CAUSES In Action | Summer 2023


UDC’s Bertie Backus Campus Green Infrastructure Treatment Train Project Selected as the Best Ultra-Urban Best Management Practice Project

UDC’s Bertie Backus Campus (now known as the Lamond-Riggs Campus) Green Infrastructure Treatment Train Project won first place in the Best Ultra Urban Best Management Practice (BMP) category for the 2023 Best Urban BMP in the Bay Award (BUBBAs) contest on April 6, 2023. The contest recognizes the best urban stormwater practices and programs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The goal of the BUBBAs is to:

1.  Recognize innovators in the field who are using new and innovative techniques for facing the challenges of stormwater management;

2.  Provide an avenue for disseminating these techniques to other communities who could benefit from the lessons learned and innovative approaches;

3.  Engage the Chesapeake Stormwater Network’s 11,000-member network of stormwater professionals throughout the Bay watershed to choose our grand prize winner and promote interactivity among members

The Best Ultra-Urban Project BMP category recognizes the best application of green infrastructure (GI) practices that are built in highly urban areas to reduce flooding and pollutant delivery (more than 75% site impervious cover). 


Click here to learn more about UDC’s award-winning project!

Participants from UDC’s National Green Infrastructure Certificate Program (NGICP) install 4 interpretive sign panels.

UDC-CAUSES Partners with Study International to Bolster Graduate Program Enrollment

Earlier this year, UDC-CAUSES began working with Study International on a marketing campaign to attract prospective international students for its graduate programs. Study International is the world's leading online resource for international students and provides free, independent news and information that connects students with a global network of education providers. Each month, 1.8 million readers from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East view content on the organization’s site. In May 2023, Study International published an article that featured UDC-CAUSES and three other Colleges of Agriculture from across North America. And, in August 2023, Study International published another longer article completely focused on the graduate degree programs in UDC-CAUSES.  

Click here to read the May article.

Click here to read the August article.

Dr. Dwane Jones Quoted in Architectural Digest 

Dr. Dwane Jones, the Dean of UDC-CAUSES, was recently quoted in an Architectural Digest article. Architectural Digest is a monthly digital and print periodical, which features international design talents, innovative homes and products, inspiring decorating ideas, culture, and travel. In “How to Find the Urban Gardening Method That’s Right for You,” Dr. Jones stated, “...Although they’re more often seen in commercial settings for their aesthetic appeal, there’s no reason you can’t bring vertical gardens into your home if there’s sufficient lighting and structural support and a way to comfortably water it.” 

Click here to read the full article, which includes additional quotes from Dean Jones.

UDC-CAUSES 4-H Youth Soccer Program Receives Northeast Urban Extension Award

In June 2023, Diego Lahaye, a 4-H Program Associate in UDC-CAUSES, presented on UDC’s 4-H Youth Soccer Program at the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) Northeast Regional Conference. UDC’s 4-H Youth Soccer Program, which integrates physical activity, food and nutrition, wellness, and social sustainability and expands diversity in Extension, was featured at the regional conference, because it is considered an Exemplary or Promising Urban Extension Project or Program. In July 2023, UDC’s 4-H Youth Soccer Program was selected by the Northeast NUEL Steering Committee as the winner of the Northeast Urban Extension Award. Due to this award, the program is now considered a nominee for a National Urban Extension Award, which will be presented at the National Urban Extension Leaders Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in May 2024.

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Your contribution helps UDC-CAUSES arm its students with the skills and knowledge needed to face global challenges, find solutions to community problems, and meet industries' talent demands. 

Your support is needed to advance faculty research and to continue our legacy of academic excellence and innovation.

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Tune In

Chef Herb Featured in Video: Let's Talk About It: Healthy Food for a Healthy You

For National Nutrition Month in March, representatives from DC Health and UDC-CAUSES collaborated on a video focused on the importance of making informed choices and developing sound eating habits. In the video, Herbert Holden, Jr. (affectionately known as Chef Herb) an Extension Agent in UDC-CAUSES, provided a demonstration on how to prepare a healthy meal at home.

