and youth programs. As an intern, you will live and work on military installations around the globe for 10-15 weeks. Among the required documentation is at least one recommendation from someone for whom you have worked or volunteered in a child or youth development capacity and a 500-600 word essay outlining why you are applying, what knowledge and skills you will bring to the internship, what you hope to gain from the experience, and how the internship will support your educational and professional goals. Visit for more information. This program is supported by the Cooperative Extension System and its 4-H Youth Development Program.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lead Abatement Short Course

Upcoming Events

 CAUSES is offering several events in 2014, so mark your calendars!

Post-Oil City Exhibition and Workshops (Jan. 30 - March 1)
City life over the past 50 years has been very oil dependent. Can cities function without oil and what would such a city look like? The negative side effects of fossil fuel use are becoming increasingly apparent and costly. Presented by CAUSES and the Goethe-Institut Washington, the Post Oil City Exhibition will present solutions for the post oil city as envisioned by architects, planners, designers and engineers from 10 different countries. The exhibit will be hosted on UDC’s Van Ness campus from Jan. 30 – March 1.The exhibit will be available for viewing from Jan. 30 – March 1. Free workshops will be held between Jan. 31 and Feb. 21 on the topics of mobility, energy, functionality, water and food security. The opening reception will be held Jan. 30 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Learn more to see when the free workshops will be held and be sure to register.

Invasive Removal at Dumbarton Oaks Park (Feb. 15)
This is the first of the monthly Saturday invasive plant removals. Though Dumbarton Oaks Park isn’t technically Rock Creek Park, it is managed by the National Park Service and adjoins with Rock Creek Park. We will be joining forces with Ann Aldridge of Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy. Dumbarton Oaks, formerly part of the Dumbarton Oaks Estate, is a lovely section of Parkland that was designed by Beatrix Farrand, America’s first female professional landscape architect. Volunteers have had a huge impact on the invasive plants in this section of park, but there is always more to do! The removal will start at 10:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m. Please RSVP to Mary Farrah ( for the meet-up location. 

Lead Abatement Worker Course (March 14 and 17)
As part of its efforts to be ever more relevant to the needs of residents and communities of D.C., UDC is offering training for participants interested in becoming certified lead abatement workers. Attendees of the two day Lead Abatement Worker Course will: 1) Engage in interactive classroom training, 2) Participate in a small classroom setting and one-on-one training, 3) Receive  a comprehensive manual to keep for future reference, 4) Engage in hands on training in a state of the art containment room and 5) Receive a Lead Abatement Worker Certificate of Completion. The first day of the course will be held on Jan. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the second day on Jan. 24. The course, which has a fee of $275, will be repeated in April. Contact Marshelle Hailstock at or (202) 274-7115 for more information.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What is a Land-Grant University?

You may have heard that the University of the District of Columbia is a land-grant university, but do you know what exactly that is?

Land-grant universities provide education both on campuses and in communities. Signed by President Lincoln In 1862, the Morrill Act established the creation of the land-grant university. In 1887, the Hatch Act expanded the mission of land-grant colleges by providing states with federal funds to establish what are known as Agricultural Experiment Stations (AES), which research solutions to individual state agricultural concerns, such as the correlation between soil and crop management.

The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 created the Cooperation Extension Service (CES), where representatives known as extension agents were tasked with teaching the community with lessons learned from agricultural research conducted at the experiment stations. CES is designed to “bring land-grant expertise to the most local of levels.” The program is run by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) and is supported specifically by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture  (NIFA).

Being a public and a land-grant institution makes the University of the District of Columbia different from the other colleges and universities local to the Washington, D.C. metro area. In the following CAUSES TV video, UDC Interim President James Lyons and CAUSES Dean Sabine O'Hara discuss how as a land-grant, the University of D.C. serves particular needs for the District's residents.