Tag Archives: community-university partnership

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.


Infographic on South Madison Food Justice Project

Abby Jackson is a friend who joined our team for the South Madison food justice project.  She would be a Teaching Assistant for the service learning capstone course for the 2014-2015 academic year.  She was one of our students in our previous community-university partnership with The Natural Step Monona, where I got to know her excellent community-oriented skills that essential for our project.

Among one of a few things that she did in starting off her journey with us was to put together this infographic about the project.  The poster was presented at the Wisconsin Prevention of Diabetes & Center for Integrated Agriculture Studies, and won a prize in the category of Community Access to Healthy Food.

Please view the poster in pdf that illustrates our plan for the project.


Robert Pierce and South Madison friends honored by UW-Madison Chancellor


by: Alex Schwartz and Dadit Hidayat

On Tuesday June 3rd 2014 there was a big celebration for friends of South Madison at the Olin House, the UW-Madison Chancellor’s residence. Robert Pierce was honored with the 2014 LaMarr Billups Community-University Engagement Award by the UW-Madison Chancellor, Becky Blank. His exceptional collaboration with the university for over 15 years is unparalleled.

The LaMarr Billups award is a prestigious one for individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to campus-community partnerships. LaMarr Billups was a much respected community leader at UW-Madison, and was deeply committed to key civic institutions and social causes. He served as a special assistant to two UW-Madison chancellors and was the director of community relations from 1996 to 2007. Continue reading Robert Pierce and South Madison friends honored by UW-Madison Chancellor

South Madison Farmers’ Market Looking for Local Supports


by Jasmine Badreddine and Wally Graeber

The South Madison Farmers’ Market (SMFM) has been in the area for more than a decade. Despite the strong intention to provide safe, affordable, healthy food to the South Madison community, why does the market struggle to attract both vendors and customers?

That is the question that Robert Pierce and Shellie Pierce asked a team of undergraduate students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to answer. Robert and Shellie, a motivated father-daughter pair, are two key organizers of the market. They collaborated with eight students from the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies to conduct a research project this past fall semester to address the question.

Continue reading South Madison Farmers’ Market Looking for Local Supports

Promoting Community Environmental Sustainability Using a Project-Based Approach


Dadit Hidayat*, Randy Stoecker**, and Heather Gates***

In Korgen, K.O., White, J.M., and, White, S.K. (2014) Sociologists in Action: Sociology, Social Change, and Social Justice Second Edition.  SAGE Publications, Inc .


Environmental sustainability is a topic of discussion across the globe. But getting people to act collectively on environmental sustainability, especially in local communities, is fraught with challenges. Sociologically, the challenge is one of understanding how collective action works in order to mobilize community members around environmental issues. An important sociological aspect of mobilizing people for collective action is framing those issues effectively (see Benford and Snow, 2000). Frames are toolboxes of interpretation that help us make sense of the world. We have frames of not just what is right and wrong, but even about what does or does not exist. For example, people have various frames of what “sustainable” is. One person might interpret ethanol as sustainable, comparing it to fossil fuels, while another might interpret it as unsustainable based on an analysis of the energy required to grow and transform the corn into ethanol. Activists weigh into these controversies, attempting to bridge their frames with community members’ frames or transform community members’ frames to fit with the activists’ frames.

Continue reading Promoting Community Environmental Sustainability Using a Project-Based Approach

We are a cycle and we are now complete


Thursday May 9th was the last instructional day of spring semester 2013. We gathered in Room 15 Science Hall to deliver what we have learned from our community-based research to The Natural Step Monona (TNS Monona). It sounded like any other classes in the last week of semester. However, it was rather special for me–a bittersweet moment–after deeply involved in three-academic-year of community-university partnership between the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and TNS Monona, we arrived to the end of a cycle.


Continue reading We are a cycle and we are now complete