Watch Here

Now Live: Deep Dive Series Episodes 12 and 13

"Deep Dive with CAUSES" provides real-time and current updates on land-grant and academic programs, student opportunities, live events, and campus news.

UDC CAUSES Deep Dive 12
UDC CAUSES Deep Dive 13: PSM – Urban Agriculture

Student Spotlight

Architecture Students Selected for AIA HBCU Summer Internship Program

Aurora Konda, a student in the Master of Science in Architecture program, and Mathew-Ahmad Moore, a student in the Bachelor of Science in Architecture program, were selected for the 2023 American Institute of Architects (AIA) HBCU Summer Internship, which focused on the AIA National Headquarters Building Renovation. Aurora received her bachelor’s degree in architecture from UDC in Spring 2022. Both students received a $4,000 stipend for participating in the internship. 

“AIA’s HBCU Internship program provides the experiences needed by young professionals previously underrepresented by our profession to keep them engaged with our practice, including support from mentors; insight into professional practice; personal introductions to industry leaders; meaningful networking opportunities; and usable AXP hours,” said EHDD Designer Kevin Moultrie Daye, who serves as the internship coordinator. To earn a license and become an architect, students must document real-world experience through the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®).

Learn More

First Ph.D. Graduates in UDC-CAUSES History

When Carletta Hurt and Camille Range walked across the stage at UDC’s Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12, 2023, they became the first graduates of the Ph.D. in Urban Leadership and Entrepreneurship program in UDC-CAUSES. Carletta’s dissertation is entitled, Black Girl Leadership: An Examination of Programs Where Black Girl Leaders Have Emerged, and her concentration within the doctoral program was Urban Education Leadership. Camille’s dissertation is entitled, The Power and the People: Solutions to Building Healthy and Equitable Urban Food Systems, and her concentration within the doctoral program was Urban Leadership and Entrepreneurship.

Congratulations again to them and to all who helped them reach this milestone!

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Course Instructor:

Paul Brown

Please contact Paul Brown at


Calling All Food Managers: ServSafe Food Protection Manager Course

The UDC ServSafe Food Protection Manager certification is recognized by federal, state, and local jurisdictions more than any other food safety certification! The certification helps food service managers enforce critical food safety practices in establishments with every meal served. 

The UDC ServSafe Food Protection Manager course ensures that you:

  • Protect the public's health and safety in your food service establishment.
  • Understand current food safety policies and procedures.
  • Implement effective employee training programs.
  • Keep your operation in compliance with all applicable public health regulations.


Whether you are a recent graduate or a skilled industry professional, we welcome you to share your expertise and skills in CAUSES, as we work to recruit and grow our next generation of talent!

We are committed to building a diverse group of leaders and experts within our organization. We aim to create a culture for professionals to thrive.

Our college provides an opportunity to leverage the power of your degree with real career momentum. We offer web-based, on-the-job training, mentor support, and extensive networking opportunities to help you achieve success.

We invite you to apply for an opportunity best suited for you and your future!

Apply Here

 Michigan Technological University and UDC Launch Formal Collaboration Agreement

More than 20 faculty from Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) visited with faculty at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) during a May 2023 research-focused trip to Washington, D.C. The networking event on UDC’s campus laid the groundwork for potential collaborations as part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Michigan Tech and UDC in February 2023. In addition to mutual research endeavors, the MOU’s scope includes student exchanges, graduate study articulations, visiting professorships, joint funding proposals and philanthropy, and cross-mentorships in which each institution shares its unique capabilities with the other.

Faculty from both universities broke bread, discussed research and began the process of forming meaningful connections. Some researchers identified immediate collaboration opportunities; others set the stage for collaborations to come or simply learned more about their newly partnered institution. 

Learn More

Staff Spotlight

Must-Read: “Changes in Food Consumption Trends among American Adults since the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord

According to a recent study, the quality and quantity of food consumption have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the study, Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord and several contributing authors, including Drs. Tia Jeffery and Phronie Jackson, examined how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the consumption of different foods. The study reflects a later stage of the pandemic compared to other research conducted at earlier stages. Data collection for this cross-sectional study was performed via an online Qualtrics survey completed by 10,050 adults aged 40 – 100 years. 

Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord is the Director of the Center for Nutrition, Diet, and Health.

Dr. Tia Jeffery is a registered dietitian and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Nursing and Nutrition.

Dr. Phronie Jackson is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Nursing and Nutrition. 

Free Download


Che Axum Meets New USDA-NIFA Director

On May 8, 2023, Dr. Manjit Misra was sworn in to a six-year appointment as Director of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA). NIFA is USDA’s extramural funding agency in the Research, Education and Economics Mission area. In July 2023, Che Axum, the Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education, met Dr. Misra and his wife, Jayne. During the dinner meeting, a few topics were discussed including food as medicine, the importance of UDC as an urban land-grant institution, ancestral seed saving, and Dr. George Washington Carver, the Misras’ personal hero. 

Dr. Misra is a world-renowned scientist who has had a transformational impact on food security through the application of engineering principles to seeds, the most vital and fundamental element of food security. Prior to joining NIFA, he was the director of the Seed Science Center at Iowa State University, a position he held from 1991 to 2023. He was also the university’s Endowed Chair of Seed Science, Technology and Systems.

You can learn more about Dr. Misra here.

CAUSES in the Community

Eaton Corporation Volunteers Serve at Firebird Research Farm

UDC’s Firebird Research Farm welcomed 35 energetic volunteers from Eaton Corporation on July 18, 2023, to help prepare fields for new plantings and for growing healthy food for food-insecure families in our area. These wonderful volunteers weeded large fields, pulled agricultural tarps, and added lots of organic material to the compost supply at the Farm. UDC-CAUSES is so grateful for the volunteers’ enthusiastic support of the University’s land-grant mission.

To learn more about how to volunteer with UDC-CAUSES, visit here.

Monthly Check-In

What Would You Like To See More Of In Our Monthly Newsletter?
Community Events
Jobs & Internships
Scholarship & Research Opportunities

Calling All Volunteers: To register as a volunteer, please fill out the Volunteer Application FormUse this link to create your account in Golden Volunteer, which is CAUSES’ volunteer management system. Golden Volunteer is a fun and simple way to locate and register for volunteer opportunities, as well as to easily log and track your volunteer hours.

If you have questions or would like to schedule a volunteer day for your group, please contact Michele Bassler at


Welcome to the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, & Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). UDC is the only urban land-grant university in the nation. CAUSES was formed in 2010 as the University’s land-grant college.

We engage in applied teaching and research that helps to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of the District of Columbia and others around the world through traditional academic degrees and through non-degree, non-credit bearing, skills-building programs, such as green infrastructure and urban agriculture.

CAUSES is unique in its organizational structure and its mission: an interdisciplinary college where academic programs such as architecture, urban sustainability, health education, nutrition and dietetics, and nursing train a forward-thinking generation of professionals who will ensure that the world has “Healthy Cities–Healthy People.” The College houses the only doctoral-level program in the nation that focuses on urban leadership and entrepreneurship.

For more information or inquiries, feel free to contact us at

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About the University of the District of Columbia  

As an HBCU, an urban land-grant institution, and the only public university in the nation’s capital, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is committed to a broad mission of education, research, and community service. Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, the University offers Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees, along with a host of workforce development and continuing education certifications for student success, professional growth, and economic advancement. The University is comprised of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences; College of Arts and Sciences; School of Business and Public Administration; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; UDC Community College; and the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. To learn more, visit

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The University prohibits discrimination or harassment against any person on the basis of the actual or perceived actual race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, marital status, personal appearance, genetic information, familial status, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, place of residence or business, or status as a covered veteran, as provided for and to the extent required by District and Federal statutes and regulations. For a full version of the University’s EO Policy Statement, please visit: University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801, 267-284-5011.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, familial/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, this information is available in languages other than English. To file a complaint alleging discrimination, please complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD- 3027, found online at, or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to US Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. Submit your completed letter or form to USDA via fax: (202) 690-7442; or email: To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.