Friday, January 29, 2016

CNDH Serves up International Fare at UDC Student Center Opening

by Helen Naylor and Paige Zaitlin, CNDH

By Adrian Kidaman
On Wednesday, January 20, and Thursday, January 21, 2016, the Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health (CNDH) joined the University and members of the surrounding community in celebrating the grand opening of the University of the District of Columbia’s brand new and highly anticipated Student Center. In true CNDH fashion, staff members showcased their culinary talents by serving up delicious and nutritious dishes with a side of nutrition education. 
By Adrian Kidaman
Inspired by the University’s multi-national campus, Chef Herbert Holden with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) and Chef Tyrome Henson with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) prepared diverse dishes to reflect the University’s diversity. 
By Adrian Kidaman

Farming Opportunities: ECO City Farms and Neighborhood Farm Initiative

ECO City Farms Offering Apprenticeships and Internships
ECO City Farms, a nonprofit, educational urban farm with two locations in the greater Hyattsville area, is looking for interns and apprentices for the Spring/Summer 2016 season. ECO’s apprenticeships and internships offer an immersive, hands-on opportunity to learn about sustainable urban agriculture by working directly with experienced farm staff. In addition, you make a significant contribution to ECO’s programs. Apprenticeships are for those who’ve demonstrated a long-term commitment to farming. It is a weekly 16-hour commitment. Apprentices receive a weekly CSA bag, in-kind opportunities for workshops, courses and farm visits, and a weekly travel stipend. Internships are for those who want to get a feel for urban farming without making a huge commitment. It is a weekly 6-hour commitment. Interns are unpaid, but receive in-kind opportunities for workshops, courses, and farm visits. For more information and application instructions, visit Contact Farm Manager Emily Hanak with any questions. 


Neighborhood Farm Initiative Scholarships
The Neighborhood Farm Initiative has scholarships available for their Kitchen Garden Education Program. Participants plant, tend to and harvest their own plots, while NFI provides all supplies, materials and hands-on instruction, and support, to grow successfully. The program runs from April to October at the Fort Totten Community Garden. Qualified, low-income candidates will be able to participate in the program at no cost. The program is suitable for families, for seniors, for young adults, and for anyone who has the time to commit and an eagerness to learn. Ideal scholarship candidates will have a demonstrated need and be already motivated to improve their diet and their health. They must also have easy access to the Fort Totten Metro Station. Visit for more information, or contact Ann Beman at (202) 215-2522 for an application.   


Here's what's been happening around CAUSES!
Councilman Grosso visits East Capitol Urban Farm
Dean O'Hara to Guest on the Diane Rehm Show
DC Bridge Park makes waves
Che Axum presents at New York Botanical Garden

Councilman Grosso visits East Capitol Urban Farm
DC Councilmember David Grosso visited East Capitol Urban Farm in on a brisk, early January day, touring the farm and seeing firsthand the growth of the formerly vacant site in just a few short months. Along with Councilmember Mary Cheh, Councilman Grosso was instrumental to the enactment of the DC Urban Farming and Food Security Act of 2014, and we are grateful for his support. Come back again when it's a bit warmer, Councilman! 

Dean O'Hara to Guest on the Diane Rehm Show
Dean O'Hara will be on the Diane Rehm Show, Feb. 3, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the pros and cons of indoor urban agriculture with a panel of distinguished guests, including urban ag pioneer, Will Allen. Listen here!

DC Bridge Park makes waves
The 11th Street Bridge Park was featured in the Washington Post Magazine: "Can D.C. build a $45 million park for Anacostia without pushing people out?" The 11th Street Bridge Park aims to become an anchor for inclusive economic development and stitch together long divided neighborhoods in D.C. After you read the article, please read the Equitable Development Plan. We are proud to be a partner in this city-changing project! Visit to learn more.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bodywise Senior Exercise Program

Hey DC residents - it's a new year, so why not get fit with the Bodywise exercise program? The free program is designed to promote health, wellness and fitness for DC residents 60 years of age or older. Bodywise consists of water aerobics, yoga, low impact aerobics, and movement and chair exercise, all conducted by certified instructors. Achievable benefits include: an increase in cardiovascular efficiency, improved muscular strength and flexibility, and increased knowledge of physical activity. Classes are taught in the following locations across the District: 

Ward 3
Wilson Aquatic Center - 4551 Fort Drive, NW 20016
Water Aerobics - Mon & Wed 8:00 -9:00 a.m.
Water Aerobics - Mon, Wed, & Fri 12:00 -1:00 p.m.

