Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Muirkirk Farm Greens Donated to DC Central Kitchen

Prof. Pearson shows off his hoop sack.
In celebration of Thanksgiving,
CAUSES donated freshly grown produce to DC Central Kitchen (DCCK), to feed their clients during the Thanksgiving holiday. CAUSES donated kale grown on the UDC Research Farm and harvested by several volunteers, on Sat., November 22.

"This is a great opportunity for the University to give back to DC residents. This is their farm and their taxpaying dollars make this possible," said Center for Urban Agriculture Director, Che' Axum. "To give nutritious food back to the citizens is what should be done. It's service that counts, and we're glad to do it."

Food donation campaigns usually receive processed and pre-packaged goods, often lacking in nutrition. Kale is loaded with vitamins as well as calcium, iron and antioxidants. One cup of kale meets the daily requirement of vitamins A, C and K, and is good for the heart and eyes.

"This time of the year, we think about people who are less fortunate than we are. We hope that our fresh produce will enhance the Thanksgiving meals for many people," commented CAUSES Dean Sabine O'Hara.

UDC MANRRS Club represent!

UDC Farmers Market Closes for the Season

The time has come for the UDC farmers market to close for the season. Located in front of the David A. Clarke School of Law, the market has been open on Saturdays since May 17. The season ended on Nov. 22, to give patrons the opportunity to use the market as a resource for their Thanksgiving meal preparation. In addition to all of the vendors, special thanks to Kelli Webster,  and Andrea Herrera, who managed the market under the leadership of Dr. Wayne Curtis. And of course, thanks to the Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health for the tastings and demonstrations provided by Chef T on a regular basis. Farmers market staff, customers and vendor reflect on the season:

Dr. Wayne Curtis, Project Specialist, CAUSES Center for Sustainable Development - This farmers market season was my first, and I learned a lot more about the sense of community and the sense of interaction beyond the purchase of goods and services. You got to know the community and the vendors better, and I think it's one of those traditions that should continue for a long time. Chef T's presence at the market allowed us to show people how to prepare the different produce being sold, and also gave people the chance to interact with us and talk about menus and food preparation. I think it added to the overall sense of community. 

Associate Dean William Hare Participates in United Nations Forum

On Friday, Nov. 21, CAUSES Associate Dean of Programs, William Hare, participated in a United Nations panel discussion as part of the symposium: Education as an Imperative for a Transformative Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda in observance of Universal Children’s Day 2014. The theme comes 25 years after Rights of the Child were adopted as part of the Millennium Development Goals. 

“I recommend that more investment be placed in universities. Public-private partnerships using universities as unbiased monitors of projects will ensure a seamless, sustainable system of continuous improvement so that our children—the future generation-- will have the opportunity to a great college education,” Associate Dean Hare said before the audience of high-level policy makers.

He continued: "If you look at the current system, it omits the role of the university in the sustainable change that's supposed to take place; and that's a flaw because all of the funds have been going to NGOs, which are only as sustainable as their funding timeframe. Our model that we use in CAUSES continuously improves upon itself. It's transformational because it takes time and partnerships are built at the local, regional and international levels to ensure the continuity of progress."

CAUSES Hosts Caribbean Summit Roundtable

At a recent session of the Caribbean Symposium, CAUSES hosted a roundtable Research and Education Partnerships for Agribusiness Value Chain. The goal of the academic session was to provide an overview of current research interests and priorities up to the year 2020. Participating institutions outlined prospects for establishing and extending partnerships. Caribbean institutions shared emerging issues and challenges, and opportunities as related to Caribbean agribusiness value chain and economic development. 

Most of the participating colleges and universities were from island nations. D.C. is not an island, but with our unique location and governance, it often feels as though we are an island unto ourselves.The roundtable featured representatives from American universities, as well as many Caribbean nations, including: the University of the West Indies, University of Trinidad and Tobago, University of Suriname, University of Nicaragua, University of Maryland - Eastern Shore, Medgar Evers College, Morgan State, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. 

A common them among the Caribbean participants was the future of the industry. Today, students are electing to pursue management degrees, but not necessarily on the agribusiness side. This increases the perception that the industry is not viable. "We are in the process of redefining agribusiness and the value chain in a constant intersection with people," explained Dean Sabine O'Hara.


Gossie Nworu Joins CAUSES
Gossie Nworu recently joined the CAUSES as the Administrative Specialist for Data Management and Assessment, where she will be working with program directors/chairs and staff to assist with the assessment needs for our academic and landgrant programs. Mrs. Nworu comes from an analytical background with a combined eight years of experience in performance assessment, assessment tool development, statistical reporting, and data analysis. She received a Masters of Science in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Bachelor’s in Science in Psychology from the University of North Florida. Welcome Gossie!  

UDC Matching Funds Donation
The District of Columbia City Council has issued a challenge to the University to raise $1,000,000.00.  The Council will match the donations up to $1,000,000.00. To donate to CAUSES online, please select "a specific college or school" and then select CAUSES under the College field. Or, please make your check payable to the UDC Foundation and make a notation of the funds to receive your gifts in the memo section. CAUSES has several funds in which the gifts may be deposited: 1) CAUSES  Master Initiative; 2) CAUSES  Friends of Architecture; 3) CAUSES  Institute of Gerontology; 4) CAUSES  Scholarship Fund. If you desire to make donations to several colleges, please notate each college on the memo line, such as:  CAUSES/CAS/SBPA. 

