Category Archives: Partnership

It’s more than just a job training, it is a civic engagement project

Robert Pierce at Meriter Hospital
Robert Pierce in the Meriter’s site of the South Madison Farmers’ Market

This post is about my partnership in South Madison.  Reading the most recent story at the Capital Times about our project could potentially be misleading as this may be perceived as just another job training trying to help Formerly Incarcerated Individuals (FIIs). FIIs are not the problem.  FIIs are part of our solution in developing a strong and just local food system in South Madison.

First, it is very possible that we have not been able to communicate clearly about what is it that we want to do with the project.  It is very convenient to think that our project is just another job training for FIIs who lack of skills and lack of trust when trying to reenter the society.  This project is thought to bring together a group of saviors who will give the skills and jobs to FIIs.  No, we are not a savior, and this project is not a job training.  We are using the job training as a means, but the ultimate goal is to build a strong connection between the commercial urban agriculture skills and the food desert community where these FIIs are a part of. Continue reading It’s more than just a job training, it is a civic engagement project

First “serious” grant!


I am truly honored and humbled that I had the opportunity to work with amazing students of Nelson Institute and community partners SMFM and Nehemiah who could deliver this kind of work.  This is the first “serious” grant I am part of!

The recent approval of the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment would continue to facilitate the realization of a viable local food systems in South Madison.  The multiple partners associated in this project could be a model in how to deliver social change through an intensive collaborative work.

More information about this project, please read the project partnership page.

A Step Richer, Scholarly and Administratively


December 20th was when all of the senior capstone courses for Environmental Studies major at the Nelson Institute gathered.  It is the final day of the semester for our collaborative project with the South Madison Farmers’  Market.  In every course that I was part of, I have always learned new things, and I could only be grateful for the opportunity.

Continue reading A Step Richer, Scholarly and Administratively

The most important in collaboration is, to me, being patient.


According to a MacBookPro’s dictionary :), here it is a definition of ‘patient’ as an adjective:

able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

Image of people collaboratingLast Thursday in our community-based research (CBR) class, we reviewed a recruitment email that needed to be sent to our research subjects.  At one point I thought, let’s just use this version and move forward.  But students were starting to offer inputs share discomfort with the original email version.  Feeling the energy from students in improving the email, I then asked, “do you want to split and work in two smaller groups so that we can work on two different tasks, or do you want to stay in a bigger group and work on this email together?”  Students anonymously indicated their desire to stay together, and I agree.  Consequently, I had to delay offering a training on how to create an encryption folder with a TrueCrypt software to students for the third or even fourth times, which was completely fine to me.

Continue reading The most important in collaboration is, to me, being patient.