UDC Van Ness Campus - 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW 20008, Bldg. 47 (Gym)
Water Aerobics - Mon & Wed 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Low Impact Aerobics - Tues, Thurs, & Fri 9 -9:45 a.m.
Yoga - Fri 10:15  -11:15 a.m.

Ward 4
Takoma Aquatic Center - 300 Van Buren Street, NW 20011
Water Aerobics - Wed & Fri 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Ward 5
The View - 635 Edgewood Street N.E. 20017
Movement & Chair - Mon & Fri 2:00 - 2:45 p.m.

CAUSES TV: USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center

In this episode of CAUSES TV, Dr. Ellen Harris, director, USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) joins Dean O'Hara to discuss the agency and its programs. UDC CAUSES conducts research and provides community outreach programs to expand knowledge about urban agriculture and urban sustainability, in the District of Columbia and at our research farm in Beltsville, Maryland, where BARC is one of our neighbors. 

CAUSES and researchers from BARC have worked closely on various projects to build knowledge and information to benefit residents of the District of Columbia, including the 2015 Urban Agriculture Symposium, co-sponsored by BARC. The agency also donated 22 tons of compost to the East Capitol Urban Farm in Ward 7.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Students gather to learn more about CAUSES

Just weeks into the Spring 2016 semester, CAUSES welcomed students to the "Intro to CAUSES" reception. Dean O'Hara shared how the academic, research and landgrant units of CAUSES collaborate to enhance the Urban Food Hubs Solution to Food Insecurity. She also explained to students the research, internship, volunteer and other opportunities available through the College.

"This will help students continue to formulate idea about the research they're going to do. The turnout to this event shows that people are interested in what we do," stated Dr. Elgloria Harrison, special assistant to the Dean.

"I was excited to learn about the volunteer opportunities available," echoed Accounting major, Alana.

"Because CAUSES is only a few years old, gathering students gives us a chance to assess how much they know about the landgrant component of the college," explained Associate Dean of Programs William Hare. 

Student Spotlight: Joniece Barnes

Joniece Barnes is a senior Health Education major in the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences. In addition to her studies, Joniece serves as President of the Undergraduate Student Government Association.

Why did you select Health Education as your major? 
I became interested in the field of the health in high school, soon after taking my first anatomy and physiology course. I researched this field more and found this area most intriguing. I believe that Health Education would be the best path allowing me to help my community become more aware of best health practices. At my previous institution, I studied Physical Education and found similarities in the curriculum of Health Education; therefore, once I transferred to UDC I changed my major to Health Education. 

How has the Health Education program been beneficial to your life? 
First of all, I feel that my major matters; it’s a major field of study that currently holds value and will continue to hold value going forward. Research shows that due to advances in technology and medicine, people are living longer; as such, health education will become more of a major priority. Secondly, the Health Education program brings critical focus to ensuring and extending quality of life measures for all. For me, the benefit lies in knowing that I will be able to make a positive difference in lives of people. 

What have you gained during your matriculation at UDC?
Through my matriculation here at UDC, the Health Education program has afforded me the flexibility to participate in other campus activities. Many of my classes took place in the evening thus allowing me more time to explore and participate in various campus organizations.

What would you like to do with your degree?
My degree will be used as a stepping stone to advance my education in the health field, focusing on community programming designed to enhance the lives and futures of the D.C. residents.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Healthy cooking classes make a difference

The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health conducts free six-week cooking courses year round in Wards 7 and 8 of D.C. The latest iteration just graduated 8 participants, with the final class including a grocery "tour" where participants are taught to shop healthy on a budget. One of the graduates, Ms. Lisle Cole, took the course and explains the impact on her life:

I wanted to thank you so much for having the 'Eat Smart, Being Active' cooking class that was recently held at the Riverside Healthy Living Center. You made learning fun! During the class, I learned a lot of valuable information about meal planning and using My Plate, along with some healthy recipes that I have been preparing for my family. 

The meal planning information that I learned from the class has been helpful in helping me to budget for grocery shopping. One example of how helpful this class has been for me is when I shopped at Harris Teeter with my grocery list and coupons for the meal that I planned before Thanksgiving, I was able to take an original bill of $91.84 down to a cost of $49.15; having saved $42.91. I was so excited to save almost as much as my bill cost. This meant that my family could use the money saved to pay a utility bill. It was amazing and the receipt was almost two feet long. I will now be asking everyone, what’s on your plate?”