Institute of Gerontology Hosts Legal Clinic
On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, the Institute of Gerontology hosted a Free Legal Clinic for DC Seniors. The Project Director, Ms. Claudia John reported that there were eight attorneys from AARP at the University of the District of Columbia providing free legal services to seniors and 64 seniors attended the in-service workshop. In addition, IOG hosted a Thanksgiving luncheon for the seniors. Contact claudia.john@udc.edu for more information.

Monica Wiggins Inducted into Honor Society
CAUSES own Monica Wiggins, Grants and Purchasing Specialist for Landgrant Activities, is being inducted into the UDC Epsilon Sigma Chapter of the International Business Honor Society, Delta Mu Delta. She is one of 35 invited business students from a class of 500 being inducted. The invitation is extented to UDC junior and senior Business Administration majors who are in the top 20% of their respective classes, hold a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have completed at least 24 credit hours at UDC. Congrats, Monica! 

4-H update

Hopkins 4-H  Club Spells Success! 

Abena Disroe will now be leading a 4-H Club in Ward 6 of the District of Columbia. Ms. Disroe has numerous leadership development, conflict resolution and asset mapping awards and certificates. She is also an accomplished poet, playwright, and storyteller who has recently become a certified 4-H Leader, Abena will be guiding 4-H youth into becoming speakers, leaders, and writers; along with sharing knowledge about conflict resolution solutions.

She writes:                                                       

My  4-H Club recently met for the first time. They named themselves "The 4-H Amazing Kids Club." During our initial meeting, a representative from the University of the District of Columbia Center for 4-H and Youth Development came to greet everyone. Each youth was given the 4-H Pledge and Motto to memorize, and each spoke on how to become a more effective speaker.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Student Opportunities

The National Capital Region Exotic Plant Management Team has announced seasonal positions, which are expected to begin in late February or early March through October. Learn more about  crew member and squad leader positions. For more information, contact Mark Frey, the Exotic Plant Management Team Liaison at (202) 339-8317.

iL.E.A.D. Success Tutoring and Mentoring Services is seeking volunteer tutors and mentors for the Spring semester. iL.E.A.D. Success is dedicated to cultivating community leaders by providing tutoring and mentoring services to youth. ​Their services are designed to stimulate a positive attitude toward science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) literacy, which fosters interdisciplinary inquiry and understanding. The organization currently operates out of the Hyattsville Branch Library on Mondays from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Interested students should contact ileadsuccess@gmail.com. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Recipes: Tomato Basil Soup, Sweet Potato-Kale Soup, Kale Salad

Here are more recipes for you to enjoy courtesy of the CAUSES Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health. Your holiday meals can still be healthy and delicious!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cooking for the Holidays with Chef T

CAUSES Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health Tyrome “Chef T” Henson will be offering Cooking Healthy for the Holidays at the Washington Parks & People's Riverside Healthy Living Center, located at 5200 Foote St., NE, Washington, DC 20019. In addition to cooking demonstrations, the course will cover sanitation, knife skills, food safety and healthy menu planning. Open to Ward 7 residents, the free class will be offered December 13 and December 20. To register, email Chef T at thenson@udc.edu or call (202) 274-5757. The class is open to ages 18 and over.

The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health (CNDH), a landgrant center within the University of the District of Columbia's College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), offers research-based academic and community outreach programs that improve the quality of life and economic opportunity of people and communities in the District of Columbia. CNDH combines education and outreach to educate D.C. residents on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Using these methods, CNDH helps to improve consumer awareness and health sustaining behaviors among District residents through education projects related to food, nutrition and health.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Urban Agriculture Certificate Program Concludes

By Arielle Gerstein

The pilot program of the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certificate wrapped up this month. Over thirty participants from the Washington Metropolitan area ranging from students to professionals participated in one of three certificate tracks: general, food & agribusiness, and sustainable design. 

Overall the participants found the courses engaging, interactive and full of new information about sustainable urban agriculture. Participants ranged in interest from wanting to start their own business like a food stand or truck to just trying to learn more about a favorite hobby. Some participants currently work in the environmental field while others are gardeners, beekeepers, or small-scale farmers recreationally. 

What make these classes so unique is the experiential learning like understanding the technical functions of hydroponics and aquaponics at the Muirkirk Research Farm, testing soil quality in the lab, and touring a local school garden. Participants thoroughly enjoyed the level of technical and business information they received. These classes appealed to all ranges of experience from learning about basic agriculture principles to more advanced information about designing an urban agriculture site and how to grow nutrient-rich crops. 

Here are a few testimonials from workshop participants:

Monday, November 17, 2014

CAUSES TV: Global Food Security

On this episode, CAUSES Dean Sabine O'Hara is joined by Dr. Claire Nelson to discuss the topic of food security, which refers to having a steady and dependable supply of food that is healthy and nutritious. Food security is a global issue, with the population expected to grow by two billion in the next 30 years, to nine billion people. 

Food security is also a top priority for the United States. According to the annual Household Food Security Survey, the District of Columbia has one of the highest rates of food insecurity among children in the U.S.:
  • 13% of D.C. households are food insecure
  • 19% experience food hardship
  • 37% are unable to afford enough food

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Recipes: Pumpkin Soup, Quinoa and Kale Salad

Enjoy these healthy recipes, courtesy of Chef Herb Holden of the CAUSES Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health. Just in time for the holidays!