UDC's LEED Platinum Student Center Opens

After much anticipation, the University of the District of Columbia celebrated the opening of the new Student Center. The building is the University's first building in 40 years, but the ultra-modern design makes it worth the wait. DCist writes: 

"Sustainable design features are woven throughout center, including a 14,000 square foot green roof, photovoltaic panels, a rain garden, and more. The building is set to be the first LEED Platinum university building in District, the first LEED Platinum student center on the east coast, and only one of two in the country."

Continue reading UDC Opens Its First New Building In 40 Years

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Matthew Gardine and Judith Shapiro join CAUSES

 CAUSES welcomes two new members to the family!

Matthew Gardine has joined CAUSES as the Project Assistant for Urban Agriculture in the Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education. He is a farmer with five years of growing experience, and will be primarily based at the UDC Beltsville Research Farm to oversee the propagation, cultivation, pest management and harvesting of crops. From 2009 to 2011, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer working with cereal farmers in the West African nation of Senegal. Upon returning home to the United States, he completed a Master of Science degree in Community Food & Agricultural Systems from Michigan State University, where his capstone research project focused on the community garden he initiated in Saly, Senegal, the community in which he lived and worked for two years. Gardine is a fifteen year resident of the District. He graduated from Georgetown University.

Judith Shapiro has joined CAUSES as a Respite Aide/ Bodywise Project Coordinator in the Institute of Gerontology, where she will develop care plans to meet the program participants’ medical, social, educational, and personal needs, as well as conduct fitness classes. She is an experienced leader and innovative program manager with substantial background in diverse aspects of management, aging services, fitness, yoga and health, and is passionate about positively enhancing the quality of lives as people mature. Judith Shapiro holds Master degrees in Health Services Management and Aging from George Washington University and the University of Maryland Baltimore County. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Aquaponics Technician, Entrepreneurship and SPSS courses offered!

Aquaponics Technician Certification Program
This certificate program offers participants the opportunity to build a state of the art aquaponics system that uses the unique patented aeration device, FloVex. This highly efficient aerator makes it possible to build a system that uses only water as a working fluid that minimizes energy use, and is both aesthetic and efficient. Participants will engage in the hands-on assembly and installation of a full scale aquaponics system to gain a deep understanding of the technology and its applications. A mandatory overview of the aquaponics technology will precede the practical course component, and will be held at the UDC Research Farm, Beltsville, Maryland, on January 16, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Participants will then have a choice between 4 training schedules, which will be held in early 2016 at the UDC Research Farm, from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.:  

Overview I:  Jan. 16  –  12:30 - 5:00 p.m. 
Overview II: Feb. 20 -  10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Training I:    January 19, 20, 21, 22        12:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Training II:  February 11 and 12             12:30 - 5:00 p.m. AND Feb. 13, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Training III: March 3 and 4                     12:30 - 5:00 p.m. AND March 5, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Training IV: March 24 and 25                 12:30 - 5:00 p.m. AND March 26, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The cost of the program is $195. The selection process for the program includes a brief written statement of interest. Registration and additional information is available here or contact Marshelle Hailstock at or (202) 274-7135. Photos of the first Overview are available on our Facebook page.

Introduction to Proactive Entrepreneurship: Leading, Planning, Activating and Executing a Successful Startup Company

Entrepreneurship requires a complete commitment to mastering complex business, leadership, and life skills. Proactive entrepreneurship requires these skills, and in addition, a thorough understanding of the leadership capacity required of the startup's founders, key management and support team. Facilitated by  Washington DC ArchAngels President Dan Loague, the course will be divided into five 90-minute sessions. Students will be required to draft and edit a business plan for a proposed company, and to make a presentation requesting funding, strategic partnering or other critical resources from experienced finance professionals and local angels. Classes will be held on the following Saturdays: February 6, 13, 20 and March 5 and 12, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The cost of the program is $165. Registration is available here or contact Marshelle Hailstock at or (202) 274-7135 for more information.

Introduction to SPSS
SPSS, which stands for Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, is one of the most commonly used statistical software for data management, description and analysis. This one-day postgraduate module workshop begins with a brief introduction of the questionnaire, and introduces students to the basics of SPSS using a real survey data example, including entering and coding data, descriptive statistics, variable recoding, graphing, running chi-square test, t-test, and correlation. Both first-time and new users of SPSS are welcomed. Prior knowledge of basic statistics (such as mean, median and normal distribution), as well as basic Microsoft Excel are required. The class will be held Feb. 25, at the University of the District of Columbia from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The cost of the class is $150. Click here for more information or contact Dr. Xiaochu Hu at or (202) 274-7126.